Our Blog

Dental Insurance or Dental Assistance?

Sep 01, 2017

Dental benefits are NOT really insurance in the classic sense.
If you have needs other than healthy cleanings, your care will require an investment beyond what your “insurance” will cover. Your benefits will assist you in the maintenance of your dental health but were never designed to be all you need.
It’s not news that employers have reacted to the rising costs of health care benefits by shopping carefully for the policies that they offer their employees. Benefits are down, restrictions and exclusions are up. Our patients share their resulting frustration with us every day. Adding to the frustration is the fact that dental benefits are often represented as being comparable to other types of insurance. “Insurance,” by definition, is protection against unpredictable or catastrophic loss. But most dental benefit plans specifically exclude extraordinary needs. The things offered as benefits are not only predictable, but expected, such as routine exams, X-rays, healthy cleanings, etc. Further, policies that do offer a benefit for other common services, such as crowns and treatment for gum disease, provide them at a much lower percentage of the actual cost of providing that care, and with a low dollar limit per year.

 

Your dental benefit plan is an excellent maintenance assistance program that will help you protect your investment in your dental health, and we’re happy you have that assistance!
Another common misrepresentation is that dental “insurance” covers all of the things that you need. We believe this can be a danger to your health, because it implies that if it isn’t covered, you don’t need it. Insurance companies are in business to make money. This is no secret, and it’s not bad or wrong. Their responsibility to their shareholders is to provide the benefits they can while still creating profit within the investment your employer has chosen to make in dental health. You cannot count on a dental benefit plan to determine what you need; that’s your responsibility. It’s our responsibility to advise you regarding your health. The fact is, unless you have excellent dental health, your needs will require that you make an investment.
We invest in what we value. Home improvement, education and vacations, are all examples of things we pay for, by choice, because we value them. We don’t presume to know where dental health fits in your value system. That’s for you to decide. It’s important for us that you know we think you’re worth the investment, and we’ll work with your benefit plan to see that you receive the maximum benefits in assisting you with the maintenance of your health.

We work with and welcome ANY questions about your dental benefit plan.

The Bacteria Problem in the Water at a Dental Office

Aug 28, 2017

Have you ever found yourself sitting in a dentist’s chair thinking how “clean” is the water coming out of the faucet and handpieces they spray in my mouth? If you find yourself asking these questions you’re not alone. Every day millions of Americans visit their dentist for one reason or another without ever really giving the subject any thought. The truth is dental waterlines, due to the nature of their construction, can harbor tons of microorganisms and bacteria that you would not want in your drinking water let alone your dentist’s chair. According to the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP), colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria can reach greater than 1,000,000 CFU/mL within a few days in dental unit waterlines (DUWL). Do you really want your dentist spraying that water into your mouth? This build up is commonly referred to as biofilm and, if left untreated, it can cause some real problems.
Today the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have set the bar at less than 500 CFU/mL as the safe level for dental waterline bacterial content. If 500 sounds like a large amount to you then let me put this into perspective. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the limit to less than 500 CFU/mL at 35 degrees Centigrade as safe for drinking water. If this still sounds scary to you then I have good news. Like everything in our world these days, technology and advancement is improving things, dentistry included. Dr Bialek’s office uses a source water filtration system (Sterisil Straw) to treat their water and eliminate these pesky micro invaders down to less than 10 CFU/mL!!! This is 50 x lower than current guidelines!!
So the next time you are at our office, you do not have to worry about what is going into your mouth. And, if you are reading our blog and are not a patient, ask your dentist if they are treating their water. This is something that everyone can get behind because, when you’re headed to the dentist’s office to get that cavity drilled out or even a prophy, dirty water should be the last thing you’re worried about.