DENTAL IMPLANTS 101: THE BEST WAY TO REPLACE A TOOTH

Dental implants are the best way to replace your teeth in 2018.  Simple.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the best way to replace your teeth in 2018.  Simple. That’s all, see you next week.

Just kidding.

Dental implants mimic an actual tooth.

There is a screw for the root, the cone underneath the gum and bone.

And a crown for the part of the tooth you see when you smile.

There is also a connector between the screw and crown called an abutment.

What are the benefits of implants?

Implants have significant benefits over other forms of tooth replacement.  We discussed some of the downsides to a bridge.  And we will discuss the downsides to a partial denture in future posts.  The implant doesn’t have these issues as it most closely mimics an actual tooth.  More specifically:

#1 it does NOT require the shaving down/harm of any neighboring teeth

#2 it maintains the most aesthetically pleasing result since the teeth are not connected together

#3 you can also floss for the same reason!  No special oral hygiene required, just floss as you would a normal tooth

#4 an implant engages your bone, therefore preventing bone loss

So why are implants so expensive?

The cost of equipment and materials are higher than that of the alternatives.  Surgical equipment, implant parts, lab fees. Also, you must consider doctor training and expertise.  Not every dentist is trained to place implants so there is a premium that goes along with that.

So what if you are missing more than 1 tooth?

Well, just like everything in life, it depends.  2 teeth? Get 2 implants. 3 teeth? Get 3. Or get an implant bridge.  4 teeth? 4 implants, a 4 unit bridge, or a partial denture.

All your teeth?  Full denture.  Or – implant supported overdenture.

There’s many ways to do it.  You need to figure out what works for you both in terms of preference, and budget.

In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂

Derek

 

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.

WHAT IS A DENTAL BRIDGE: THE TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS OF TOOTH REPLACEMENT

A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth.  Pretend you are missing a tooth and there are good teeth in front of the space and behind the space.  Those good teeth are ‘shaved down’ or ‘prepared’ to be little stumps. The bridge is cemented to these two stumps and has a dummy tooth in the middle.

A dental bridge is used to replace a missing tooth.  Pretend you are missing a tooth and there are good teeth in front of the space and behind the space.  Those good teeth are ‘shaved down’ or ‘prepared’ to be little stumps. The bridge is cemented to these two stumps and has a dummy tooth in the middle.

So basically, the tooth behind the gap is Manhattan.

The tooth in front of the gap is Brooklyn.

The gap itself is the East River.

And the dummy tooth is the Brooklyn Bridge.

Awesome right?  Well not entirely.  There are many downsides to a bridge:

#1. First and foremost, the teeth are getting shaved down.   It’s one thing if the teeth are ALREADY shaved down (i.e. for a crown), but otherwise, you are basically harming perfectly good teeth in order to fill in the gap.  Down the road, these teeth could need root canals, or even extraction. By shaving them down they are opening the teeth to the risk of developing other problems.

#2.  Bridges do not last forever.   They typically need to be replaced after 5, 10, 15 years.  It all depends on how well you take care of them.

#3.  Speaking of which, bridges are a nightmare to clean.  Since the “teeth” are connected, you cannot floss between them.  In fact, you need to floss UNDERNEATH your bridge. How you ask? There are a number of ways: floss threaders, water picks, special brushes, Superfloss.  No matter how you do it, it requires extra care and attention.

#4.  Bone loss.  When a tooth is removed (which is what results in the gap in the first place), you lose bone in that area.  There is nothing to hold the bone up (which the root previously did). You can lose about 40-60% of the bone mass at the time of the extraction, and about 1% per year thereafter.  A dental implant actually goes INTO the bone, and thus, “holds it up”.  The dummy tooth on the bridge sits ON TOP of the bone, and thus, does NOT “hold it up”.  So imagine you get your front tooth extracted when you are 20 years old and you get a bridge.  Many years later (and likely, many bridges later) when you are 50, it will likely be very difficult to get a good cosmetic result if you have a large amount of bone loss.

Doesn’t sound so sexy now does it?  So why would anyone get a bridge? Some insurance companies cover a bridge and do not cover the cooler, sexier, more thrilling alternative (the implant).  But if all the insurance companies were jumping off a cliff, would you?  (Doesn’t really work there does it?)

