Is your dentist still learning?

Dr. Nauert and Dr. Vaughan believe in the power of continued learning. Dentistry is a constantly changing filled and staying current on the latest trends and technology in the profession is extremely important. Through activities like residency programs, advanced training continuum like the L.D. Pankey Institute, dental study clubs, and other comprehensive CE programs, Dr. Nauert and Dr. Vaughan are able to keep their standard of care and patient care at the highest levels. Both doctors have achieved advanced professional designations with the Academy of General Dentistry due to their extensive record of continuing education. To read more about the importance of CE, read this great article from the Academy of General Dentistry?

What you don’t know about your gums can hurt you…

How healthy are your gums? Did you know that sometimes peridontal disease silently progresses without any overt symptoms? Read more about gum disease in this great patient information sheet from the Academy of General Dentistry.

But they’re only baby teeth…

The New York Times recently published an article on the importance of taking care of your kids’ teeth.  It’s a great read, and definitely worth the time to sit down and learn more about why baby teeth are important too.  If you have any questions or want to get your child scheduled in our office, give us a call at 713.668.9119.

Has your child had her first dental visit?

When your new baby is born, it’s hard to know what to do and when to do it. Many times the first dental checkup gets lost in the shuffle and parents might not bring their child in until there is a problem. So when should your baby come in for that first visit? Read more from our informational handout below, and feel free to share with friends and family. If your child is due, call our office and we will get that cute kid on the books!

Get Your Smile Ready for Summer!

There are many people out there who want to be happy about their smile, but just don’t know what to do to get a great result. The truth is that there are many options, ranging from conservative to aggressive and inexpensive to costly. How does a patient go about deciding what the best treatment option is? Well, the simple answer is that it all starts with a consult with your dentist. Below is an article from the Academy of General Dentistry that explains the various options related to achieving a beautiful smile. If you have questions or are ready to take that next step, stop by our office or give us a call at 713.668.9119.

Restoring Smiles with Dental Implants

Dental implants have become an important part of how we take care of our patients’ smiles. Replacing what was missing rather than doing more irreversible work on adjacent teeth helps us give patients the best chance at returning them to ideal oral health. The Academy of General Dentistry recently published a fact sheet for its members to use in our efforts to educate our patients and the public on the benefits of implant dentistry. Please take time to read the information below. If you or someone you know might benefit from implant dentistry, don’t hesitate to call our office at 713.668.9119 for a consult.

Get That Whiter, Brighter Smile!

Whiter, brighter teeth can make you look years younger.  Tooth whitening has grown in popularity and there are several ways you can get the results you want.  The fastest way is an in-office whitening system called Zoom!  In just over an hour your teeth will be dramatically whiter.  The procedure is safe, effective, simple and painless.  A whitening gel is placed on your teeth, which is activated by a specially designed light.  A fluoride treatment completes the procedure.

Another safe method used is a bleaching process that lightens the enamel and dentin using a mild peroxide-based solution placed in a custom-fitted tray.  The tray is worn over your teeth for a period of time each day until you achieve the results you want.  Both methods (in-office and take-home) are effective and safe ways to help you achieve that brighter smile.

Teeth whitening can sometimes make your teeth temporarily sensitive.  This goes away within a few days.  If you used coffee, tea, red wine, or tobacco, you may find your teeth darken more quickly.  Touch up applications will help eliminate this problem.  For all your tooth whitening and bleaching needs, visit our office.  Call at 713.668.9119 or email us at [email protected] to schedule your appointment.

Back to School Dental Health Issues

As your children begin school again, there is a flurry of activity to make sure they have the proper clothes, school supplies, backpacks, etc.  You might want to give some thought to their dental care needs as the spend most of their day at school.

