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Why Your Dentist Should Be an ADA Member

Have you ever asked if your dentist is an ADA (American Dental Association) member? You only get one set of adult teeth for your entire lifetime. That being said, you want your teeth in the hands of the best dentist you can find. It’s important that your dentist is an ADA Member.

Why Choose an ADA Dentist?

ADA dentists have access to the most up-to-date, reliable resources available. The abundance of resources available makes ADA members the most knowledgeable and trusted. Also, members of the ADA have agreed to follow the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct. Within this code, dentists promise to put your well-being and health at the top of their list.

ADA’s Code of Ethics Breakdown

Do No Harm: Dentists do this by keeping their skills and knowledge as current as possible. It’s the dentists’ job to keep you safe and your teeth healthy. ADA members complete continuing education annually making them the best choice when searching for a dentist. You can ensure you are in good hands wen working with an ADA dentist.

Respect A Patients Wants and Needs: The reality is that your teeth are yours. You have every right to be involved in any decision involving them. Your desires come first and the dentist is there to advise you to the best of their ability. If you desire something different than your dentist advises, your wants should be respected.

Be Truthful: You should feel like you can truth your dentist. ADA members reflect a code of truth. Relationships with these dentists are a priority. From your diagnosis to your treatment, your dentist should be honest and advise you a reasonable course of action.

Be Fair: Everyone that sees an ADA member is expected to be treated equally. Any form of discrimination is not tolerated to any degree. Your background, race, religion, health conditions, and more will never be a discriminatory factor in your care.

Do Good: The key here is high quality and timely treatment. ADA members look at each patient individually; providing treatment in the patients’ best interest. ADA dentists always consider the desires of the patient and truly listen to what they have to say.

How do I Know if My Dentist is an ADA Member?

Without a doubt, an ADA dentist is your best bet if you are looking for the highest quality of service. These dentists are trusted and provide excellent care. If you want your needs met, find an ADA dentist near you today.

Our Dentist, Dr. Gregory Balog is an ADA member. Schedule a consultation with us for the care you deserve, contact us today.

Here’s What to Look for When Picking Your Dentist

The reality is that if you’re considering a dentist for you and/or your family, or you’re looking to switch dentists due to a poor experience, there are many factors you should consider. First and foremost, finding a dentist that matches your particular needs is critical. There are dentists who specialize in certain treatments or procedures and there are generalists who can do a little bit of everything.

When considering a dentist, treat it like you’re interviewing candidates for a job. Talk to people on the phone, have a consultation, get a sense of the environment, etc. By putting in this effort you’ll be able to find the right fit for you. In addition, here are specific aspects of a dental office to consider.

Tips for Finding a Top Dentist

Reputation & Reviews: One of the quickest ways to shrink your list of potential dentists you want to see is to simply look at the reviews and star ratings available online. While it is true these ratings aren’t necessarily enough to go on, they are a great way to understand what people think of the office and the doctor(s). In addition, offices with more reviews are clearly invested in getting feedback from patients, so the quantity and quality of reviews are important to consider.

Office Experience & Environment: Is the office inviting and comfortable? Either seek out images or videos online of the office to get a feeling for the environment or request a tour. This will help you get a feeling for the environment and if it matches with what you’re looking for in your local dental office. In addition, social media channels often offer a behind the scenes look into an office and can help you get to know the personality of the team that works there.

Location: A pretty straightforward consideration, but it’s important to find an office that is easy for you to travel to. Whether it is close to your work or home, find a local dentist that fits into your daily travel routine.

ADA Membership: Members of the American Dental Association (ADA) agree to follow a code of ethics in order to become a member. From “respecting a patient’s wants and needs” to “do no harm,” ADA dentist members pride themselves on offering the best care possible to their patients. See the video below for more on what the ADA’s Code of Ethics mean.

Word of Mouth: If you’re looking for a dentist in your community, odds are you know someone that goes to that dentist. Speak to those people and get a first hand perspective from someone. Ask about the good and the bad and try to get a well rounded account of the doctor(s) and the office staff.

Insurance Accepted: There are three common types of dental insurance plans: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO), and Discount or Referral Dental Plans. It is important to find out if the dentist you are considering is in your insurance network. Talk to the office staff to learn more about this.