Anyway, this is probably a great time to talk about dental implants… BUT my Lean Cuisine just finished heating so you’ll have to wait till next week folks!

In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂

Derek

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.  

DENTAL CROWNS 101: WHAT IS A CROWN & DO YOU NEED ONE

As William Shakespeare once said:
“A tooth that requires a root canal almost always requires a crown.
A tooth that requires a crown, doesn’t necessarily need a root canal.”

Today, it’s all about crowns.  

 

As William Shakespeare once said:

“A tooth that requires a root canal almost always requires a crown.

A tooth that requires a crown, doesn’t necessarily need a root canal.”

 

Why do I say ‘almost always’?  There are a few exceptions:

  1. Some younger patients who need a root canal are not old enough to have a crown placed yet
  2. There can be spacing issues.  Some teeth, usually all the way in the back, or with patients who have a ‘collapsed bite’ do not have room for a crown.

With these exceptions, the dentist will usually just place a permanent filling.

The “standard” crown is called PFM or “porcelain-fused-to-metal”.  Sexy right?

These are metal on the inside, where the crown meets the tooth, and porcelain (tooth colored) on the outside.

There are upgraded/”better” types with higher quality metals on the inside (i.e. Captek) and others with no metal at all (i.e. Emax, Zirconia).  These typically look more natural than the PFM crowns.

 

The process works like this:

  1. The tooth is ‘prepared’ or essentially shaved down in all directions (front, back, left, right, and top) to what is essentially a stump
  2. Dentist takes an impression which is sent to a lab (some offices do this in the office nowadays)
  3. Dentist makes you a “temporary crown” which you wear until your next visit (as the stump needs to be protected)
  4. Impression is used to make the crown which can take a few days or sometimes weeks
  5. You return to the office for the crown to be inserted, final adjustments to be made, and the crown to be cemented

 

Complicated enough, eh?  Not to make you crazy but if you have had a root canal done, BEFORE step 1, SOMETIMES, something called a “post” is placed.  This is essentially a screw placed into the root of the tooth where the root canal was done. There is a large build up or “core” placed around the post to mend all of the broken-down tooth.  Think of this as a beam in a large building.

Phew.  I’m nausesous from typing that I cant even imagine how you feel.

Enough today.  Next week, bridge!  Woohoo!

In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂

Derek

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.

ROOT CANAL 101: WHAT IS A ROOT CANAL & DO YOU NEED ONE

WTF is a root canal!?  

 

Let’s dive a little deeper into root canals today.  

What is a root canal!?  

A root canal is actually root canal TREATMENT.  Every tooth has a root canal. Every tooth has a root (sometimes 2 or 3 or 4), and down each root runs a canal (or 2).  In this canal is the nerve and some other stuff that makes the tooth alive. When you have a root canal, the dentist opens up these canals, and cleans them out completely.  Then the dentist stuffs them up. Your tooth is now dead. You should no longer have feeling in this tooth.

This is necessary for a number of reasons.  Like we discussed last week, if a cavity reaches the pulp (where the canals begin), the tooth needs a root canal.  If a tooth has an infection at the end of the root, a root canal is done to try to kill the infection (and prevent it from coming back).  Sometimes, teeth have pain and dentists scratch their heads as to the reason why.  To prevent a tooth from having pain, we remove the nerve with a root canal.  

After a root canal, a tooth typically requires a crown.  Root canal teeth are dead and are slightly weaker than healthy, vital teeth.  They are also typically missing quite a bit of tooth structure either due to decay (cavities) or the hole dentists need to make in order to complete the root canal.  A crown is a cap that completely covers and protects the tooth.

We will discuss the various types of crowns next week.

In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂

Derek

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A-first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.

CAVITIES 101: WHAT IS A FILLING & DO YOU NEED ONE

So, your dentist says you have a cavity.  Now what? It all depends how “deep” the cavity is.  This is usually determined by the “bitewing” x-ray we talked about last week.

