Does My Dental Insurance Pay?

If you have dental insurance coverage, like most people, you want to know how much of the treatment will be covered and how Tucson dentistmuch out-of-pocket expense will I have?

Most dental benefit plans arise from an agreement between an insurance company and a plan sponsor [employer or union]. There are literally hundreds of plans with endless variables concerning limitations, exclusions, deductibles, annual of lifetime maximum benefits, co-payments and fee schedules. If you have changed jobs, your new plan may not have any resemblance to your old one.

If you are being offered a plan, ask if there are several plans from which to choose. Beside yourself, who in the family will be covered? See if the plan you choose covers pre-existing conditions. If the plan is provided by your union or employer, is there any direct cost to you? If so, how much? Compare this with what you understand the benefits of the program to be.

If you already have dental insurance, we need you to bring in specific information for us to give you the best advice as to your coverage. We must have your insurance policy and ID number. Most important, bring your benefits booklet. If you don’t have one, call your employer or insurance company and request it.

Once we read the benefits book, we can project a general idea for what services and treatment are covered and the percentage of reimbursement. Many third party payers request a “predetermination of benefits” on treatment plans. We can submit the proper form and appropriate records to the insurance company. They will return it with the accepted, allowable treatment and the exact amount of coverage.

Once we have reviewed your plan, we should be able to answer most of your questions. Some plans will only allow the least expensive way to treat a problem, regardless of your choice or our recommendation. We would hope that you don’t base your dental needs and oral health solely on what benefits your plan allows. Our office will be happy to discuss a variety of financial arrangements that will make it possible to receive the treatment you need, while maximizing your insurance benefits.

Do You Have Crooked Teeth? Here Are Some Main Causes And Why You Should Have Them Fixed

posted in: TMJ, Tucson Dental 0

tucson dentistThere are many factors that cause your teeth to be crooked, overlap or become twisted.  In some cases, your mouth might just be too small for you teeth.  This causes the teeth to crowd together and the teeth will eventually shift to compensate for this.
In other cases, your upper and lower jaws may not be the same size.  Or the jaws may be malformed.  This will result in an excessive protrusion of the upper jaw (an overbite) or the lower jaw may jut forward extending beyond the upper teeth (an underbite).

Genetics is often the main cause of crooked teeth.  Just like you inherited your eye and hair color from your parents, you also inherited the overall structure of your jaw and teeth.

Other causes of misaligned teeth can be:

  • Improper fitting fillings or crowns
  • Gum disease
  • Early loss of adult or baby teeth
  • A jaw that is too small
  • A misaligned jaw due to trauma or facial injury
  • Habits such as prolonged thumb sucking, or using a pacifier beyond the age of three.

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can result in many problems like interference with proper chewing, keeping the teeth properly cleaned and plaque free, strain on the whole system which can lead to TMJ or broken teeth and self-esteem issues.

A visit to your dentist can determine if your teeth are crooked and bite misaligned through a routine examination of your mouth, teeth, jaw, and facial appearance. Your dentist knows what signs to look for and can refer you to a specialist if needed.

Call AZ Dental Medicine to help you get on the right track towards healthy, straight teeth.  You will be glad that you did.

Causes Of TMJ Disorder

posted in: TMJ 0

Tucson Dental

A TMJ disorder may develop for any number of reasons:Tucson dental
• lost or crooked teeth
• overbite
• teeth that fit together poorly (malocclusion = bad bite)
• degenerative arthritis
• various head or neck injuries including whiplash
• stress causing clenched teeth (bruxism) and muscle spasms

Because other types of pain have been shown to mimic a TMJ disorder, a careful and thorough dental and medical evaluation is essential to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.  If your condition indicates causes other than dentition, you may be referred to another member of the health care team or a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment (a physician, chiropractor, physical therapist, etc.).

If a malocclusion is detected, and the vast majority of TMJ disorders are the result of malocclusion, your teeth may require some restoration to improve the alignment of your “bite” and TM joints.  This would be preceded by provisionally aligning your head/jaw in the correct posture by means of an orthopedic appliance.

If an orthotic is prescribed, you may be instructed to wear it during the course of your day (24/7).  Additionally, treatment for immediate relief of pain and muscle spasm may be prescribed along with muscle relaxers, pain killers, heat compresses or ice packs, or micro-current electrical stimulation.  Posture correction, specialized exercises to improve jaw muscle flexibility and strength and soft diet may also be prescribed.

To relieve stress and anxiety, biofeedback, relaxation techniques or psychological counseling may be employed.  Only in “rare” cases is surgery required to correct a TMJ Disorder.

If you suffer pain or discomfort you believe may be related to you TM joints, please ask Tucson dentist Dr. Light  for help. The successful treatment of many TMJ Disorder sufferers begins with gentle, experienced care.  Dr. Light is credentialed by the American Academy of Pain Management, and is board certified by the American Board of Craniofacial Pain. He is a Fellow of the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, an academy of the study of the biophysics of head, neck and facial pain.

Call us today…520-297-9069 and begin alleviating the pain from your TM disorder.

Symptoms of TM Disorder

posted in: TMJ 4

Millions of Americans suffer from TMJ Disorder.  They include people of all ages from pre-teens, teens, young adults, the middle-aged to seniors.  TM Disorder is a term that relates to the jaw muscles and joints associated with chewing.

The temporomandibular joints, or TM joints, connect the jawbone to the skull and are located directly in front of the ear.  The TMJ disorderTM joint is a complex system that which when it breaks down, creates issues related to clicking and/or popping sensations when the mouth is opening and closing.

It is the most complex and most frequently used joint in the body, cycling over 2,000 per day.  Regarding jaw muscles, serious and persistent pain extending into the face, neck and shoulders may occur.

When your TM joints are not working properly, you may experience any of these symptoms:

• pronounced noises associated with jaw movement (clicking, popping or crunching)
• pain when the jaw is opened fully
• limited range of motion
• clenching or grinding teeth
• facial pain and a sense of facial muscle fatigue
• ear pain not related to ear infections
• occasional “locking” when the jaw seems to be unable to either open or to close temporarily
• ringing in the ears
• frequent headaches – Research has revealed the number one symptom of a TM Disorder as headache.

If you suffer pain or discomfort you believe may be related to you TM joints, please ask Dr. Light for help.  The successful treatment of many TMJ Disorder sufferers begins with gentle, experienced care.

Dr. Light is credentialed by the American Academy of Pain Management, a medical credentialing academy, and is board certified by the American Board of Craniofacial Pain, a dental certifying board of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain of which he is also a Fellow.  Finally, he is a Fellow of the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics, an academy of the study of the biophysics of head, neck and facial pain.

Call and make your appointment today…520-297-9069