When to Switch Dentists

The truth is only you will know when it is time to change dentists. Whether it is how you’re treated when in the office or the results you’re getting from your treatment, there are many things to consider when deciding if you should switch dentists. At the very least, if you’re wondering if you should switch dentists, go through the tips above and do your research. You may end up finding what may be a better fit for your particular life stage and dental needs.

If you’d like to schedule a consultation or to see if our office can help with your particular dental needs, contact us today.

4 Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

For most people, a smile is their key ticket to confidence. A smile can easily change the way you feel about yourself. That being said, confidence in your smile is imperative. Luckily you can easily get the bright white smile you are looking for with professional teeth whitening. Let’s go over some of the great benefits.

Instant Results

While you do have the option to purchase over-the-counter teeth whitening treatments, a professional teeth whitening treatment can give you the results you are looking for within an hour. This is much favorable over waiting weeks to get the results you are looking for. You wouldn’t want to wait longer for mediocre results. Getting your treatment completed at a professional dental office will leave you satisfied with the result.

Reliable Treatment

Store bought whitening kits do not ensure how good or bad they are for your teeth. You can rest assured that a professional teeth whiting treatment is the most trustworthy and reliable. You wouldn’t want to risk any unnecessary damage to your teeth using store bought products. So, it’s best to leave your teeth in the hands of an expert.

Safer

Store bought whitening treatments can cause damage to your gums and even the tissue in your mouth. The effects can be extremely detrimental to the health of your mouth. Tooth sensitivity can begin to become a problem for you. Luckily, a professional teeth whitening treatment is safe and leaves you much more comfortable than an at home treatment. This is because an expert is able to monitor your treatment the whole way through. They can easily adjust the concentration of the whitening agent as needed. Don’t forget the expert tips you will receive on how to take care of your newly whitened teeth and how to limit sensitivity in your teeth.

Thorough Whitening

With simple white strips, not all your teeth get treated. The strip only reaches so far around your teeth. With a professional treatment, all teeth get equal treatment ensuring thorough whitening. Also, over-the-counter products are typically only effective in treating light stains. Getting treating at a professional office will ensure the deepest stains get treated

Conclusion

Don’t settle for anything less than a professional teeth whitening treatment. You deserve the results you are looking for. Regain confidence in your smile and contact us today to set up an appointment.

At Home Teeth Aligners – Are They Worth It?

One of the latest trends in dental health is at-home teeth aligners that don’t require a single trip to the dentist or orthodontist. Some of these new companies are even promising straight teeth in roughly six months, but is it all too good to be true?

The reality is that while at home teeth aligners may work for some, milder tooth alignment issues, there are many opting for this convenience when really, they should be having a professional offer a treatment plan that might include traditional braces or other orthodontic care. In other words, at-home aligners might not be enough for everyone.

How much do at home teeth aligners cost?

There are a variety of at home teeth aligner companies that offer a doctorless experience when it comes to getting these aligners. The pricing for these packages ranges from one-time fees to payment options to even subscription plans. The pricing tends to range from $1700 – $2500 and each approaches the process a bit differently.

Am I a candidate for at home teeth aligners?

When it comes to knowing if you might be a candidate for at home aligners, it is hard to say without having a professional look at your teeth. For instance, here are some situations where clear aligners simply will not get the job done:

  • Teeth Rotation: If a tooth or teeth have rotated due to some form of crowing or misalignment, these at home clear aligners might not be able to bring that tooth back to the right position.
  • Intrusions: Any too that is lodged into the jawbone will not be fixed by at home aligners.
  • Tooth Malformations: Any round or pointed teeth are not likely to be able to fit properly in a at home aligner.
  • Extrusions: Teeth that sit up high on the bone will not be fixed by a simple aligner.

There are other situations where these at home teeth aligners will not be able to resolve moderate to serious jawbone or tooth misalignments. The only way to know for sure is either to try the at home products and risk wasting money or speak with a professional to get a comprehensive plan that could work for you.

Conclusion

Either way, the important thing to note about at home clear aligners is that they simply don’t replace the need for a dentist or orthodontist. Your orthodontist will be able to offer you complete alignment treatment options, but in some cases your dentist may also offer at-home care options for alignment issues. For the peace of mind on this, we recommend speaking to a professional on the best treatment plan for your tooth misalignment issues.

If you would like a professional opinion, contact us to set up an appointment today and we can either offer solutions to your alignment issues or advise you on your next steps for correction your alignment issues.

