Shelby Township Dentist Answers Patient’s Questions

Question:  I received a mailer that said that my insurance benefits will run out by the end of the year and I should get into their office.  I am nervous about this and a little worried.

Answer:  Most insurance plans have a renewal date on January 1 of each year.  If dental patients don’t use their insurance before December 31 they miss out on the benefit for that year.  For example, I get patients in the office who haven’t been in for many years.  When I plan out their dental treatment it can go over their annual dental maximum and they have to pay more out of their pocket to get the necessary dentistry completed.  If they came into the office in mid-November or early December then we can take advantage of both years of benefits.  If you have been delaying treatment, now is the time to make an appointment with your dentist to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Question: During our Thanksgiving dinner I had my front tooth with a post in it break and fall out. This is the second tooth that broke out that had a cap put on it. Please explain why this is happening to me. I thought that these were supposed to last a lifetime and I am disgusted about this. How should I approach my dentist?

Answer: I am very sorry to hear about your incident. It seems that these most embarrassing things always seem to happen at the most inopportune time. It is difficult to give you an answer to your question without seeing you or having more information.I will give some principals first and hopefully these will answer your question. Otherwise it would be necessary to analyze your mouth and condition in person.

1) It is ideal to have all your teeth (or replacement teeth) to function at your maximum efficiency. This means if you are missing 4-5 teeth in a jaw, all of you other teeth are increasing their load to compensate for the missing teeth. If you are missing back teeth all of the stress is being transferred to the front teeth which may be overloaded resulting in the breakage of teeth.

2) If you get a dry mouth, it is possible you are getting cavities under the old crowns. With cavities present, the support is compromised resulting in tooth fracture.

3) If you grind your teeth during the day or at night when you sleep it is possible that there is tremendous pressure building up which fatigues the post and eventually fails.

4) If you have gum disease, the bone height may be reduced and therefore the tightness and support of the teeth are affected.

5) A poor fitting partial denture attached to an old crown could loosen teeth. Properly fitting prostheses do not put a lot of pressure and torque on teeth. If the partial denture is old and loose it may tend to wiggle the crown or tooth out of the socket. This is why it is vital that the fit is perfect on removable partial dentures. New devices are usually covered by insurance every 5 years.

If any of these scenarios describe you then it is time to get into the dentist. There are many current dental therapies to take care of your teeth. If you don’t have a happy dental home then give our Shelby Township dental office a call at 586-247-3500.

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Patient’s Questions