Thursday, September 23, 2010

Level 3: Complete Dentistry and Elective/ Cosmetic Care

Where Do You Want to Go?

     Level 3 is where dentistry really shines. You've achieved a solid level of dental health, and you now have the freedom and ability to customize your smile to look exactly as you'd like it to. Modern dentistry can straighten, whiten, and revitalize your teeth to reverse years of aging or just give you an added level of confidence. 

     Entirely optional, this kind of dental work puts you in the driver's seat to allow your dentist to build the smile you've always wanted. Do you want to replace old dental work to make it look like natural teeth? Do you want to fill in gaps or spaces? Have years of wear left you with shorter teeth and less confidence in chewing? Maybe instead you've worn a removable denture for years and you'd like to have dental implants that your denture can clip into. You could even throw away the denture and have several implants placed to reconstruct a full set of choppers that look and feel like natural teeth. 

     Sound expensive? It can be. Depending on your budget, time frame and willingness to undergo multiple procedures your dental team has procedures and materials available to help you achieve almost whatever you like. Although pricing varies widely, you'll have several options at multiple price points to move closer to your ideal vision. At this level of care you'll likely be working with a team of dental specialists that are all on the same page, working in harmony to create your smile. This is perhaps the most important thing to be sure of before making a commitment to an extensive dental transformation: that all of the dentists involved in your care are communicating regularly and are beginning with the end in mind. Many dentists develop close working relationships with trusted specialists and the results they can achieve are truly impressive. It all starts with a commitment to long-term, regular care to maintain anything you decide to have done. Once your dental team comes up with a game plan that matches your vision, they can take you just about anywhere you'd like to go. The first step, as in levels 1 & 2, is to set up an initial consultation to get the process started.

Level 1, 2, or 3... Get Started Today!

Well, those are the three main levels of dentistry. The point I hope comes across is that no matter what level you're at there are options available to you. Whatever your situation, your dentist has either seen it before or has access to information that he or she can use to help you out. Find a dentist who will help you leave any guilt behind, will take you as you are, and will focus on helping you get better. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Level 2- Routine/ Foundational care

What's So Great About Routine Care?

     If you have a regular dental checkup once or twice a year then you're probably safely in level 2, a state of routine and foundational care. If you're in level one, this is where you want to be. What's so great about level 2? Well, for starters, it proves that the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is as true in dentistry as just about anywhere else. In level 2 you regain control over your dental health, making emergency visits a much rarer occurrence. Together, you and your dentist regularly review your current condition and your future goals. You dentist can alert you to developing problems at their earliest stages so they can be addressed as conservatively as possibly. Since decay and gum problems hardly ever produce any noticeable symptoms in their early stages, these regular visits allow your dentist can find them before they turn into major issues. As older dental work begins to wear out, your dentist will help you prioritize how to replace it before it breaks so your chance of dealing with a broken tooth while on vacation goes down dramatically. 
    This type of routine care builds a strong foundation for keeping your teeth for a lifetime. The economic benefits are twofold: not only does regular care keep your overall dental costs down, but because most of your work will be done preventatively (rather than as a reaction to some emergency), you can schedule it to work best with your finances and insurance limits. 

What Would I Be Signing Up For?

     Some people's mouths require more upkeep than others, but in addition to regular cleanings this stage commonly involves occasional fillings, crowns, or gum therapy. If a tooth is ever lost then implants, bridgework, and removable options exist. Those with extensive grinding issues can be fitted for mouthguards to slow down tooth wear and fluoride can be used to strengthen your teeth if you're prone to decay. Are you missing several teeth? Then for you this stage would involve making sure any full or partial dentures that you wear are functioning well. You'll also benefit from having a dentist monitor your situation so you can pursue dental implants before bone loss makes that option harder to obtain. The focus here is on achieving and keeping up a strong foundation so that if you ever want or need to go up to Level 3 (complete dentistry and elective/cosmetic care) you can. This is where the advances made in modern dentistry really shine. We'll discuss some of the exciting options available to you at level 3 in the next post!