Suffering from Sensitive Teeth? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’ve ever felt tooth discomfort after taking a bit of something cold or hot, it could be a sign of a cavity. However, many simply suffer from tooth sensitivity but have otherwise healthy teeth. It’s important to work with a dentist to understand what the cause of this might be, but here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about tooth sensitivity.

Common Triggers of Sensitive Teeth

There are a variety of factors that can result in tooth discomfort and sensitivity. The pain or discomfort can be anywhere from mild to intense and are most commonly a response to:

  • Food or drinks that are hot
  • Food or drinks that are cold
  • Cold air
  • Foods that are very sweet or sugary
  • Acidic foods or dinks
  • Brushing and/or flossing
  • Mouth washes with alcohol

Causes of Sensitive Teeth

The truth is that some people simply have more sensitive teeth than others. However there are definitely somethings that can cause sensitive teeth issues to become more prominent. The enamel on your teeth is a major factor that can influence tooth sensitivity. If your enamel is getting worn down this can cause these sensitivities. Here are some ways your enamel might be getting worn down.

  • Brushing your teeth too hard or vigorously
  • Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
  • Grinding and clenching of your jaw during sleep
  • High intake of acidic foods and drinks
  • Gum recession can expose more vulnerable parts of the teeth
  • Conditions like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) can wear down your tooth enamel
  • Decay, chipped or cracked teeth can leave your tooth more exposed

There are a variety of causes, but it is important to find the issue in order to better treat it. We recommend seeing a dentist in order to figure out what is going on in your particular situation.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity

For those experiencing mild tooth sensitivity there are some things you can do yourself. First make sure you are using a toothpaste that’s made for sensitive teeth. There are a number of brands out there to choose from and these toothpastes typically do not have ingredients they can irritate or harm your tooth enamel. With mouthwash, make sure using an alcohol-free mouth rinse. In addition, softer toothbrushes are better for sensitive teeth and you should make sure that you’re using one with soft bristles.

It may take a little while before you start feeling the results of these actions and if they do not work, you will definitely want to speak with your dentist to learn about how you can resolve these issues.

If you have underlying medical conditions, then it’s important to speak with your dentist about how to counteract their impact on your tooth enamel. Receding gums and other conditions can lead to a lot of tooth sensitivity and there are ways to treat that with a prescription toothpaste. Again, speak with your dentist and find out what’s the best approach for you.

If you have any questions about tooth sensitivity or think you might be experiencing this, please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to set you up with an appointment.

How Biting Your Nails Impacts Your Teeth & How to Stop

About 20-30% of the population are nail biters. To be blunt; it’s a habit. Each person has their own reasons for biting. It’s not a habit to take lightly. This compulsive behavior has negative effects on a person’s physical health. It’s best to get rid of this habit as soon as possible.

Why People Bite Their Nails

Often times children begin biting their nails because their parents are nail biters. Growing up, kids can mimic what their parents do; even their habits. Other times, people bite due to emotional or mental stress. They could be biting mindlessly to cope with their emotions and feelings. Often times, it’s as simple as a reflex people go to when they are bored. They do it without even realizing.

How Nail Biting Impacts Your Teeth

Chronic nail biting can lead to chips, cracks, and even erosion of the teeth. By grinding teeth against nails, enamel begins wearing away. Furthermore, straight teeth can be moved over time causing issues with a person’s bite.

Not only are your teeth affected, but so are your gums. There are more dirt and bacteria under your fingernails than you know. Learn more about what lives under your nails here. All of the germs that get trapped under our nails get instantly transferred to our mouths when we chew on our nails. This can result in gum diseases like gingivitis.

Tips to Stop Biting

  • Keep your nails as short as possible – with no nail to grab; theirs no reason to bite. You are less likely to feel any satisfaction from biting.
  • Use a nail bite deterrent – Their are special formulas you can coat your nails with, just like you would with nail polish, that keep you from biting. They work by putting a really bad taste in your mouth if you try to bite your nails.
  • Work on the root cause – Pay attention to when you start to bite your nails. For example, if you find yourself biting when you feel stressed, then you should find a more effective way to cope with that cause. This way, you will be much less likely to bite your nails, seeing that you are less stressed.
  • Use fidget toys – If you keep your hands busy, they’ll likely stay away from your mouth. Investing in a fidget toy might work for you.

