Welcome to the Blog of Teresa Duncan, Owner of Odyssey Management. Inc.

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2013 Open Season Information for Federal Employee Benefits

Dental plans may take a back seat when it comes to paying up or renewing the plan. This is because one does not really pay much attention or attach much importance to their oral health. Everyone is concerned about the general health insurance but not so much about their dental plans.

Just like any health insurance plans, there are a number of dental insurance plans to choose from too. One will have to carefully evaluate these plans before making their choice and paying for it.

Wondering why it is important? Here are a few reasons why:

  • Oral health is as important as your general health. One may assume it is just the teeth and the major issue that could crop up is a cavity. However, the mouth is very complex and can have more than just cavities as a problem.
  • One needs to go for regular dental checkups and if it is not done so, their dental insurance may not hold good. They may not be eligible to claim insurance if there is some major procedure to be done
  • Dental problems may not show up until they are very serious and may require you to undergo some procedure for the same. Without insurance coverage, it can be very expensive
  • Sometimes teeth alignment, which may not be a major concern to you, may cause other problems in the jaw line. Thus requiring a lot of work or procedures to correct it and reverse the negative impact it might have had on your jaw line, face, etc
  • Sometimes, the health of the teeth can indicate other problems in the body. hence a regular check with the dentist may reveal something more serious and important, which otherwise might not have been discovered until very late

For those who are conscious about their Frumusete Sanatate, ensuring their teeth and gums are in good health is extremely important. Your smile can make or break your appearance. For a great smile one must have good, healthy and white teeth. This requires proper care and regular trips to the dentist’s, to ensure the oral health is maintained.

How To Choose

If you are wondering how to make your choice, here are a few pointers:

  • Check online and with your agents to know about the various plans available
  • Check the plan period and the cost on each plan. Sometimes the plan period may vary
  • If you have health insurance with one company, it is better to go with the same company, as paper work is easier and it is easier to keep track of too

It’s fall which means that for federal employees it is time to re-evaluate their dental plan options. I’m a fan of the Metlife option (click here for it) because the max is big and it’s not that difficult of a plan to handle. From an administrative point of view I would take this opportunity to talk with any federal employee that is in the office about the high-option plan. You could also run a report of all of your federal employees and encourage them to contact you if they have any questions about choosing their dental plan. Of course that means you have to become familiar with the plans. Here’s a good starting point – the OPM’s site for Open Season.

For more information on rates for the 2013 open season: http://www.opm.gov/insure/openseason/factsheet.asp

For more information on plans for the 2013 open season: http://www.opm.gov/insure/dental/planinfo/index.asp

 

Periodontal Disease Caused by Secondhand Smoke

It has been widely accepted for years that smokers had a higher risk of periodontal disease, but a recent study performed at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill shows that secondhand smoke also increases the risk.

Smoking, apart from slowly eating away the insides of the smoker’s body, can ruin their skin too. This is because, smoking can strain the skin and make it look dull, pale and age faster. Regular smokers can be seen to develop wrinkles faster than non-smokers. Though one can use obvert h counter formulas like Goji Cream to help the skin get rid of blemishes and acne, to make it look young and fresh, these creams will not last long, if one were to smoke continuously.

Smoking has a number of side effects and there are researches that show how it can affect even those who don’t smoke. When you see a person smoke, you are bound to see them with some company. Though mostly it is another person having a smoke, when it is in private areas, like at home or at a private party, it is bound to be their partner or a close friend, who need not necessarily smoke. This makes the non-smoker a passive smoker, and exposes them to the harmful effects of tobacco too. The secondhand smoke, can do a lot of harm, without one realizing about it. This is because one is oblivious to what inhaling the smoke does to their body and assumes they are safe as they are the ones who lights up the smoke in their mouths.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, using data from another study that included 2,379 nonsmokers ages 53–74, have concluded that exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke for a few hours each day can double a person’s risk of severe periodontal disease. People exposed to secondhand smoke for 25 hours or less each week had a 29 percent increased chance and for those exposed more than 26 hours the odds were twice as high.

There have been two other major acknowledgments by the dental field in regards to periodontal disease and smoking over the last ten years. In 2004, the U.S. Surgeon General announced that there was enough scientific evidence to infer that smoking increased the chances of periodontal disease. In 2006, the U.S. General Surgeon went even further to state that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

It likely comes as no surprise to you that smoking could have an eroding effect on the teeth, but it may be surprising that simply inhaling smoke from those around you could have a dramatic effect on your teeth. In order to be proactive and preventative, please remember these three cosmetic dentistry tips:

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Visit your dentist for regular cleanings

How Protected Are Your Patient Records?

Every doctor, be it big or small must have a record of their patients. The patient records are where the doctors store the various results, details regarding procedures, etc, that are confidential and cannot be revealed to anyone but the patient themselves. They are so confidential that, if they were to be exposed to an outsider, the doctor can be sued.

If the records are required as proof in some court proceedings, there must be a legal order asking the doctor to share it with the court, only then are the doctors at a liberty to share the details or specifics of the report. When such is the confidentiality, one must be very careful with these records and ensure they are always kept safe under lock and key.

