Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dental Insurance

Dentistry has been significantly affected by insurance limitations over the years.

For example,
The maximum dental benefit of $1,000- $1,500 per year has not change since the 1960's. Everything has gone up in price since the 1960's. Why is your Dental insurance not raising the Maximum coverage for a benefit year or even better let you carry it over to the next year and the next....?

Not every patient visits the dentist twice a year, some maybe once or others maybe every 3 to 10 years even when they have dental insurance. Your dental health is part of your overall health don't put the dental visit off, treat yourself to stay healthy!

Having a dental insurance is a luxury for most of us in this economic times. Most employers are downgrading or even worst cutting the dental insurance coverages. Wow, as if your dental health is not important! Your teeth are part of your body so therefore if you get a bacterial infection in your gums your health can be compromise.

Don't throw your money away as the year end approaches so does the opportunity to complete your dental work and take advantage of your dental benefits and flexible spending accounts.




Dr. Daniel R. Pestana

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can You Afford Dental Treatment?

We complain when gas prices hit $4 a gallon, but we forget that bottle water is $1 per pint or $8 per gallon depending. People always seem to have the money for what they really want.

Sometimes HOW we look at the problem IS the problem. We need our financial reward structure and systems to support what is best for our health, in the same way we can afford the extra vacation, eating out, entertainment, the cup of coffee at Starbucks ect…

As dentists we need to help our patients want what we know they need!

Can you afford to invest in your dental health?

Without your good health, life becomes less enjoyable. Purchasing a membership to the fitness club, buying organic food, getting your teeth fixed and investing in health and dental insurance are wise ways to spend your money. Eating healthy means fewer medical expenses and less lost time from work, which equals serious savings in the long run.

                                    We all have money for what we want!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bad Breath

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is often easily treatable.
There are several causes of bad breath:
  • Strong foods like garlic and onions
  • Smoking
  • Periodontal disease
  • Dry Mouth
  • Various medical conditions
  • Improper or inconsistent dental homecare
Treating bad breath

Eliminating the bacteria found on your tongue and gums is one of the first steps in getting rid of bad breath. The tongue surface is made up of many tiny fissures. Small particles of food can get trapped in these fissures and begin to decompose. A type of bacteria, called anaerobic bacteria, thrives in these areas, where there is little or no oxygen. Bad breath odor occurs when these bacteria produce a common compund called sulfur.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease is another source of sulfur-producing bacteria. The plaque and tartar build up around your teeth and gums create pockets that trap food and bacteria, and create an enviroment where sulfur is produced. It's fortunate that the treatment of periodontal disease will also help treat the bad breath symptoms.

When we treat bad breath, we first remove the sulfur-producing bacteria from your mouth during a professional cleaning.

If your bad breath was caused by dry mouth, we'll investigate the causes and suggest treatment options, We'll also let you know if we discover signs of any medical conditions.

Next, we'll work with you to set up a homecare routine that will include daily brushing and flossing, and may also include tongue cleaning and an anti-bacterial rinse. We may also suggest several return appointments to monitor your success and fine-tune your efforts.

Bad breath is uncomfortable and embarrassing, but the good news is that with the right tools, regular care in our office, and the proper homecare routine, it's reversible. With treatment, you'll notice improvement right away, and soon be enjoying fresh breath and a healthier mouth.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Primary Teeth

Because primary teeth, also called baby teeth, are eventually replaced by permanent teeth, many people don't realize that primary teeth are, in fact, very important for a child's long-term dental health.

Alignment of permanent teeth
Normally, some of the primary teeth remain in the mouth until a child is eleven or twelve. During this time, they serve as space maintainers and ensure that the permanent teeth are properly aligned as they grow into the mouth. Early loss of primary teeth often causes misalignment of the permanent teeth and may even alter normal facial development. Expensive orthodontic solutions may be necessary to correct these problems.

Nutrition and speech development
Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food. Cavities and tooth loss can make it impossible for a child to eat properly, which affects his or her overal level of health. speech development can also be affected by premature tooth loss. In combination, these problems may lower a child's self-esteem during the importmant formative years.

As you can see, Primary teeth are critically important for a child's health and development. It's important to keep them in the mouth as long as possible by practicing excellent oral hygiene and treating problems early.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Dr. Daniel R. Pestana DDS, Walnut Creek, CA cosmetic, Implant and Family Dentist: What is an Abfraction?

Dr. Daniel R. Pestana DDS, Walnut Creek, CA cosmetic, Implant and Family Dentist: What is an Abfraction?

What is an Abfraction?

Abfractions are notches in the tooth structure near, or even under, the gumline, usually on the cheek side of the tooth. Although all the causes that lead to abfractions are not known, an important factor is improper forces on teeth, which can be caused by a misaligned bite or the grinding and clenching of teeth.

