Wednesday, 09 July 2014 16:46 Written by MIguel Velazquez
Dr. Karen Mills

The Barriers Associated with Obtaining Dental Care

How many times have you gotten the news from your dentist that you'll need a dental procedure that requires a significant out of pocket expense? In addition to the expense, you fear that the treatment is going to be painful and time consuming. It doesn't currently bother you, so why not wait until it starts to hurt or becomes too unsightly? Maybe you feel you're being sold something you don't really need. I call these barriers to receiving dental care the "The Three F's"; fear, finances and faulty thinking.
Fear is easily handled with the technological improvements that enhance how we render care. The dream of painless injections and dental procedures are reality for those who show up. I have seen patients who have endured very high levels pain while prolonging a visit; pain that far exceeds any discomfort felt during treatment. I have witnessed the results of delayed care leading to the development of life threating conditions. Amazing, the power of fear!
shutterstock 92525713For some, the issue of obtaining dental care is associated with the lack of insurance. Often, the patient allows the dental insurance company to dictate their decisions. The average treatment need usually exceeds the annual dental maximums, which haven't increased in over thirty years. Successful, healthy patients value their teeth over their insurance.
As a cancer survivor, I never considered asking my physician to remove only a portion of my tumor; leaving the rest until my insurance "re-ups" the following year. My overall health and survival were being threatened. My goal was to get rid of the source and adhere to a strict preventive schedule. It's really no different with dental care.
So, where does this leave the average patient? The average patient is left with the need to assume more personal responsibility for his own health. Fortunately, many dental practices offer in house or third party financing services to assist their patients in obtaining the care they need and deserve.
Understand that your oral health is directly related to your overall health; and due to the importance of this alone, every effort should be made to improve it. When decay and disease is taken care of, once and for all, you can adopt home care habits that will keep you in the preventive mode and out of the defensive mode.

Dr. Karen Mills
Advantage Dental
(770) 998-7344
123 Marble Mill Road, Suite A,
Marietta, Georgia 30060

Dr. Karen Mills practices general and cosmetic dentistry since 1992. She is a 1987 graduate of Howard University's College of Dentistry.

 

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 14:17 Written by MIguel Velazquez
Dr. Karen Mills

Your Mouth Can Make You Sick

Our most important human organ is the GI (Gastrointestinal) tract. The GI tract is a tube measuring an average length of thirty feet, beginning with the mouth and ending at the anus. It's responsible for the breakdown and absorption of various foods and liquids needed to sustain life. We've all heard the saying, "My body is my temple." In our temple, the GI tract represents its main hallway. Let's consider the mouth our front door, and the anus our back door.

photo-1We are what we eat. But more importantly, we are what we absorb. Proper mechanical and chemical break down of our food and drink intake begins in our mouth. The absence of teeth decreases your ability to process the most nutrious foods in our diet; fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables. Sometimes we invite the most unruly guests into our temples. They can make a real mess of our place, and we struggle to get rid of them. What better "gate keepers" are there than a full set of healthy teeth; covered with the hardest substance in the human body, enamel! Infections and disease that threatens this front line crew of enamel covered soldiers, like gum disease and decay, threatens the entire temple. A nonfunctioning or poorly functioning GI tract can be the source of many chronic health issues, like heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Never take bleeding gums lightly. Bleeding gums are caused by infection, which leads to chronic inflammation. Remember, the blood you see while brushing and flossing is the same blood that carries inflammation from the mouth, through our blood vessels, and to all of our vital fleshy organs. This chronic inflammation leads to the clogging of arteries and other chronic diseases. This constitutes a direct assault on our health and well- being.

Your body IS your temple, and your mouth is its grand entrance. A healthy smile IS a beautiful smile. Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Preventive and comprehensive dental care is your first line of defense.

 

Dr. Karen Mills

Advantage Dental

(770) 499-7756 | 123 Marble Mill Road, Suite A, Marietta, Georgia 30060

Dr. Karen Mills practices general and cosmetic dentistry since 1992. She is a 1987 graduate of Howard University's College of Dentistry.

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