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Dental Insurance Trends

Above any other medical need, people are more likely to skip a seeing the dentist because they can’t afford it.

Many people choose not to buy dental insurance because it’s an added cost without a lot of perceived value. For some reason, people simply feel more comfortable taking this risk because they don’t fully understand the consequences of oral health problems. But it’s a risk indeed. You can develop a facial or oral injury just as easily as any other injury and oral infections and diseases are just as common—if not more common—as any other.

Beyond the critical events of oral injury or infection, preventative dental care (aka your regular cleanings and check-ups) is crucial for catching problems before they become dangerous. Seeing the dentist regularly can help you address a surprising number of overall health and wellness issues.

Still, dentists understand that medical costs are rising, the world of insurance is often a mystery, and sometimes you’re just at a loss. Dr. Ochsner, Onalaska dentist explains more below about the current trends in dental insurance and what it means for you. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental Services, Patient Care

Dental Inlays & Onlays

Bite. Crack. Ouch! A cracked or broken tooth is a real problem. Unlike other bones in your body, a broken tooth will not heal itself and needs to be cared for immediately. Depending on the extent and location of the damage, your dentist will likely recommend inlays, onlays, or a crown. All versions of the same idea, these restorative dentistry treatments are custom-made covers to protect your tooth and restore it to its full, healthy, and functioning condition.

Another reason you may need an inlay, onlay, or a crown is due to extensive tooth decay breaking down your tooth that requires more than a simple filling to fix.

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Dental Crowns 101

Sometimes in life, you just need a do-over. That’s precisely what crowns are—a new start for your tooth. Teeth are important players in your life! They’re not only the first responders for your digestive tract, but they can make a great first impression – so you deserve a beautiful, fully-functioning set. If your teeth need a real makeover, a crown might be just the thing you need.

A crown is a custom-made shell that fits perfectly over your natural tooth. Crowns look and act exactly like your original tooth – but better. Crowns restore broken and badly decayed or discolored teeth. Crowns also top off dental implants and build dental bridges. Dr. Ochsner, Onalaska dentist at Neighborhood Smiles, shares what you need to know about getting a crown.

If You Need A Crown

Getting a crown usually requires two trips to the dentist. On the first trip, the dentist makes a plan to suit your specific needs and prepares the tooth. You will also get impressions of the tooth so that a crown can be made to fit perfectly over the natural tooth. On the second trip, your crown is installed and cemented on. A crown is a permanent or “fixed” dental piece. This makes it very stable and durable. In some cases, a crown can be designed, fabricated and placed in a single appointment with the help of advanced same-day technology. Crowns can be made of a variety of materials and each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Talk with your dentist when choosing between crowns made of porcelain, resin, or metal.

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Dental Bridges 101

A hole in your smile is never a positive thing. It negatively affects physical appearance, eating, speaking, and your overall sense of confidence and well-being. Let Neighborhood Smiles bridge the gap between where you are with your smile and where you want to be! A missing tooth or teeth can also cause jaw pain and bite misalignment. Without a full set of teeth, your other teeth tend to move into the empty space, causing unnatural alignment in your bite and jaw—which can be very uncomfortable and can lead to bigger headaches and TMJ/TMD problems. Dr. Ochsner shares how each tooth plays an important role in your health and everyday life, and how dental bridges can restore your smile and the function of your teeth.

Types of Bridges

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Baby Dentistry: Teething and Other Joys

It’s easy to think that baby teeth aren’t that important. They make their grand entrance (however painfully) and leave your baby’s mouth soon thereafter. But your baby’s oral health is very important today and to set the stage for a lifetime of health. Today, Neighborhood Smiles would like to discuss those tiny teeth and how to take care of your baby’s oral health.

Teething Facts

  1. Teething begins anywhere from 3-9 months and can continue until your child is 3 years old. Every baby is different.
  2. Teeth emerge in a consistent pattern: lower 2 front incisors; upper 2 front incisors and 2 additional lower incisors; first set of molars; canines; then second molars.
  3. One reason we get baby teeth is that our baby mouths aren’t big enough for the size and number of adult teeth we need later in life.
  4. Babies have 20 teeth that fall out. They are then replaced by 32 adult teeth.
  5. Chewing on a cold, wet washcloth, extra snuggles, and a little pain-relieving medicine are certain to help ease the pain of teething.
  6. Contrary to popular belief, teething is not proven to cause sickness like diarrhea, fever, or a runny nose.
  7. Children should see the dentist as soon as their first baby teeth start coming in.