So, your dentist says you have a cavity.  Now what? It all depends how “deep” the cavity is.  This is usually determined by the “bitewing” x-ray we talked about last week.  I have found that the best way to explain this is as follows:

“A tooth is like a peanut M&M” – Abraham Lincoln, 1868

  1. Candy shell (enamel)
  2. Chocolate (dentin)
  3. Peanut (pulp chamber – where the nerve lives)

mm1

mm2

mm3

Very simply:

  • If your cavity is in the enamel, you will likely not have severe (or any) symptoms, and a simple filling will do the trick.  If it’s super early/small, the dentist may recommend waiting and watching.
  • If your cavity is in dentin, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity (to hot and/or cold and/or sweets).  You definitely will require a filling. You may experience sensitivity after the placement of the filling that can sometimes last weeks!  
  • If your cavity is in the pulp chamber (or sometimes even very close to the chamber), I regret to inform you, you need a root canal!   

Ahh, if only the world was just this simple.  There are times when a cavity in the dentin when sensitivity will not subside, can potentially need a root canal!  Also, if a cavity is in the pulp chamber but is so severe that the tooth is broken down to bone level, it might need to be pulled!  Party time.

So now, if you do need a filling, there are essentially 2 kinds: silver and white.  Silver fillings are made of “amalgam”. They have been around for years and are still approved by the American Dental Association as a filling material.  White or “composite” fillings are becoming increasingly more common nowadays.

Fillings need to be checked at your checkups as they can develop cavities underneath them and at their edges.  They often need to be replaced after a certain number of years.

Not to leave you on the edge of your seat but we will wait until next week to discuss root canals (and crowns!).

In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂

Derek

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.

DENTAL CLEANINGS 101: WHAT THEY ARE & HOW OFTEN YOU NEED ONE

There are various types of cleanings that are appropriate for different patients.  Insurance companies cover certain types of cleanings however, this may not always be what is most appropriate for you and your mouth.  

There are various types of cleanings that are appropriate for different patients.  Insurance companies cover certain types of cleanings however, this may not always be what is most appropriate for you and your mouth.  

POLISHING

This is done with a rubber cup and something that feels like toothpaste; this is appropriate for a pediatric cleaning.

CAVITRON CLEANING

This is the cleaning done with the supersonic pick and that sprays lots of water.  Adults should have a cavitron cleaning done at least twice a year. Some patients that struggle with oral hygiene, are recovering from more advanced periodontal disease, or patients who simply build up tartar quickly should have cleanings done every 3-4 months.   

What is tartar?  Tartar, plaque, calculus… all the same thing.  Bacteria! Bacteria that has hardened on your teeth.  You can often see it on your teeth in the mirror. Usually there is much more than you can see for yourself in the mirror. This sneaky bacteria is commonly found either beneath your gums or in other non-visible places (especially on the back of your bottom front teeth where a salivary gland ejects).  Do not let this build up! Plaque buildup leads to inflamed gums and eventually bone loss. Bone loss leads to tooth loss, sometimes many teeth! Yikes!

“DEEP” CLEANING

For those patients who do have a lot of calculus build up under their gums, a deep cleaning will be recommended.  Patients need to be “numb” for this as the removal of plaque from beneath the gums would otherwise be painful.

Woof, okay that’s enough for 1 day.   A lot to swallow, right? Checkups and cleanings are essential to maintaining a healthy mouth, even dentists need to get them every 6 months!  If you stay on top of this it’s very unlikely that you’ll run into the issues of my upcoming posts, but nevertheless we will see you next week!

Keep smiling 🙂

Derek

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.

DENTAL CHECKUP 101: HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED ONE & WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET THERE

A dental check-up consists of x-rays and a visual examination.

X-RAYS

The number of x-rays will differ depending on when your last examination was.  If you have not been to the dentist in a while, you will typically get a ‘full set’ (or FMS) of x-rays.   

PA’s – show the root of the tooth (used to look for infections at the end of the root, severe bone loss, etc.)

Bitewings – most clearly show cavities

If you have been to the dentist recently and had a ‘full set’ you will probably only get a limited number of x-rays or a recall series.  This is typically 4 BW’s and 3 PA’s but can be more if the dentist needs to see the roots of certain back teeth.

If there is a possibility of problems with the wisdom teeth, a panoramic x-ray is taken which is of your entire lower face.  It shows the relationship between your teeth and important structures such as nerves and sinus cavities. These panoramic x-rays are necessary before a dentist can remove your wisdom teeth safely.

