Q: Why does my dental plan cover only some of the things my dentist recommended?
A: Dental Insurance is a valuable part of extended health benefits. Dental insurance is designed to offset the cost of dental treatment; however, dental insurance plans are not designed to contribute towards every individual’s specific oral care needs.
At a new patient exam, our goal is to examine and gather specific information about you and your mouth, make a treatment plan that is specific to you and only you. We then discuss with you the various recommendations that we have made and make a master plan that is tailored to your needs. The recommendations behind this master plan are based on treatment that you may need or may be interested in, not what your insurance covers.
By treating you, and not your dental plan, we ensure that you are given the best options for you and in turn you get the benefit of making fully informed choices about your oral health.
Q: How old should my child be for their first visit to the dentist?
A: A child’s first visit to the dentist should occur by their first birthday or six months after their first tooth erupts. At this first appointment there are many important benefits such as getting the child orientated and introduced to the office, staff, and the way we provide care to a patient. Patient and parent information, tips, and guided instruction on how to care for their child’s oral health are reviewed. An exam is also given to identify dental decay and any other areas that may be a concern to the child and parent.
With regular check-ups, we continue to build on the dental experience, and most importantly the relationship of trust between us and the child so he or she will always be comfortable when they need dental services. We also continue to educate and help both child and parent to continue with perfect oral health as their child’s needs change with age.
Q: Do I need antibiotics before my dental appointment?
A: Over the last decade there have been many changes regarding the recommendation on whether or not to take antibiotics prior to your dental appointment. Recently these guidelines have been amended again.There are two main situations where pre-medication was previously recommended.
The first situation where antibiotics were recommended was for total joint replacements such as knees and hips. After a thorough review of the current research, both the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Dental Association co-developed a revised guideline on the use of antibiotics prior to a dental appointment for a total joint replacement. For most cases of total joint replacement, antibiotics are no longer recommended prior to a dental appointment.
The second situation that antibiotics may be recommended for are a select group of patients with heart valve replacement, specific congenital heart defects, or with a history of ineffective endocarditis. If you fall into this group of individuals, antibiotics may still be recommended prior to dental treatment in most situations.
If you have had a congenital heart defect, heart surgery, or a total joint replacement talk to your dentist prior to commencing dental work to find out what is recommended for your situation.