Taking Care of Baby Teeth

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Adult Dentistry: It’s Never Too Late

Good News for Grown-Ups

“Adulting” can be hard. Between rent, bills, kids, a career, and other responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for yourself. But independence, parenting, fulfilling work, and the wisdom that comes with age can be pretty fantastic, too. So how does your oral healthcare fit into a grown-up lifestyle?

  • Priorities: You manage a lot on any given day. Brushing your teeth and making a dental appointment may not feel like the most pressing of matters, but you know they are important in the long run—so you do it.
  • Family Life: Many people are more motivated to take care of themselves when good habits easily fit in with family life and others are looking to you to set a positive example. Whether you are caring for children or aging parents, preventative oral health care is more likely to happen when done together as a family.
  • Benefits: If you have a job that provides dental coverage, there’s really no reason not to see the dentist. You should even be able to use paid time off for the appointment. Ever heard of “me time”?
  • Holistic Dentistry: As we get older, we tend to know ourselves better. Holistic medicine is getting more popular as people consider all the ways one part of their health affects another. Keep solid notes on how your whole body and mouth are doing and share the notes with both your doctor and your dentist.

Neighborhood Smiles serves adults from all over Onalaska. Read more for our tips on how to care for your oral health at this particular stage in life.

Adult Oral Health Concerns

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Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Nicknamed for the fact that they come into your mouth and your life by the time you are mature and supposedly “wise”, wisdom teeth are simply the last set of molars that grow furthest back in your mouth. If you’re experiencing some specific pain in your gums and jaw, you may be wondering if you have impacted wisdom teeth. Dr. Ochsner takes care of wisdom teeth from all around Onalaska! Let us tell you more about impacted wisdom teeth and what to do if you have them.

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Senior Dentistry: Embrace Healthy Aging

Someone once said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” How true!  While it can be frustrating to watch your health change as you age, you don’t have to accept poor oral health and tooth loss as just an inevitable part of the aging process. Your oral health is just as important now as it has ever been, and it has a great deal to do with your overall health and wellness. When it comes to senior dentistry and oral health, Dr. Ochsner shares the top concerns you may have, and how to address them. Read more ›

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Gum Disease & Birth Defects

What is Gum Disease?

The short answer: Gum disease is a common gum infection that can become very problematic, but you can prevent it!

The long answer: All over your body, tissues have a self-defense mechanism called “inflammation.” When bacteria build up in your mouth, your gum tissue will inflame to try and kill it. Inflammation of your gums is called gingivitis. Gingivitis looks like red, soft, and sore gum tissue.

Over time, gingivitis can lead to more troublesome gum disease (called periodontitis) that can grow even deeper and start to harm the bones of your teeth and jaw. Severe gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pregnant women need to be especially careful because gum disease is linked with pre-term births and babies with low birth weight.

Every mom and mom-to-be wants the best start for their little one, and their journey into parenthood. Read on from Dr. Ochsner at Neighborhood Smiles to learn more about gum disease and pregnancy. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Patient Care

Cosmetic Dentistry – A Beautiful Smile is a Powerful Thing

There is a law of nature that “function follows form.” It’s a saying that means that how something looks actually determines how it works.

For example, you may own many screwdrivers of different sizes and shapes (form) to loosen all different kinds of screws (function). Think of a watering can with a long spout that’s perfect for pouring water right where you want it, versus one with a broad spout to cover large areas more quickly.

This principle can also apply to your smile! A mouth missing teeth is not nearly as functional as a mouth with a full set of chompers. Enter: cosmetic dentistry. The word cosmetic makes these treatments sound optional, but many times they are truly needed to improve physical function or mental and emotional wellbeing.

Read more from Dr. Ochsner to learn about cosmetic dentistry and the impact it can have on your life. Read more ›

Posted in Dental Health, Dental News, Dental Services, Dental Technology, Patient Care