VISUAL EXAM

Typically, a dentist will do a visual exam and make their diagnoses based on this combined with the x-rays.   Some problems can be seen only on an x-ray, and some can be detected only by looking or feeling. What do I mean by feeling?  That little sharp metal pointed instrument you probably despise is called an explorer, and in order to tell if a dark spot is a cavity, the dentist will likely need to poke it with this instrument.  

They will also look at your gums.  Gum health is usually measured with a tiny ruler, or probe, which you also probably despise.   They will be measuring your “pockets” AKA the depth between the tooth and the gum. You want your pockets to be 3mm or less.  More on this to come…

TIMING

A dental checkup is recommended every 6 months.  Sticking to every 6 months allows problems to be caught early before they progress to larger issues.  We will discuss this in greater detail as we go through other topics but the basic gist is:

if you get your checkups every 6 months, cavities can be caught while they are small, before they progress to the level of needing root canals.  Or, mild gum disease can be diagnosed and treated before progressing to more advanced gum disease and tooth loss.  Make sense?

THEN WHAT?

After your exam, a dentist or office manager will review their findings with you.  Hopefully you will need nothing! A pat on the back and a see you in 6 months! But just in case this is not… the case, I will continue to write these posts…

In the meantime, Keep Smiling 🙂

Derek

Are you one of the 250 million Americans struggling with high dental costs?  Give Smylen a try.  A first-of-its-kind platform, Smylen allows you – the patient – to Name Your Fee for various dental procedures, and matches you with a local dentist who accepts that fee.  Save thousands of dollars in just a few clicks at Smylen.

4 Simple Strategies for Finding Affordable Dentures

Dentures are one of the most common dental needs nationwide—and not just among seniors. More than 32 million Americans have dentures, and that number is expected to rise—by 2024, 200 million Americans are expected to be dealing with partial tooth loss. And given the ongoing trend, the vast majority will seek out dentures.

denture

Dentures are one of the most common dental needs nationwide—and not just among seniors. More than 32 million Americans have dentures, and that number is expected to rise—by 2024, 200 million Americans are expected to be dealing with partial tooth loss. And given the ongoing trend, the vast majority will seek out dentures.

The challenge? Cost. On average, a full set of dentures can cost $1,300 to $3,200—and dental implants can easily cost $10,000 or more. That doesn’t include tooth extraction either, which can cost approximately $300 to $400 per tooth—and all of these costs can skyrocket if you’re in a high-cost metro.

That said, there are options for affordable dentures and dental implants. If you’re struggling to get the dentures you need, consider…

  1. Request a Payment Plan

Many prosthodontist and general dentists offer payment plans for higher-cost services like dentures and dental implants. Even if it’s not offered at your initial consultation, don’t be afraid to ask. Dental offices know a major procedure can be a huge financial strain on the patient and their family and, in many cases, will happily work with you to come up with a weekly or monthly payment plan that works for both sides.

Granted, you’ll still pay the full cost of the service, you’ll just be breaking it down over time. Same goes with other break-it-down approach like credit cards and loans. Even CareCredit—a credit card designed specifically for medical and dental expenses—won’t alleviate any of the financial burden. However, with no-interest financing when you keep up with the minimum payment due, you’ll be able to stretch your denture cost over 6, 12 or even 24 months.

  1. Keep PACE

For those over 55 who qualify for home care nursing, PACE provides free and very low-cost dental care, including affordable—and, even, no-cost dentures. To qualify, patients must also be on Medicare or Medicaid

  1. Join a Dental Discount Program

If you don’t have dental insurance—or if yours isn’t getting the job done—you may be able to get affordable dentures through dental discount programs. Plans start around $100 per year and, in exchange, members save around 20% to 40% on standard dental procedures.

While, in some cases, these programs deliver serious savings, there tend to be clauses for specialty procedures—for example, one popular dental discount program won’t cover pre-existing conditions or replace teeth extracted before membership began.

  1. Search SMYLEN

Affordable dentures are one of the most searched services in the Smylen network. Search by location or service and, instantly, see totally transparent pricing for everything from tooth extraction to dentures to dental implants. Click, book and you’re set—and you know exactly what you’ll be paying for your dentures. And if you don’t? Name your price and connect with a top-rated dentist in seconds.

Want to make your Smylen search work even harder? Consider searching neighboring zip codes to find the best deals on affordable dentures. A recent search turned up a $3,050 option in Manhattan and a $1,500 option in a nearby suburb less than 30 miles away. If you’re open to hitting the road, you may be able to lock in even deeper discounts.