If you’re a nail-biter, feel free to contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment. The health of your teeth matters to us, too.

10 Signs You Need to See a Dentist ASAP

From regular dental cleanings, to cracked or chipped teeth, there are many reasons you might need to make an appointment with a dentist. Some are more obvious than others which is why we took some time to outline the most common reasons you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

1. A Toothache

Don’t ignore toothaches and pain. Tooth sensitivity and pain can be caused by teeth grinding, abscesses, cavities, broken or chipped teeth, or damaged fillings. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the pain and help you avoid future issues.

2. Dry Mouth

Your saliva helps wash food and debris away while also neutralizing acid. If your mouth is not well lubricated, plaque-inducing bacteria could wreak havoc on your teeth. Contact your dentist for solutions to retain moisture and keep your teeth protected.

3. Loose Teeth

Over time, your teeth may wear down from chewing and eating, but your teeth should last forever. If you’re noticing movement in your teeth, it may be a sign of bone loss or infection.

4. Bleeding

Bleeding from brushing or flossing could mean you’re showing early signs of periodontal disease(gum disease). Other signs of periodontal disease include red or swollen gums, and discharge between the gums and teeth. This disease can lead to tooth and bone loss if left untreated.

5. Mouth Sores

Canker sores are normal and aren’t a huge cause of concern. However, if you have white sores on your tongue, gums or tonsils, it could be a fungal infection called oral thrush. Thrush can be treated with medication.

6. Gum Recession

Receding gums can be a typical part of aging, but it could also be a sign of periodontal disease. Gum recession can expose your roots, causing an increase in decay, infections and even tooth loss.

7. Self-Conscious About Smile

If you’re constantly hiding your smile because you’re missing a tooth or think you need whiter teeth, talk to your dentist. They can walk you through your options that can help improve your smile and your confidence.

8. Difficulty Chewing

Chewing, eating or swallowing food should never be painful. If it hurts to chew, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately and switch to soft foods until you’re able to get in.

9. Extreme Tooth Sensitivity 

If your teeth feel way more sensitive than normal, it is usually a sign something else is going on. The most common causes of tooth sensitivity can be cracked teeth, worn out fillings, issues with your gums, worn enamel and exposed teeth roots.

10. Tooth Numbness

If your tooth feels numb or you feel a lack of sensation in an area of your mouth, you may need a root canal. Other causes of tooth numbness include:

  • Tooth trauma
  • Biting too hard
  • Bruxism
  • Dying Tooth

If you’re experiencing any of the above, please contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

15 Dental Facts That May Surprise You

Your teeth are extremely important to your overall health, but there’s a lot about your teeth you probably didn’t know. From the history of dental care to the origin of the tooth fairy, here are some interesting dental facts.

1. Each tooth is unique.

Every tooth in your mouth is different. Between your baby teeth and your adult teeth, no two teeth are the same shape and size.

2. Teeth tell your story.

Teeth can tell scientists how old you are, what you eat and drink, and even your geographic location on earth. They carry clues of your overall health and can show periods of stress or illness.

3. Caring for teeth dates back centuries.

Around 5,000 B.C., Egyptians used ground animal hooves and eggshells to clean their teeth. The first toothbrushes were twigs that were chewed on, and then the frayed ends were used to cleanse the teeth.

4. Your teeth blueprint is present at birth.

Your baby teeth are in place underneath your gums at birth. These will be replaced by your adult teeth that will form throughout your childhood.

5. Approx. 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year.

A largely preventable disease, oral cancer can develop on the tongue, the tongue base, under the tongue, on mouth and gum tissue, and on the back of the throat. Oral cancer rates increase with age. 

6. TMJD is the most common cause of facial pain.

Temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders (TMJD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and neighboring facial muscles.

7. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Although severe periodontal disease cases have decreased since the 1970s, it still prevalent in some age groups.

8. Ninety-two percent of adults ages 24-60 have had dental caries in permanent teeth.

Dental caries, also known as cavities, occur when decay-causing bacteria creates acid that attacks your tooth’s enamel.

9. People who smoke are 3 times more likely to lose their teeth.

Currently 4 in 10 adults who currently smoke cigarettes lost all of their teeth.

10. A mom’s oral health status is a strong predictor of her baby’s oral health status.

If a mother has a high level of tooth loss or untreated cavities, her children are 3 times more likely to have cavities.