It is always a good idea to start the year off with a dental exam and cleaning.  Ask the hygienist about fluoride treatments and sealants.  Sealants are a great investment because they coat the teeth with a protective covering that helps prevent cavities.  While at your visit, discuss with your dentist the types of sports your child is involved in.  He can give you tips on how to protect their teeth during sports play, and whether an athletic mouth guard might be a good idea for your child.  Should a sports injury occur to the mouth, these are often very scary because the soft oral tissue does bleed profusely.  Put an ice pack on the injury, try to find any displaced teeth and bring them to your dentist right away to see if the teeth can be reinserted.  If a child loses a baby tooth prematurely, a spacer may be considered to insure that the adult tooth has the room it needs to emerge properly.

Another important issue when children return to school is their eating habits.  Parents have less control as children eat meals at school.  Be sure they start their day with a good breakfast and they brush after eating.  Pack healthy foods for lunch and avoid sugary snacks and sodas.  While most children are not going to brush during the school day, get them in the habit of a thorough brushing and flossing twice a day, mornings and evenings.  A fluoride rinse after brushing strengthens the teeth’s enamel and helps protect against cavities.

Don’t slack off monitoring a child as they enter the teen years.  I have seen some teens with very bad soda habits that have rampant decay that threatens their ability to keep their teeth.  While most schools don’t allow kids to chew gum, studies have shown that chewing sugarless gums with xylitol sweeteners help stimulate saliva flow and inhibits bacterial growth.  So some sugarless gum on the ride home could be a treat with an added benefit to their dental health.

Give the office a call at 713.668.9119 to get your back to school checkup scheduled.  We see all ages of kids at Contemporary Dental.

A Few Things You May Not Have Realized About Your Dental Insurance

Well, we’ve reached the halfway point of the year, and it’s a great time to think about your dental benefits that you obtain through your employer.  Do you have any idea what your benefits actually are?  Do you know how much dental benefit you have remaining in your plan year?  Did you know that those benefits don’t roll over into the next year?  Here are a few things to think about as we get into the last half of the year.

You have paid your insurance premiums all year – you have EARNED your
dental benefits, do not let them slip away before your remaining
benefits expire at year’s end.

1.      Yearly Maximums

Your dental plan gives you a maximum of what can be spent on your
dental care on an annual basis.  This amount varies between insurance
companies, and averages around $1000 per person per year.  These
maximums are typically reset at the end of the year, and if you have
unused benefits, they will be forfeited.

2.       Deductibles

The deductible is the amount of money that you pay out of pocket
before your benefits begin to take effect.  The fee varies between
insurance companies and could be higher if you prefer to see a dentist
that is out of your network.  When your plan rolls over, you are
required to pay your deductible again to start taking advantage of
your benefits.

3.      Premiums

If you are paying for dental benefits, you should be taking advantage
of them!  This sounds simple, but there are many people that do not
exercise their benefits and let the insurance company take that money
away from you, and put it straight into their own pockets.

4.      Fee Increases

Another reason to use your benefits now is because it is always
possible that fees will be raised to accommodate for the cost of
living or increased material costs.  An increase in fees can also
raise your copay.

5.      Dental problems don’t get better over time

By delaying treatment, you may be opening the door for more extensive
treatment to be needed in the future.  What may be a simple cavity now
can turn into a root canal or extraction down the road.  Treat your
teeth with care now, and they will thank you for it in the long run.

We love to educate patients about their dental benefits so that they fully understand their plans.  Stop by the office or give us a call if you are interested in finding out if you have any remaining benefits for the year.  Even if you don’t have pending treatment we would love to give you great information about your plan.  By completing your treatment before the end of the year, you will be able to maximize yours insurance benefits and enjoy better dental health.

Take Care of Your Teeth at Any Age

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get in our dental office is “What should I be doing to take care of my teeth?” Our top priority is to educate our patients and empower them to maintain their smiles for a lifetime. Whether they are two years old or ninety years old, each patient deserves to have a health mouth. The American Dental Association (ADA) recently created a section on its website that addresses these issues and provides concise and useful information to help patients understand how to care for their mouth at any age. Take some time and click through the links. For any give age group, there are separate categories giving information about healthy habits, concerns, nutrition, and facts vs. fiction. If you have any additional thoughts or concerns after reading the information, please feel free to stop by the office and chat with us.