Keep in mind, finding affordable dentures isn’t just a challenge for the senior set—seven in 10 adults 35-44 have lost at least one permanent tooth and, by age 74, one in four have no permanent teeth. By understanding your options whether dentures are an immediate need or not, you’ll be better positioned to make smart, strategic choices about your long-term oral care—choices that won’t break the bank.

6 Reasons Americans Don’t Go to the Dentist

From lack of insurance and sky-rocketing fees to residual angst from old appointments from not wanting to hear why they need to floss (for the millionth time…), here’s why people are skipping their annual cleanings and, even, follow up treatments, plus a little advice for overcoming these hurdles if any of this sounds a little too familiar…

clean pink dentist surgery
http://www.Smylen.com

“White Coat Syndrome” is the real deal, especially when it’s dentists donning those white coats. Forty-two percent of Americans cop to not seeing their dentist as often as they’d like, beating out even their primary care doctors, dermatologists, and ophthalmologists for the top doc-I’m-avoiding spot.

That said, it isn’t always fear of going under the drill that’s keeping people from sliding into the dentist’s chair. From lack of insurance and sky-rocketing fees to residual angst from old appointments from not wanting to hear why they need to floss (for the millionth time…), here’s why people are skipping their annual cleanings and, even, follow up treatments, plus a little advice for overcoming these hurdles if any of this sounds a little too familiar…

#1. It’s all about the Benjamins…

The number one reason people skip out on regular dentist appointments? Money.

Forty-four percent of people don’t visit the dentist because they don’t have dental insurance. Because “affordable dental” isn’t exactly the name of the game, many patients worry they’ll wind up with a jaw-dropping bill post-appointment.

And, in reality, they should worry. While a standard office visit averages about $50 to $350 — not too crazy — start layering in add-ons and a quick visit can be anything but cheap. X-rays can run upwards of $250, cleanings can easily be $100 to $200 or more, and just having the dentist scope out your mouth can tack another $50 to $150 onto the bill. In a word: yikes.

#2. Fear of what comes next

That, though, just covers the basics. Many people dodge the dental chair not because they’re scared of the cleaning — or cleaning bill — but they’re worried about what comes next. A routine cleaning is, often, when other issues are spotted. And those issues, many report, are what keep them away from the dentist.

Whether it’s feeling anxious the second a dental drill starts whirring, fearing painful procedures or, again, knowing many of these treatments don’t come cheap, for many it’s better not to know than to know and have to deal. The more specialized procedures get, the less likely you are to find affordable dental options, especially if you’re in a major metro market. A crown in Manhattan can run upwards of $3,000, while you may be able to get one for less than half of that in other parts of the country.

The (faux) solution? Avoid the appointment and avoid the diagnoses — and the bills. And, chances are, that approach is all well and good until treatments get put off a little too long. Then, not only does the pain or discomfort becomes too much to take but, in many cases, a patient’s needs expand — what was once a simple filling is now root canal and crown, or a tooth needs to be fully extracted. Then, what began as a desire to save a few bucks becomes a much more costly proposition…

#3. Fear of what comes now

Of course, there are plenty of people with serious dental phobias — and we get it. The smells, the sounds, the scraping, the pinching…we’ve heard, seen, and personally experienced it all to understand why a trip to the dentist can conjure up all sorts of fears and anxiety.

And if that’s you, you’re not alone. Nearly 75% of U.S. adults say they experience at least some fear when sliding into the dentist’s chair. Five to 10% of those adults have a full-blown dental phobia that, in many cases, can keep then away from even a basic cleaning for years.

While we can’t totally calm your pre-dentist jitters, know this: your dentist can and will work with you to make your experience as low-anxiety as possible. For some patients it’s as simple as listening to music or podcasts during their exam — just drowning out the exam sounds is plenty to alleviate the added stress. Others wear noise-cancelling headphones and to keep their eyes closed from start to finish. Some kids even like seeing the tools ahead of time — and many parents report it reduces exam-time stress.

If you’re concerned or just feel super-stressed and can’t put your finger on it, talk to your dentist. Believe it when we say they’ve heard it more than a few times and, no doubt, have solutions to ease you into the exam chair and ensure you’re calm and comfortable during the process.

