Use It Or Lose It

Are you wasting the dental benefits you’ve already paid for in 2016?

Paying for healthcare can seem confusing and wasteful. Premiums, deductibles and exceptions can make the head spin. But the end of the year is coming, which means it’s time to make sure that you’ve used the benefits you’ve already paid for. Do you have a good grasp on what is already covered in your dental healthcare plan for 2016?

Each year insurance companies make millions of dollars off patients who forego necessary and preventive dental care.  Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide up to a certain dollar amount annually.  That means certain services will be no cost to you.

Because of misunderstanding, some patients are not scheduling the dental treatment they need, deserve, and have insurance to cover.  Thus, the insurance revenues allocated to pay dental claims on many patients are never used, and unfortunately those dollars cannot be carried over year-to-year.  The bottom line:  What the patient does not use they lose.

Suffocating medical and insurance bills are bad enough; make sure you’re not wasting a cent. And speaking of money, remember that regular cleanings prevent future problems, which can cost a lot. A covered cleaning today can prevent an expensive procedure later.

Also consider your flexible spending account or your health savings account (HSA), if you have them. Flexible spending accounts generally have a designated time frame to use the money. Many companies provide funds to HSAs, but many employees aren’t sure if they can use those funds for dental work. You can! Don’t wait on needed dental work if the funds are available now.

Dr. Larsen’s In-House Dental Benefits Plan

Dr. Larsen is an experienced dentist who understands the importance of prevention when it comes to oral health. To help patients stay on top of their oral health, he provides a dental benefits plan. Patients who choose the plan play a flat yearly fee, and for it receive two cleanings & exams, one set of x-rays, two fluoride treatments and a significant discount off all dental services and procedures. Call our office today to learn more about how this plan can help you and your family stay healthy and save money.

How Do I Know If I’m Grinding My Teeth?

Bruxism Diagnosis and Treatment in Utah County

Most people don’t realize it, but grinding or clenching teeth is common. In fact, many people who clench or grind their teeth don’t even realize they do it.

Clenching: Holding the teeth together and tightening the jaw muscles.
Grinding (bruxism): Moving the jaw with the teeth held together.

Teeth Grinding. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Grinding results in the visible wear and flattening of the teeth, which can become obvious to the patient and especially the dentist. Clenching results in less obvious flattening and wear, but soreness and pain can still result from the tightening of jaw muscles.
So even if you don’t remember clenching or grinding your teeth, check for wearing and flattening where the teeth come together. Furthermore, if you are experiencing jaw pain or stiffness and you aren’t sure of the source, come talk with Dr. Larsen, who can identify bruxism and prescribe treatment to help with your symptoms.

How Common is Bruxism?

Bruxism is most common in childhood, and prevalence decreases with age. Many people clench and grind their teeth, but most of the time it is not problematic. When pain and teeth damage arise, that is when a person needs assistance.
Many children and adults grind their teeth while sleeping, so it is not a conscious habit they can break. Others apply the strain on their teeth during times of concentration, anger, or stress. When the mind is occupied in this manner, during rush hour traffic in Utah County for example, it’s easy to not realize the wear you’re putting on your teeth.

Why Does It Hurt Us?

The human jaw is quite powerful. It is not uncommon for people to be able to bite with their molars in excess of 200 pounds of pressure, studies show. That is a lot of strain on the teeth, especially if the pressure is repeated over and over again.

Treatment

At our office, which serves north Utah County, including Highland, we treat many cases of bruxism with a simple dental appliance that you wear in between your teeth. It’s very comfortable, easy to get used to, and much like wearing a retainer. Dr. Larsen will consult with you about how often and when it should be worn.
In some cases, medication may help to relax the muscles in the jaw. Certain relaxation techniques may also be recommended. Bruxism treatment with Dr. Larsen can be an important choice for getting rid of jaw pain, headaches and more.
Call for an appointment: (801) 756-4440

An OSA Solution That Gets Everyone More Sleep

If you are struggling with OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), chances are pretty good that you’re not the only one in your house who is losing sleep at night! The most obvious signs of OSA are loud snoring and interrupted breathing, both of which can cause your sleeping partner to lose sleep during the night. When you are looking into options for treatment, keep your loved one in mind because some options are better for sleep than others.

The usual treatment for OSA is a CPAP machine. The CPAP sits next to your bed and is attached to a mask that you wear over your nose and mouth. As you sleep, the CPAP forces air through your breathing passages to keep them open, which will prevent sleep disturbances. For patients who can wear the CPAP, this is the best option for treating OSA. However, most patients cannot or will not use their CPAP due to discomfort from the mask or being unable to sleep due to the sound of the machine. Many sleeping partners also struggle with the sound of the machine.

A Different Solution

Here in the office, we can help you come up with a better solution that allows everyone in the house to get more sleep. We generally recommend oral appliances for patients who struggle with the CPAP. An oral appliance is a piece that you slip in your mouth before going to bed. The appliance pushes the lower jaw forward, or holds the tongue in place. The idea is that the appliance can hold your airway open while you sleep, giving you much more rest.

We encourage you, if you think you might have OSA, to be checked soon because OSA is linked to other, more serious health problems. We are able to diagnose OSA right here in the dental office! Contact us today to set up your appointment. Let us help you and your loved ones get more, better rest at night!

Three Ways We Make Your Dental Appointment Easier

We know that going to the dentist is not the easiest thing for every patient! In fact, some patients are really terrified to come into the office for a cleaning, much less an appointment. In our office, we make things easier on our patients by identifying the things that trigger fear and moving past them! There’s no reason to fear a dentist that goes to great lengths to make you more comfortable.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation – We start with the fear of sitting in the chair. To address this, we offer nitrous oxide sedation. By simply breathing in a relaxing gas, you can have a completely different experience free of pain and anxiety!

DentalVibe Injections – Some patients are terrified of the needle. We got rid of this problem by using DentalVibe, which is a tool that provides vibration at the injection site so that you don’t feel a thing! The vibration also helps spread the numbing agent around your mouth so that you are more thoroughly numb.

Comfortable Surroundings – Finally, we removed the feeling of being in a medical office. Some offices are so sterile and foreign that you can’t help but feel nervous. We provide comfortable surroundings with televisions, blankets, and high ceilings. We even have an aviary that you can visit!

Through these measures, we believe we have created a better dental office for our patients. If you’ve been avoiding the dentist for years because you are afraid, it’s time to find out how comfortable a dental office can be. Contact us today to learn more about our office. We are sure you’ll love what you see!