The holiday season reminds us of our faith, our families and our blessings.
It also gives us a chance to step back and think about the things that truly matter the most. While the children may conclude that Pokemon® and Barbie® should be at the top of that list, you and I would probably put good health as the most important gift of all. And an essential part of good general health is oral or dental health. In fact, former Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., released the first ever report on oral health. Many of his findings underscore the vital importance of oral health as well as its relationship to overall health and well-being. "Serious oral disorders may undermine self-image and self-esteem, discourage normal social interaction, and lead to chronic stress and depression as well as incurring great financial cost," Satcher said. "They also may interfere with vital functions such as breathing, eating, swallowing and speaking. The burden of disease restricts activities in school, work, and home, and often significantly diminishes the quality of life."
The three primary goals of dental treatments are to eliminate pain, improve function and restore or improve the appearance of the teeth. To alleviate pain, the dentist must routinely treat infections of the teeth and gums. An infected tooth can be treated by a root canal, which is removal of the tiny nerves and blood vessels or by having a tooth extraction. A gum infection is relieved by careful removal of bacterial plaque and debris or other methods, including the selective use of antibiotics. The function of the teeth is improved by replacing missing teeth and restoring damaged ones. Missing teeth can be replaced by dental implants, a fixed dental bridge and full or partial dentures. Damaged teeth can be restored by fillings, tooth crowns or other procedures. Cosmetic dentistry can improve the appearance of teeth with tooth whitening, tooth shaping, white resin fillings or porcelain veneers.
The gift of oral health is something to think about during the holidays.
Many people may still have unused dental insurance that can be applied towards their dental health before the new year. As you well know, dental insurance is not cumulative--if you don't use it you lose it.
Fortunately most dental insurance plans renew in January with replenished funds for the year. Improved oral health is a wonderful goal for the new year, and can give you and your family one more thing to be thankful for.
Remember, only a dentist can diagnose your dental problems and offer the right treatment plan for you. If you need a dentist, call us at 1-866-970-0441 to be connected with one today.