#4. Fear of being lectured…

To round out our “fear” series, the fear of being lectured also ranks pretty high on appointment-skipping patients’ lists. Almost everyone can recall a past dentist chastising them for not brushing enough — or brushing right. Then there’s the flossing conversation, which everyone seems to have at least sometimes — in short, that you aren’t flossing and that it’s damaging your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.

Here’s the thing: not flossing is a serious issue — but you already know that and, likely, know you aren’t flossing even though you should be. And, again, dentists “get it.” While they’ll probably remind and, maybe, even offer a quick tutorial on proper brushing and flossing techniques, the days of endless lecturing and fear-mongering are long gone. Most dentists recognize that style of education is totally counterproductive at best — at worst, again, it’s keeping people from getting even basic cleanings, now and in the future.

So in short, take a breath, give yourself a quick brush-and-floss and go. If your oral healthcare habits are up to par, you’ve got nothing to stress about. And if you haven’t flossed since your last appointment? Take the tutorial when it’s offered, head to the drugstore post-check up, and snag a sack of dental “flossers” — pick-like plastic tools that eliminate the need to deal with traditional floss. Many people report these flossers much easier to use.

#5. Post-Traumatic Dental Appointment Disorder

Admittedly, this one’s not a real disorder, but it’s one that’s very common, especially in the Gen X set. Now in their 30s and 40s, these patients remember sub-par — and often very painful — treatments when they were kids and, now, dodge the dentist like it’s their j-o-b. One reader recently shared a story about how, when she was 12, she had four cavities filled with zero novocaine, despite crying and begging for some sort of numbing agent. The dentist insisted the cavities weren’t that deep, and it simply wasn’t necessary. Decades later, this now 30something patient still struggles to keep to an annual appointment schedule, going five years between cleanings once.

And she’s not alone. Remember a painful extraction or traumatizing filling can keep otherwise brave adults — parents of kids who get regular check ups, even — away from the dentist for months or even years.

If you’ve had a bad experience in the past, don’t worry. Now you’re older and, likely, more inclined to speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right. Equally importantly, though, advances in dentistry in the last few decades has made everything from cleanings to braces to root canals much more comfortable for patients. So those painful fillings? Chances are they wouldn’t happen that, period.

#6. Lazy/Busy/LAZY

The reality? We’re ALL busy. Between work and school and kids and commitments, there’s barely a minute to come up for air — but that doesn’t mean you should ignore dental visits.

More and more, dentists are leaning into patients’ jam-packed schedules, offering early morning, late night, and weekend hours to ensure you can get here even if your calendar seems to say otherwise. While these appointments do tend to fill up fast in many practices, consider it a prime opportunity to get on — and stick to — a consistent cleaning schedule. When you go in now you’ll set your six- or 12-month appointment on the spot, so you’ve got a date your future plans can work around.

Another good solution? Find a family dental practice and make it an outing. Book everyone in your crew for appointments back-to-back-to-back-to-back, then hit a movie or mini golf or some other fun, non-food related activity right after. Not only will your kids start building positive connotations of the dentist, but you’ll be able to check everyone off the list at once, versus shuttling spouses and kids to and from the dentist month after month.

One Solution You Can Smile About

No matter your fear, there’s one simple solution that cures them all: Smylen. Smylen offers affordable dental services, from cleanings and crowns to root canals, teeth whitening, Invisalign and even dentures. By filling open appointments on top-rated local dentists’ calendars, you save — and with transparent, upfront pricing you’ll never get a massive bill post-appointment.

That, though, is just the beginning. Feeling the time-crunch? Make a last-minute appointment. Worried about sights, sounds, smells, or getting lectured for your lax approach to flossing? Say so — again, these are highly rated, highly regarded dentists who’ve been there, done that and know how to work with patients who aren’t super comfortable in their presence. So speak up, make a note when you book, and make sure you raise your hand if you’re in pain or, simply, need a minute to collect yourself. Again, these are amazing dentists in Smylen’s amazing network — and they’re here to provide affordable dental care and get you over those fears and phobias once and for all.

5 Low-Cost, High-Quality Alternatives to Traditional Dental Insurance

We’ve rounded up five simple, low-cost, high-quality solutions to ensure you and your family have the cleanings and extended care you need, when you need it — often for a fraction of the price you’d pay with insurance.

person holding coin
http://www.Smylen.com

Close to 114 million Americans don’t have dental insurance.

