Dental Holiday Gift Ideas

Dental Christmas gift ideasFrom Christmas stocking stuffers to dental care, we have some great holiday gift ideas for you.

Dental Treatment Gift Certificate – Many people are struggling to afford the dental care they need. Giving a gift of dentistry would be more meaningful than buying the latest thingamajig.

Toothbrush, Floss, and Toothpaste – try fun flavors or designs to make it more interesting.

Professional Level Electric Toothbrush – helping someone care for their teeth is also giving the gift of health.

Replacement Brush Head for an electric toothbrush they already own.

Dental or Smile Books or Coloring Books – here are some ideas.

Teeth Whitening – this can also be a gift that enhances confidence and self-esteem

Peace of Mind – make a payment toward their dental bill or pay the account off – this is also a great Secret Santa or Random Act of Kindness activity.

Gross Fake Teeth – kids really love these.

Gag Gifts – like these walking teeth make great stocking stuffers.

The most important thing of all is that we want to wish you Happy Holidays!

(865) 922-1613 Knoxville, TN

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Understanding and Using Your Dental Insurance

dental insurance dental benefits family dentistry in KnoxvilleMillions of dollars of dental benefits go unused each year. The insurance company is paid their premiums, but a surprisingly high percentage of people do not take advantage of the insurance paid for, leaving money (in the form of benefits) on the table, even if they have dental needs.

You are paying for your dental benefits in some way, even if they are part of your employment benefit package that was offered as part of your wages. The insurance companies make more money when you let your benefits go to waste.

We encourage you to use your dental benefits every year, whether you only need preventive care or have a lot of problems with your teeth.  Taking care of your teeth will:

  • Prevent pain and emergencies
  • Save you money in the long run
  • Help you keep your natural teeth
  • Or, replace them if they are lost
  • Positively impact your overall health
  • Keep you smiling
  • Avoid having to go over your insurance yearly maximum

There are thousands of dental insurance plans available and it is important to understand what yours covers.  You may have been sent a packet of information or can call the insurance company directly to learn more.  Keep in mind that there may be exclusions and limitations that are not described in the general materials.   Here are a few things to look for:

Yearly Maximum The dollar amount of benefits available to you each year. If not used, they often go away on December 31st of each year.

Deductible: The amount you need to pay each year before the insurance company starts paying.

Preventive Payment Percentage: This percentage usually applies to x-rays, cleanings, and exams.

Restorative Percentage:  These benefits are for more minor treatments like fillings or periodontal care.

Major Percentage:  This is the percentage paid on approved crowns, bridges, dentures, and other major treatment.

  1. Keep in mind that these percentages are not usually based on your dentist’s fee, but an amount  predetermined by your insurance
  2. Most plans have a limit on how often you can have preventive care
  3. Some plans exclude implants, tooth colored fillings, and other treatments
  4. Most plans have a frequency limit on major and restorative treatment
  5. Your dental office can get a written pre-authorization estimate from the insurance company on major treatment
  6. Insurance companies will often pay for the least expensive way to resolve a dental issue
  7. Some plans only pay in specific dental offices

In our office we are happy to check insurance benefits for our patients and help them understand what they mean.  We give clear, easy to understand estimates before treatment is started.  We have been at this for years and love helping people understand and use their insurance to take care of themselves.

If you have insurance, there is no reason to delay calling and setting up a dental appointment.  If you are in the Knoxville area, we would love to serve you.

Ron Smith, DDS – Family and Sedation Dentistry – Knoxville TN – (865) 922-1613

4 Dental Tips for a Fun and Healthy Halloween

Halloween dental tips Knoxville dentist

Kids love Halloween and Trick or Treating and that means that there will be a lot of sugary treats coming their way. We have put together a few tips for you that will help them celebrate the holiday without hurting their smiles.

Sort Their Candy with Them

Keep your kids safe by having them not eat anything before they come home. Dump out the candy and go through it together, taking out anything that may not be safe.

Let your kids select their favorite treats and set them aside. The rest may not look as appealing once that is done.

Offer to Swap Out Candy for Other Types of Treats

You can give your kids incentives to give up the remaining, non-favorite candy by offering to swap it for other things they may want more, like a toy, coloring book, or movie. This works easily as long as what you offer is something they value more than the candy.

Inspire Them to Keep Their Teeth Clean

Give them a new fun tooth brush every Halloween to help them keep their smile healthy. Make it a tradition.  Another option is to include sugarless gum with their treats as it will help keep their teeth clean.

Designate Treat Times

When kids eat candy all day, their teeth are constantly marinating in sugar. Give your kids special times to eat their treats. This will give them something to look forward to and and can be timed shortly before they brush their teeth as well.

Celebrating can be both healthy and fun when you try these tips. But, if your teeth are feeling a little spooky you might want to give us a call. (865) 922-1613

Knoxville, TN

4 Signs the Bacteria in Your Mouth are Out of Control

mouth bacteria, dentist in Knoxville

Your mouth may be home to billions of bacteria, but when they are in balance there is nothing to worry about. It’s when they get out of control that your teeth and health can be at risk.

