People in every part of the world have been forced to rapidly adapt their lifestyles because of the lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 virus.
For nearly all of 2020, we’ve changed the way we do just about everything. We made a quick change-over to working from home. We changed the way we obtained groceries and found new ways to eat out. People learned or improvised ways to exercise, do crafts, learn new skills, start hobbies, and teach their children from inside their homes. Companies both large and small had to invent and implement new models of doing business.
There have been numerous negative effects, many of which have manifested in the area of healthcare. Counselors, pastors, and priests have witnessed great increases in people seeking help for anxiety and depression. Healthcare providers have had to improve on already stringent methods of sanitizing, patient scheduling, equipment procedures, supply-chain management, and facilities administration. The American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute has been publishing regular reports on the virus’ impact on dental offices and personnel.
Worst of all, patients in every sector of healthcare have been forced to postpone (or forgo) medical care and procedures, both major and minor. The dental care section of the healthcare industry was no exception to this. Many dental practitioners were prohibited in 2020 from providing care for their patients, from periodic cleanings and imaging, to having cavities filled, to more serious treatments such as restorations and extractions. The result, as one might predict, was worsening or complication of dental problems because of the delay in treatment.
Most dental professionals have been able to return to a semblance of their former practices, albeit with a number of drastically altered procedures and many new protocols. However, even in the face of such changes, the core mission remains unchanged: to provide the same high standard of care.
For patients, an old method has proven to still be the best defense during challenging times. That simple method is to be diligent in following regular dental care.
This can easily be broken down into three major areas:
1. Get regular cleanings and examinations as scheduled.
2. Any problems that the dentist finds should be remediated as soon as possible.
3. Consistent and thorough home care and daily practices.
Cleaning and Examination
At the top of the list: GO SEE YOUR DENTIST. So many people put off scheduling a dental visit until a problem arises. Most of the time, the dental problem could have been mitigated or perhaps even prevented if the patient had attended regular dental checkups. Most insurance plans cover two cleanings and two examinations per year, along with a set of x-rays. A good dental cleaning improves your oral health and makes you feel better; the doctor’s examination spots any existing problems and, more importantly, uncovers developing dental problems so that they may be corrected in a quick time frame. The patient will leave the dentist office with a brighter smile, fresher breath, and the confidence of having a sound set of healthy teeth.
Modern dental techniques, such as those practiced by the professional team at Dentures Plus Lenexa, are designed to provide effective treatment for patients in a caring manner and with as little pain and discomfort as possible.
Cavities (Tooth Decay)
Almost everyone has experienced the discomfort or pain associated with a cavity. It’s imperative for patients to have tooth decay addressed as quickly as possible, because an untreated cavity can lead to other, more serious problems. Complications from decay can begin as sensitivity to hot or cold but quickly lead to fractures and root problems; if left untreated for too long a period, a tooth may need to be removed.
Other complications can be much more serious. Research in recent years indicates that the same bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease can travel through the body and have serious effects on one’s heart. According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated dental conditions can have unexpected consequences:
Gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease.
Oral bacterial infection can affect the heart valves.
Some aspects of diabetes and cardiovascular disease may be offset by periodontal treatment
Sometimes, the usual protocols of care and prevention are not enough to save the main structure of a tooth. Even at this point, though, all is not lost; a skilled dentist can craft a crown to strengthen or replace original tooth structure and function.
What is a crown, exactly? It’s an artificial structure that a dentist crafts to fulfill one or more of several attributes when the affected tooth has been compromised to a point where it does not retain enough of its original structure and integrity. According to the American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy™ website, a crown can correct several conditions, including:
Strengthening a tooth with an oversize filling.
Attaching a bridge.
Strengthening a weak tooth that’s in danger of breaking or restoring one that has already broken.
Cosmetic restoration to teeth that are badly shaped or discolored.
Home Care: Brushing and Flossing
To paraphrase a common expression: “Good tooth care begins at home.” The most important dental care that a person can receive is what comes from consistent daily dental habits.
The effective brushing techniques that you’ve heard since childhood have not gone out of style! They are still the same common-sense guidelines that you should know by heart:
At least twice a day
Use a brush with soft bristles and that is sized appropriately for your moth.
Replace the brush very few months or when the bristles become frayed. (Many toothbrushes have bristles with colored tips; when the color has worn away, it’s a visual indicator to replace the brush.)
Use a quality toothpaste.
Follow the dentist’s instructions for proper brushing technique.
Flossing is just as important as brushing. Cleaning out food particles and plaque between your teeth will greatly reduce your chances of suffering from gum disease. For those without the manual dexterity to floss properly, widely available flossing instruments make the job much easier and hassle-free.
Avoiding excessive amounts of acidic food and drink is another important component of home care. Over time, excess acid will erode tooth enamel.
Contact Us Today to Set Up Your Appointment!
We accept most insurance plans. Our friendly staff is ready to answer any questions and to check your insurance coverage to resolve any issues. To save time on your dental visit, you can conveniently fill out patient paperwork ahead of time by using the links on our website. Because your dental health shouldn’t have to wait, Dentures Plus Lenexa partners with CareCredit and Wells Fargo Health Advantage® to offer our patients financing options. Contact information for financing can be accessed via our website
Dentures Plus Lenexa looks forward to servicing your dental, denture, and implant needs! Whether you’re a new resident in Johnson County, seeking to get a dental problem fixed, or an existing patient who is experiencing an issue with dentures or implants, we’re here to help. Please stop into our office at 8630 Maurer Road in Lenexa or call us today at 913-227-0466. At Dentures Plus Lenexa, your health comes first – period. For the best dental, denture, and implant service in the Kansas City area, contact us today!