Posts for: December, 2017
Each year, over a million Americans venture abroad for healthcare, with roughly half for dental treatment. Cost is the main reason — “medical tourists” believe they can save substantially on treatment, even with travel.
But before undertaking such a venture for dental work, there are some things you should take into consideration. For one, although quality care exists all over the world, you’ll also find different standards of care. In the United States, for example, not only must dental providers graduate from accredited schools, they must also pass state examinations before they can practice (specialists even more). In some parts of the world, educational standards aren’t as difficult to attain. You may also find differing standards for infection control, drug applications or appliances: for example, you may find a lower quality in implant or crown materials or craftsmanship than you might expect in the U.S.
Communication can also be an obstacle. Language barriers make it more difficult to understand what to expect before, during and after a procedure, or to have your questions answered. It may also hinder your provider from fully accessing your medical and dental history, which could have an impact on your treatment and outcome. Limited communication also increases misunderstanding about services offered, charges and treatment expectations.
Finally, many dental procedures have multiple phases to them, some of which normally span several months and visits. Many who go abroad for more complex procedures may try to have them performed in a much shorter time frame. Doing so, however, could prove disappointing both in the quality of the final outcome and your own well-being under such an arduous schedule. Even if your dental work is performed in an exotic locale, recovering from extensive procedures where you must rest and refrain from strenuous activity is best performed in the comfort of your own home.
It’s important to get the facts before traveling to a foreign country for any medical or dental treatment, especially about a region’s accreditation and care standards, as well as what you can expect in terms of amenities and culture during your stay. One good source is the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s web page for medical tourism (//goo.gl/75iWBk).
Going abroad for dental care is a big decision — be sure you’re prepared.
If you would like more information on dental treatment abroad, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental & Medical Tourism: It’s No Vacation.”
If you were asked to identify the number one mouth problem affecting dental health, what would you name? Toothaches? Poor hygiene? Jaw joint issues?
Believe it or not, the top issue among 15,000 respondents in a recent American Dental Association (ADA) survey was dry mouth. A full one-third of the respondents had experienced chronic lack of normal saliva flow; difficulty biting and tooth pain, took second and third place, respectively.
We’ve all experienced the discomfort of temporary dry mouth when we first wake up in the morning or after eating certain foods. But chronic dry mouth is much more serious with long-term effects on a person’s teeth and gum health. This is because among its other important properties, saliva helps neutralize enamel-softening mouth acid and restores minerals to enamel after acid contact. Without sufficient saliva flow you’re much more susceptible to dental disease.
While there are several causes for dry mouth, perhaps the most common is as a side effect to at least five hundred known medications. Because older people tend to take more medications than other age groups, dry mouth is an acute problem among people over 60 (a major factor for why dry mouth took the survey’s top health problem spot).
You can help ease dry mouth from medications by first asking your doctor about switching to alternative medications that don’t affect saliva production. If not, be sure to drink more water during the day and especially when you take your oral medication (a few sips before and after).
You can help your dry mouth symptoms from any cause by drinking more water, limiting your consumption of alcohol or caffeine, and avoiding tobacco products. You can also use substances that stimulate saliva flow—a common one is xylitol, an alcohol-based sugar that’s used as a sweetener in certain gums and candies. Not only does xylitol boost saliva flow it also inhibits the growth of bacteria and thus decreases your risk of disease.
And speaking of reducing bacteria and their effects, don’t neglect daily brushing and flossing. These habits, along with regular dental cleanings and checkups, will benefit you just as much as your efforts to reduce dry mouth in avoiding dental disease.
Find out if your smile goals align with what this cosmetic restoration could offer you.
Are you ready to revamp your smile but not quite sure how? Have you been reading up on cosmetic dental procedures and wondered whether dental veneers could give you the new smile you want? Our Waunakee, WI, dentists Dr. Matthew Karls and Dr. Stanley Karls are here to tell you more about dental veneers so you can make an informed decision about your smile.
Dental veneers are made from high-quality porcelain and are bonded to the front of your teeth to improve the look of your smile. If you are someone who is dealing with certain imperfections that can’t be fixed with teeth whitening, dental bonding or tooth recontouring then you’re in luck. Dental veneers may be able to help you.
What cosmetic issues can dental veneers improve?
If you are dealing with any of these issues then you may just want to consider getting dental veneers from our Waunakee, WI, cosmetic dentists:
- Stains and discolorations
- Chips, cracks and breaks
- Gaps between teeth
- Minor overlapping or crooked teeth
- Malformed or misshapen teeth
- Teeth that are too short
Whether you want to fix minor misalignments that keep you from that straighter smile or you want to change the overall shape, size or color of your teeth to get a more even, symmetrical look then porcelain veneers may be the best option for you.
How do you get dental veneers?
In order to get traditional dental veneers, we will need to prep your teeth beforehand to make sure they are ready to support your new restorations. You’ll first come in for a consultation so that we can make sure you are a good candidate for treatment.
Then, some enamel is shaved off the front of your teeth to make room for your veneers. While this might sound painful, it’s not. We only have to remove a very small amount of enamel so you won’t feel anything. Once the teeth have been prepped we will take impressions of your teeth.
A dental lab will use these impressions to fabricate your veneers. Once your veneers have been created you will come in so that we can fit you with your new restorations and bond them to your teeth permanently.
Do dental veneers sound like the cosmetic dentistry you’ve been looking for in Waunakee, WI? If so, then it’s time you turned to the dental team at Karls Family Dentistry to help you get the smile you’ve been dreaming about. Schedule a consultation with us today.