Chew on that for a minute — because that’s about one in every four people walking around, chomping on crunchy snacks, eating super-cold ice cream, and just waiting for their next chip, crack, or ouch moment. And that’s problematic.

While the insurance crisis gets solved, though, you don’t need to go without affordable dental care. We’ve rounded up five simple, low-cost, high-quality solutions to ensure you and your family have the cleanings and extended care you need, when you need it — often for a fraction of the price you’d pay with insurance.

#1. Smylen

We’d be remiss if we didn’t put ourselves in the top spot — but, let’s face it, we’ve got plenty of good cause for this seed. Our network of high-quality, top-rated dentists provides affordable dental care that, in many cases, leaves you with a lower bill than you’d get trying to hit those out-of-pocket minimums.

To find affordable dental care via Smylen, simply head to our homepage, pop in your zip code or desired treatment, and browse available providers — and their Smylen rates — instantly. It’s quick, it’s painless, and it’s totally transparent. You’ll know going in exactly what you’re going to pay for that Invisalign or the root canal and crown.

While in our minds Smylen made sense for these 114 million uninsured Americans, we’re actually seeing more and more and more insured users hit the site looking for savings versus their company-provided — or, even, private — dental insurance.

To us, that says something — not just about the sad state of dental insurance but, more importantly, about the amazing, affordable dental care options Smylen is offering right now. Check it out, book your appointment, and be on your way to affordable dental care in seconds.

#2. Dental Schools

Many dental schools and universities offer free and low-cost dental care — provided you’re willing to be seen and treated by a student dentist. But before you panic, know this: sessions are overseen by professors and practicing dentists, so you’ll be in good hands from start to finish.

Another reason not to panic? These aren’t first-day dental students looking to learn on your mouth. These are, typically, highly-trained, highly-educated dental students wrapping up their graduate training. In months — weeks, even — these soon-to-be-graduates will step out into the world as full-blown DMDs. So why not jump the line a little and get affordable dental services in exchange?

And affordable, they are — while basic services like cleanings are often free, even more extension, premium services tend to be significantly reduced. At the School of Dental Medicine at Pitt, for example, a single implant — including all the bells and whistles — costs about $900. Compare that to the national average — about $1,000 to $3,000 for the implant plus $500 to $3,000 for the abutment and crown — and it’s clear why so many people hit up dental schools when they need affordable dental care.

#3. Enhanced At-Home Care

While nothing takes the place of annual cleanings, intensifying your at-home care plan can help curb the need for significant work now and in the future. Layer in the basics — brushing at least twice daily, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash, for starters — and you’ll likely walk away from your next check up with a clean bill of oral health. Keep it up and you won’t need affordable dental care — or any extensive dental care.

#4. Clinics & Pop Ups

Many communities offer free and affordable dental care services to residents via clinics, pop ups, and mobile cleaning-and-filling experiences. The State of California, for example, has nearly 400 free and low-cost dental clinics, while in Nashville pop-ups are taking over neighborhoods with affordable dental care options on-demand and onsite. And they aren’t alone.

Check out local resources — neighborhood Facebook groups and message boards, for example — to see who’s who, what’s what and where you can get a quick cleaning without the hefty price tag.

#5. Discounts & Offers

Depending on the affordable dental services you’re looking for, resources like Groupon may offer cheap options — but you need to do your due diligence. From teeth whitening to straightening to, even, denture care, we’ve seen it all pop up on these sites, often with massive savings.

While it’s appealing — and it might be a good solution depending on your needs — do your homework. At Smylen, all of our dentists are top-rated pros who are thoroughly vetted and assessed before joining our elite network. We can’t say the same for certain discount sites.

Smile for Affordable Dental Care!

The takeaway? Affordable dental care isn’t a myth — in fact, with resources like Smylen, it’s a total reality. Your job, then, is to assess your needs, your family’s needs, and find the right affordable dental care solution.

Or, simply head to the Smylen homepage and start your search by zip code, by treatment, or by what’s trending in your neighborhood. From there, you’ll be able to see real-time pricing from top-rated dentists, and book appointments on the fly. It is, hands down, the simplest way to secure the dental services you need at prices you can afford — and to us, that’s always something to smile about.