Q: Does my insurance cover my procedure?
Q: How do I know I need a root canal?
We know that dental insurance can be confusing; this is especially true because every plan is unique in its coverage
. For this reason, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always on hand to help you understand how to navigate and maximize your insurance benefits.
Most insurance plans will pay a percentage of your treatment cost, after a deductible and up to a maximum, and then you’re responsible for the remaining balance. We will always discuss treatment costs and insurance benefit coverage with you prior to starting any treatment procedure. This way, there are no surprises when you come in for treatment, and you can feel comfortable about fitting your care into your budget.
We never want finances to deter our patients from getting the dental care they need, and delaying your needed treatment often results in even bigger problems for your oral health. This is why we offer a number of convenient payment options to help you get your treatment done when you need it. This includes options for breaking treatment costs into affordable monthly payments. Contact our office to learn more about your options and get your treatment scheduled.back to top
Q: What is a dental implant?
It starts off as a slight twinge in your tooth when you're eating or drinking a cold beverage. You don't think too much about it because it goes away quickly. Then next you know, your tooth is starting to hurt, but Ibuprofen seems to do the trick, so you don't worry. Before you know it, your tooth is waking you up at night, and now you've got a full blown toothache. You visit your dentist to find that you need a root canal in Leawood. How did this happen?
Decay in your tooth often starts off as sensitivity to hot or cold. If you are proactive and have your tooth checked out with your dentist, a dental filling can often eliminate the decay and strengthen your tooth. If decay is left untreated, it will progress to the nerve, or pulp of your tooth and cause an infection and this is when a root canal becomes necessary to eliminate the decay and preserve your tooth.
Trauma or an injury to your tooth may also require root canal therapy. If you are experiencing sensitivity or pain contact Dental 133 right away to be seen for treatment.back to top
Q: What happens if I put off a root canal?
A tooth that is missing or compromised greatly affects the quality of your life. Eating and chewing the foods you would normally enjoy is challenging, and smiling or talking to others is embarrassing. A dental implant in Leawood is the best solution to replace your failing tooth, and here is why.
A dental implant uses a titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone to take the place of your root. This helps to protect your bone from deterioration by keeping it stimulated and healthy. A new tooth made of ceramic porcelain is designed to closely mimic and replace your missing tooth. It's custom shaded to match your existing teeth, so it is aesthetically appealing for your smile.
Dental implants are a highly successful treatment with a 95% success rate. They also offer great longevity as they can often last a lifetime with the right care. For these reasons, they are the best long term investment you can make in your oral health when you are missing a tooth.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants and if they might work for you, contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Engelmann today.back to top
Q: How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
At Dental 133, we understand that the idea of root canal treatment can be a little worrisome. After all, root canals are painful, right?
Not so! We perform comfortable root canals in our Leawood dental office that actually relieve rather than cause pain, leaving no reason to postpone your root canal treatment. In fact, doing so can have disastrous results.
Putting Off Root Canal Treatment
If you have an infection in your tooth, putting it off may result in the need for an extraction. Leaving your tooth infected also becomes quite painful, causing inflammation, as well as jaw and facial pain.
We Can Help
We never want you to suffer needlessly. At Dental 133, we use rotary endodontic instruments for the fastest and most successful root canal treatment available today. Because your comfort is number one, we always make sure you are completely numb before we even begin treating your tooth.
Don’t let dental anxiety cause you to put off treatment because we can potentially save your tooth and your smile. For more information about root canals in Leawood, give us a call.
We warmly welcome new patients and treat dental emergencies as quickly as possible.back to top
Q: Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.
Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health. These include:
Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.
As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings.back to top
Q: How often should I brush and floss?
Over the years there has been some concern as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. An amalgam is a blend of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. Dentists have used this blended metal to fill teeth for more than 100 years. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), up to 76% of dentists use silver containing mercury to fill teeth. The ADA also states that silver fillings are safe and that studies have failed to find any link between silver containing mercury and any medical disorder.
The general consensus is that amalgam (silver) fillings are safe. Along with the ADA’s position, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization, the FDA, and others support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost effective. The U.S. Public Health Service says that the only reason not to use silver fillings is when a patient has an allergy to any component of this type of filling. The ADA has had fewer than 100 reported incidents of an allergy to components of silver fillings, and this is out of countless millions of silver fillings over the decades.
Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at high, unsafe levels. For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them. However, with respect to amalgam fillings, the ADA maintains that when the mercury combines with the other components of the filling, it becomes an inactive substance that is safe.
There are numerous options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and gold fillings. We encourage you to discuss these options with your dentist so you can determine which is the best option for you.back to top
Q: How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.
Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.
Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids.
Toothbrushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
Brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums, gently using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
Use the tip of the brush head to clean the inside front teeth.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.back to top
Q: What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.
Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.
Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives. Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
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Q: When are sealants recommended?
We’re all at risk for having a tooth knocked out. More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year! If we know how to handle this emergency situation, we may be able to actually save the tooth. Teeth that are knocked out may be possibly reimplanted if we act quickly, yet calmly, and follow these simple steps:
Locate the tooth and handle it only by the crown (chewing part of the tooth), NOT by the roots.
DO NOT scrub or use soap or chemicals to clean the tooth. If it has dirt or debris on it, rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk. If that is not possible, rinse it very gently with water.
Get to a dentist within 30 minutes. The longer you wait, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation.
Ways to transport the tooth
Try to replace the tooth back in its socket immediately. Gently bite down on gauze, a wet tea bag or on your own teeth to keep the tooth in place. Apply a cold compress to the mouth for pain and swelling as needed.
If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, place the tooth in a container and cover with a small amount of your saliva or whole milk. You can also place the tooth under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums. Keep the tooth moist at all times. Do not transport the tooth in a tissue or cloth.
Consider buying a “Save-A-Tooth” storage container and keeping it as part of your home first aid kit. The kit is available in many pharmacies and contains a travel case and fluid solution for easy tooth transport.
The sooner the tooth is replaced back into the socket, the greater the likelihood it has to survive and possibly last for many years. So be prepared, and remember these simple steps for saving a knocked-out tooth.
You can prevent broken or knocked-out teeth by:
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Wearing a mouthguard when playing sports
Always wearing your seatbelt
Avoid chewing hard items such as ice, popcorn kernels, hard breads, etc.
Although thorough brushing and flossing remove most food particles and bacteria from easy to reach tooth surfaces, they do not reach the deep grooves on chewing surfaces of teeth. More than 75 percent of dental decay begins in these deep grooves (called pits and fissures). Toothbrush bristles are too large to possibly fit and clean most of these areas. This is where sealants play an important role.
A sealant is a thin plastic coating that covers and protects the chewing surfaces of molars, premolars, and any deep grooves or pits on teeth. Sealant material forms a protective, smooth barrier covering natural depressions and grooves in the teeth, making it much easier to clean and help keep these areas free of decay.
Who may need sealants?
Children and teenagers - As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
Infants - Baby teeth are occasionally sealed if the teeth have deep grooves and the child is cavity prone.
Adults - Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions that are difficult to clean.
Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process only takes minutes per tooth. After the chewing surfaces are roughened with an acid solution that helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, the sealant material is “painted” onto the tooth surface, where it hardens and bonds to the teeth. Sometimes a special light will be used to help the sealant material harden.
After sealant treatment, it’s important to avoid chewing on ice cubes, hard candy, popcorn kernels, or any hard or sticky foods. Your sealants will be checked for wear and chipping at your regular dental check-up.
Combined with good home care, a proper diet, and regular dental check-ups, sealants are very effective in helping prevent tooth decay.back to top