When it comes to maintaining your oral health, you are under the ultimate level of care when visiting a certified DDS (Doctor of Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry) to help keep your teeth and gums in good condition and prevent disease. From basic annual cleanings to fillings, X-Rays, surgeries, and more, it’s important — for your health and your healthcare budget — to understand the routine and specialty dental services your dentist can provide.
Routine dental care services
Routine dental check-ups and basic dental services are critical to your long-term oral health. Your routine dental care is relatively straightforward, doesn’t require complex procedures, and is offered by nearly every certified dental practitioner. Most dental insurance plans cover routine dental services either partially or entirely, so at a minimum, it’s important to schedule appointments on an annual basis. As an alternative to insurance, dental discount programs can cut the standard cost of most regular dental services by 20-50 percent.
Routine cleaning, also called preventative cleaning, is essential on an annual or semi-annual basis to remove plaque and tartar deposits that build up on your teeth and gums over time. Even with great brushing and flossing habits, having this step performed by a professional is essential to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Fluoride minerals help prevent bacteria build up and can repair your teeth at early stages of oral disease. If you’re especially susceptible to oral disease either due to genetics or personal health habits, your dentist will likely recommend a concentrated fluoride treatment to prevent further damage and plaque development.
The standard recommendation for oral X-Rays is about once every three years, or more often as your dental service provider deems necessary. Your periodic X-Ray truly gives a deeper look into the health of your mouth, down to your teeth, gums, and jaw. This routine service is typically a preventative step to check for gum, root, or forming disease, so you can take the appropriate care measures if necessary.
Dental Bonding and Crowns
If your teeth have suffered severe damage such as cracking, chipping or trauma, your dentist will likely use either a porcelain or tooth-colored resin bond adhesive or crown, depending on the extent of the damage. Both procedures work to repair the damage as well as improve aesthetics, leaving your teeth looking natural, as your dentist will match to the exact color and shape of your teeth.
Other Routine Dental Services
Additional routine services, depending on your practitioner and healthcare provider, may include fillings, emergency care for pain relief, routine tooth extractions, space maintainers, and tooth sealings.
Specialty Dental Care Services
Outside of general dentistry, advanced dental care services are provided by doctors who are trained in a specific field of dentistry. Your primary dentist may be certified to perform specialty procedures and treatments, or he may recommend you to a trusted dental specialist to ensure you get the best possible care for your unique needs.
Specialty dental services may come at a higher cost than routine care, and coverage varies by healthcare plans and service providers. Check within your dental coverage network to find to find certified dentists and covered specialty services. For dental savings without insurance, you can search for specialty dentists in your area through discount dental programs.
Complex Oral Surgeries
As the body is complicated and nuanced, so is the range of available oral surgeries. From realigning your palate, to injury repair, and complicated impact tooth extraction — some of these essential dental surgeries can be both intricate and expensive. Maintaining good oral health can help prevent some health-related surgeries over the long term.
Cosmetic Oral Procedures
Cosmetic dental procedures are focused on appearance, and often require a specialized doctor. Cosmetic procedures include veneers, full set implants, periodontal plastic surgery, and tooth-colored fillings. If you’re interested in renewing your smile, talk with your primary care dentist to discover your options.
Orthodontists are specially trained to diagnose and treat teeth and jaws alignment issues and prevent further damage. Whether you need braces for yourself of a child, or more complex orthodontic care, there are ways to save on these specialty dental services. In fact, with a dental discount card, you can save 20-50 percent off your bill to align your teeth at any age.
Other Specialty Services
Additional specialty services may include more complicated procedures, such as those that require anesthesia — for example, surgical gum treatments or inlays and onlays. Consult your dental service provider to determine costs, savings, and personalized specialty services.