WHAT IS A DENTAL CROWN?
Crowns (or caps) are an artificial covering used to restore the form and function of severely damaged or root treated teeth. They can be either made of a high aesthetic full ceramic (no-metal) or porcelain fused to a metal framework for increased strength. Bridges are a series of crowns fused together on a metal frame and may be used to replace missing / extracted teeth. In cases where aesthetics are of primary concern, full porcelain crowns are made from the latest generation ceramics which are translucent and allow for light transmission for better optical and natural properties.
IS TEETH WHITENING BAD FOR MY TEETH?
Tooth Whitening has been done for many decades. There are many different products (some from fairly dubious sources ) available on the market .Reputable Tooth Whitening systems should be safe and not damage the teeth . The most important prerequisite is that the teeth and gums are healthy and that present fillings are sound. Bleaching product will cause MORE damage to already damaged teeth! This practice uses only the best product from America: Opalescence. This product is certified as “safe” and approved by the American Drug Association as well as American Dental Association.
WHY SHOULD I SEE MY DENTIST EVERY SIX MONTHS?
Good Dental Health is extremely important for Total Body Wellness. Dental disease can have very negative effects on other parts of the body, and has been directly associated with heart disease. Since dental decay can develop asymptomatically within a matter of weeks, regular dental visits and prophylactic cleanings are vital for prevention and early treatment.
HOW DO I GET RID OF FOOD TRAPS?
Food traps are the result of defects between teeth, caused either by cavities, failed /improper fillings or gum recession. A thorough dental examination will determine the cause and options of treatment to improve the situation.
WHY IS FLOSSING IMPORTANT?
Regular flossing is a crucial part of daily oral hygiene. The toothbrush, a brilliant invention, can unfortunately not access all the surfaces of the tooth, especially where food traps are present. To get into the corners around the teeth, various types of floss are available: regular floss, super floss, dental tape, interdental bristle brushes, aqua/water flossers etc. Your dentist can recommend which system would work the best for you.
WHAT IS THE BEST TOOTHBRUSH TO USE?
Toothbrushes come in a vast assortment of brands, makes, shapes and sizes. You will also find soft, medium and hard textures. The latest innovations use charcoal or silver impregnated bristle brushes. Electric rotary brushes are also very popular and efficient. Tongue brushes and scrapers are available separately, or mounted on the reverse side of the bristle head. Your dentist would be able to advise you concern the proper brush for your individual need.
WILL MY MEDICAL AID COVER MY TREATMENT?
WHAT TO ASK MY MEDIAL AID WHEN ENQUIRING ABOUT DENTAL COVER?
- Medical Aids often authorise procedures based on the description and treatment codes. This however does not guarantee payment.
- Therefore make sure to ask them from which benefits your dentistry is covered and ask if the relevant amount is available in that “pocket” of benefits.
EXAMPLE: You might require fillings on four teeth.
You now call the medical aid and ask if you will be covered for four fillings. Be very weary if the answer is a blatant “yes” without any further questions from your medical aid. The agent should at least indicate that they know who they are speaking to and which medical aid option you are on. Some medical aids will ask you the procedure and ICD 10 codes before answering. Some even ask which tooth numbers the procedures will be performed on. They ask the latter or should ask this when there are limits on fillings or any dental treatment for example “one filling per tooth in a three year cycle”. Your medical aid might say that you are allowed to get four fillings per year. They might then add that fillings on the same tooth is only allowed every two years. This again is where the tooth number becomes relevant and you should know which tooth numbers these fillings should be on (our dental quotations includes this information). Then some medical aids will ask you the procedure and ICD 10 codes before answering. What you have just confirmed if whether your medical aid will pay for the treatment according to scheme rules. FYI – authorisation is normally granted based ONLY on scheme rules and this is why the next part is so important. You can see from this how important it is for a proper diagnosis to be made and for you to be provided with all the information that your medical aid will require –
Now ask them where these fillings will be paid from. It is most commonly paid from your savings pocket. THEN ask how much money is available in your savings and ensure that the amount is at least the same as what you were quoted. This is the most prepared you could be for ensuring that your medical aid will pay for your treatment. Note that at our practice we try our best to identify your risk for you. It is however possible that call centre agents give the wrong information or systems are off line and claims being processed but not completed during your dental benefit enquiry etc. Some medical aids are even of the opinion that you are the contracted party and will not provide information to a third party, us in this instance. Taking this in account you will understand that even though we try to assist our patients with obtaining benefits prior to treatment, it is still the patient’s responsibility to ensure payment towards services and treatment provided. Come and see us for that check-up and quotation and experience our outstanding customer service in this regard.
WHAT ARE VENEERS?
For severely cracked or discoloured teeth, porcelain laminate veneers are bonded to the surface of the tooth, essentially replacing the damaged enamel and creating a highly aesthetic result. Gaps between the teeth can thus be closed and the smile line straightened considerably.
WHAT IS BONDING?
The repair of a chipped or cracked tooth may be done using a technique called bonding. A composite glass material is layered over a defect, where it is sculpted into shape, then contoured and polished resulting in a natural enamel appearance.