11. Pregnant women are more prone to gum disease and cavities.  

Dental care is both safe and important during pregnancy. Don’t hesitate to visit your dentist during any stage.

12. The earliest dental filling was made of beeswax.

These dental fillings were discovered in Slovenia and date back 6,500 years ago.

13. Ancient cultures believed “tooth worms” caused dental caries.

Evidence of the belief of tooth worms can be found in ancient Sumer, India, Egypt, China and Japan.

14. During the Middle Ages (19 century), dentistry was performed by physicians and barbers.

Dentistry was not yet a profession, so people went to barbers, usually for tooth extractions, and other general physicians.

15. Variations of the Tooth Fairy date back to c. 1200.

In northern Europe, there was a tradition called tand-fé, which paid a child for their lost tooth.

Dental Insurance Plans: What You Need to Know

There are a variety of dental insurance plans, and each offers slightly different coverages and benefits. We’ve broken down each type of dental plan and other coverage details you should know.

Types of Dental Plans

There are three common types of dental plans: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO), and Discount or Referral Dental Plans. Let’s take a look at each.

PPO: A Preferred Provider Organization plan is one that has a network of dentists who agree to give dental services at a set price.

DHMO: This plan uses a network of dentists that are paid a fee every month to provide covered dental services to you whether you go to the dentist or not. Some services may be completely covered, while others may require a copay.

Discount/Referral Plans: Both discount and referral plans are contracts with dentists who agree to discount their fees. While neither of these plans cover any services, you will receive a reduced rate determined by the plan.

Insurance vs. Benefits

Yes, there is a difference between the two. Insurance is designed to reimburse you, and the insurer carries the risk. A benefits plan is set up to only cover specific costs. You’ll find that some procedures will be covered fully, and others you’ll have to pay a portion of.

What’s Covered

Regardless of which plan you choose, you will share some of the cost for your dental services. Here are a few different ways that this happens.

Deductibles: A deductible is the amount you have to pay before your insurance pays. Many insurance plans don’t require deductibles for preventative services.

Coinsurance: If you have coinsurance, you will pay for a percentage of the service fee and your insurance will pick up the rest. 

Annual Maximums: The maximum amount your insurance plan will cover during a year. You’re responsible for anything over the maximum amount.


It’s important to do your research and understand your plan and what it offers you. If you have any questions about what your dental insurance covers, please contact your plan administrator or give us a call – we’d be happy to help!

Tech Trends That Could Transform The Future of Dentistry

For years, technology has been transforming how industries conduct business. Today and for the last 20 – 30 years, we’ve seen technology advance to unbelievable heights, making today one of the most prolific and rapidly evolving tech-booms of all human history. 

The world of dentistry is no different. At our office we use a number of new technologies that make the appointment experience much more efficient and comprehensive. But there’s even more technology being developed in the dental space. Here’s an example of just a few.

1. Smart Toothbrushes

Your home is already connected in many ways, why not upgrade the bathroom, too? A smart toothbrush with smart sensors will be able to monitor your brushing habits, making sure you’re brushing your best every time. This will change the game for not only adults, but for kids as well.

2. Teledentistry

A way to go to the dentist without actually going to the dentist. Teledentistry gives you the ability to receive some dental services online, such as having images captured, video chatting, etc. This will be a great way for the elderly, people with special needs and those who live in rural areas to see a dentist routinely. 

3. Digital Dentures

Gone are the days it takes days or weeks to produce and fit a pair of dentures. Using computer-aided design and manufacturing, dentures can be made in a fraction of the time without ever leaving your dentist’s office.

4. Virtual Reality

Though Virtual Reality (VR) technology has been used for entertainment purposes for quite some time, the use of VR could change the way dental professionals are educated and trained. A virtual laboratory could be used to try different technologies and techniques without the presence of a real patient. The same VR technology could be used on the patient side as well; a great way for patients to ‘escape’ during a procedure.

5. Intra-Oral Camera

“Open wide” will soon be a thing of the past. With an intra-oral camera, your dentist will be able to see inside your mouth and take pictures using a camera on a dental mirror. The images will be shown on a screen outside of the patient’s mouth.

While most of the technology mentioned above has been around, the thinking around it and the ways in which it can be used continues to evolve. We’re looking forward to the day we have all this new technology at our disposal.