While there may be no symptoms that are obvious, sure signs that your mouth bacteria are having too much fun include:

Bad Breath: While the smell of your breath can change for simple reasons like the last thing you ate or your mouth being dry, it can also be a sign of digestive problems or unruly germy guys in your mouth. Try cleaning your tongue with a tongue scraper or a plastic picnic knife and be sure to brush it daily. If this doesn’t help, you may want to give us a call.

Cavities: Many people don’t realize that cavities are caused by bacteria, not sugar. The sugar feeds the bacteria and they use it to create acids that eat away at your teeth. Be sure to brush and floss daily and get regular dental exams to prevent and catch cavities early.

Bleeding Gums: Another byproduct of bacteria is tartar that eventually hardens and becomes calculus. This creates nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide and build colonies, resulting in inflammation and infection. This condition is what is referred to as periodontal or gum disease and bleeding gums is one of the symptoms, although you can have it with no symptoms at all. Getting a professional teeth cleaning at recommended intervals is important for preventing this disease which can cause tooth loss and impact your overall health.

Toothaches: One of the most common causes of a toothache is a nerve that has died and become infected. If you have a tooth that hurts, especially if it throbs, is sensitive to heat or swollen, it is important to see your dentist right away. When tooth infections get out of control they can get into your bloodstream and be dangerous for your health.

Our goal is to help you keep the germs in your mouth in balance so that you can continue to enjoy a healthy smile and protect your overall health.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Knoxville area, we would love to meet you. Just call (865) 922-1613 to schedule an appointment.

5 Things You Should Stop Believing about Cavities

tooth cavities cavityYou Will Know When You Have a Cavity: Cavities usually don’t hurt until they are deep enough to get to the nerve of your tooth.  Other obvious signs are dark spots or crumbling teeth.  In most cases, though, you will not be aware of a cavity until it gets serious.

Kids Get More Cavities than Adults: Children who receive regular dental care usually have their teeth protected with sealants and fluoride treatments.  While, older adults often develop cavities when their gums recede, exposing new soft areas of teeth to potential harm.

If Your Tooth is Sensitive, You Have a Cavity: There are several many potential causes of tooth sensitivity, including damage to the tooth’s nerve, gum recession, tooth grinding, and broken or cracked fillings.

Aspirin Next to a Tooth Will Help a Toothache: Aspirin needs to be swallowed and enter your bloodstream to be effective.  You are better off taking aspirin the same as you would for a headache.

Gaps in Teeth Lead to Cavities: Areas with more space are easier to clean and less likely to trap food than tighter areas. Cleaner teeth means less of a chance for cavities.  It is the tight spaces between teeth that have a higher risk.

If you are looking for a new dentist in the Knoxville TN are, we would love the opportunity to welcome you into our dental family.

865.922.1613 Knoxville TN

 

Why Real Men Take Care of Their Teeth

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Studies show that men are less likely to go to the dentist on a regular basis or focus on preventive care than women. That is, unless their wives talk them into it.

But, we believe men should be taking care of their teeth too, especially if they don’t like being in the dental chair.

Regular check ups and professional teeth cleaning can help prevent most dental problems, which means fewer toothaches, emergencies, and expensive treatment plans.

Here is what one man’s man has to say about taking care of his teeth.

If you don’t have a dentist you love, give us a call. Our office is a no judgement zone and we promise to take great care of you.

Ron Smith, DDS   865.962.1613

The Link Between Stress, Gum Disease & Damaged Teeth

stress grind teeth gum diseaseRecent studies are showing a link between stress and gum disease.  It is not yet known how this happens, but many believe stress limits the ability of the immune system to function fully and control the gum disease bacteria in the mouth.  There is also evidence that patients who are stressed develop more plaque than the average person.

Another concern is that people who have a lot of stress in their lives tend to clench or grind their teeth, especially at night.  This can lead to extensive tooth damage as well as sensitivity.  In severe cases teeth can even be lost.

From what we see, most people have a lot of stress in their lives.  Here are a few tips that we hope will help you get yours under control.

Make a Choice – in stressful situations you generally have three options – avoid it, accept it, or change it.  Understanding your choices and moving forward with one of them will help put you back in control.

Learn to Say No – a lot of stress is caused by having too many things to do.  You will feel less stressed when you say yes to the priorities and filter out the things that are not that important.

Adopt a Stress Reducing Habit – exercise, yoga, meditation, relaxation exercises, and even listening to calming music at the end of the day, are all great ways to release stressful tension and relax.

Stress is dangerous for your health and your teeth and we hope that you take it seriously.  If you have any concerns about the impact it is having on your oral health, call and schedule an appointment.  

You may be a candidate for a nightguard appliance that will protect your teeth from extra wear and tear or other recommendations that can help prevent or minimize the effects of gum disease.

Knoxville Family & Sedation Dentistry  (865) 922-1613