When you bite a slightly off, one tooth may hit sooner than the rest. This causes undue stress on the involved teeth, and they begin to flex. Over time, this continual flexing and stress causes the enamel to separate from the inner dentin layer of the tooth, forming a notch at the gumline. Tooth grinding and clenching also place extra stress on teeth.

How do we correct abfraction?

Treating the abfraction problem may include two or more steps, such as adjusting the bite, wearing a nightguard, and restoring the tooth.

We may first adjust your bite so that chewing forces are evenly distributed among all your teeth. We may have to adjust only the tooth in question, or we may have to adjust all your teeth. If tooth grinding or clenching is the problem, we may prescribe a nightguard to absorb those stresses and protect your teeth.

The second phase involves restoring the damage by bonding a filling in place. Tooth-colored filling can fill in the damage and restore the tooth to nearly its original color and shape.

Dealing with abfractions early can prevent further damage and restore your teeth to beautiful good health.

         Before                                                          After

       Deep Abfraction                              Repaired Abfraction with composite Bonding

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Soft Tissue Laser Therapy

The latest conservative gum therapy uses a laser. The laser gently disinfects and evaporates diseased tissues from around the tooth and inside the gum pocket. This treatment interrupts the bacterial destruction of the tissues and bone giving the gum pocket a chance to heal. Systematic repeated visits, generally 2-8, allows the gum pocket to be disease-free and sometimes allows tissues to reattach to the pocket back to a normal or near-normal depth. This new laser therapy is gentle, less painful, has a quick recovery. While surgery may still be indicated for severely advanced periodontal cases, laser therapy is a much more conservative, effective and comfortable option for beginning to moderate periodontal cases.

Are Lasers New to Dentistry?

Shortly after the invention of lasers in the early 1960's, lasers were investigated for their use in gum treatment. Recent developments have made it possible to use lasers effectively in the dental office, for treatment of all soft tissues, including gums, and routinely for work on teeth and cavities also.

Will My Insurance Pay for Laser Treatment?

Today many dental services can be performed with the laser or traditional treatment. The procedure itself is usually covered by your dental insurance to some extent BUT the laser mode of therapy is NOT. You must decide if the extra expense for the laser will be worthwhile for you, as it will in many cases add to the cost out of pocket.

              BEFORE                                            AFTER

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mercury Free Fillings (Composite fillings)

Composite fillings are a great way to restore your teeth they are 100%  mercury free. They bond directly to teeth, they provide the added strength that damaged teeth need to withstand frequent biting preassure. Also, we can match the color of the resin to your teeth to preserve your beautiful, natural-looking smile.

The Procedure

We want the entire procedure to be comfortable for you, so the first thing we do is make sure that the tooth and surrounding area are thoroughly numb. Depending on the size of the filling and which tooth we're working on, we may also use a rubber dam. A rubber dam is a small flexible rubber sheet that isolates the teeth we're working on and prevents anything from falling to the back of your throat.

We use the handpiece to remove the decay and shape the tooth. Then we apply a gel that chemically roughens the tooth surface to ensure a stonger bond with the resin filling. To mold the filling to the shape of the tooth, we first surround the tooth with a thin, flexible band. A small wooden wedge between the teeth holds the band snugly in place. once we've placed the resin in the tooth, we use a harmless, high-intensity light to harden the filling.

After the filling has set, we smooth and polish it. We check the bite with colored tape that shows us where your teeth are touching. Finally, we make sure that you'll be able to floss around the filling to keep plaque-free and healthy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What is your Dental Health New Year's Resolution?

New years resolution shouldn't be just about loosing weight! Why not set a resolution that will be a benefit to your Dental Health and your pocket!

More Flossing

Most cavities and periodontal disease begin between the teeth. While brushing is important, the bristles of your toothbrush simply don't remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth. That's why we recommend that you floss every day.

Less Sweets

Substitute sugary snacks for healthy ones.If you do indulge every once in a while, remember to chew sugarless gum with Xylitol after – this increases saliva production, and helps shed your teeth of leftover sugars from the candy.

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash does more than freshen your breath – it kills germs and bacteria, removes plaque, and helps prevent tooth decay.

Get Back to the Dentist

Regular checkups allow us to treat problems early. To keep these dental problems from becoming serious we recommend twice yearly checkups. Regular cleanings enable us to keep tartar from accumulating on your teeth. During your regular visit, we will also perform a thorough exam to check your gums, measure the bone levels around your teeth, look for cavities, check your restorations, check for oral cancer and TMJ.

Regular exams are the best way to eliminate the growth phase of dental problems and minimize the time and money you spend in the dental chair.

Say Yes to Flouride

If you don’t use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, it’s time to switch toothpastes. Resolving to use fluoride-containing toothpaste can prevent cavities and save you from an expensive visit to the dentist.

What is your dental-related New Year’s resolution? Share with us in the comments below.