Apart from the medical records which can reveal personal details regarding the health conditions of the patients, one can even gain access to their social security numbers, insurance plans, etc, which are worth a lot of money out on the streets. Such details are constantly stolen and sold for a profit to those who don’t have legitimate social security numbers or health insurance.

Keep Them Safe At All Times

It is very important to ensure all the patient records are kept safe and out of reach of others. Even cosmetic consultants require to protect the records of their patients. Not everyone would be happy if news of their visits to Kosmeticke Poradenstvi becomes public knowledge.

Here are a few tips to help you and your clinic ensure your patient records are not vulnerable to threat.

  • Always keep the records in a same place. When they are kept at different places, one tends to forget at times and hence leave it out at plain sight for others
  • Keep a designated draw or cabinet, with limited access. Ensure everyone on the staff can’t reach it and allow access only to one or two persons. This way, if there is a leak of information, it is easy to trace the source
  • Do not give out details to everyone who asks for it. One may portray themselves as the patient or relative of the patient and ask for the records. Have a strict policy against releasing data to such people. Ask for identification
  • Keep only new and required records at accessible limits, and store the rest away. This way, even if someone were to break in, they cannot get their hands on all the documents.
  • Do a periodical check to ensure all the records are in place. Most of such records are found to be missing at a later stage, making it impossible to track.

I walk by this office all the time and can’t help but think that they are only one smash-and-grab away from a public relations nightmare. This office’s patient charts are visible from the road – I can see patient’s names on the charts. A thief need only break that window and grab the charts for a quick profit on the street. Nationwide Insurance puts the street value of a medical record as $150. Social security numbers can also be sold. I wish this office would at least pull the blinds so we can’t see the charts from the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

Permanent dental replacements are becoming more popular with increasing life spans. In contrast to other dental solutions such as removable bridges and dentures, implants provide patients with a more natural and functional dental solution. Implants look much better, feel much better, and provide you with the same force for biting as bridges that are fixed in place. Implants are also a permanent treatment solution to the inconvenience and embarrassment typically associated with missing teeth or removable dentures.

When you alter the natural state of the body, there is both good and bad to it. There are no treatments or procedures that have only negatives or only positives. Even external solutions like Chocolate Slim for those few extra pounds, which does not require any medical procedures, has its own set of positives and negatives.

As is the case with any medical procedure however, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of teeth implants in order to understand what’s best for you. While your dentist will be happy to discuss all aspects of the treatment plan in greater detail, along with any advantages or disadvantages to consider in your specific situation, we’ve summarized some of the pros and cons of dental implants for you.

The Benefits of Dental Implants Include:

Improved oral health: Dental implants do not require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, so more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

Improved appearance: Dental implants are specifically designed to both look and feel like your own teeth, so they’re very natural in appearance and blend well with surrounding teeth.

Improved speech: Dental implants provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you’ll be able to speak freely without having to worry about your teeth slipping. With dentures – which don’t fit your mouth as well – there can be a tendency to slur or mumble words.

Better comfort: Dental implants are a permanent solution that become part of your mouth, through their integration directly into the jaw bone. The fully integrated dental implants eliminate any discomfort often associated with removable dentures.

Easier eating: Implants function just like your own teeth, allowing you to chew your food with ease. Dentures on the other hand can often make chewing difficult because of fact that they will sometimes slide around in your mouth.

Heightened self-esteem: When your natural smile has been restored, you feel better about yourself and self esteem is improved.

Permanence: Dental implants are designed with durability and permanence in mind. With proper care, many implants will last a lifetime.

Better convenience: One of the major benefits of dental implants is the improved convenience you get from the fact that you never have to remove them like you have to with dentures (which can also be awkward or embarrassing). You also don’t have to deal with any messy adhesives associated with keeping dentures in place.

Options / Flexibility: There are an entire variety of options at your disposal when evaluating the right dental implant solution. For one, you can decide what type of restoration is attached to the implants.  Bridges, dentures and dental crowns (individual teeth) are the most common restoration options to be attached to dental implants. When bridges and dentures are used, the implant secures one or both sides of the restoration for permanent attachment in the mouth.

As with most medical procedures, there are also a few drawbacks to consider when evaluating if dental implants are the right solution for you. Potential drawbacks to consider with dental implants include:

Cost: For some individuals, cost is a significant consideration when evaluating dental implants. Dental implants are a surgical procedure – and because of that – costs run higher than other dental options.

Lack of bone: Each patient needs to go through an initial assessment for dental implants in order to determine whether the patient qualifies for the procedure. During the assessment the dental surgeon will determine whether the patient has sufficient bone to secure the dental implant. For patients who lack enough bone to effectively hold the implant in place there are other options at their disposal to secure the implant – so patients aren’t ruled out as a candidate right away.

Time: People who choose dental implants will typically need several visits to their dental practitioner from the initial visit and assessment, up until the point that the permanent restoration is secured to the bone and surrounding tissue and gums are healed.

Discomfort: The dental implant procedure normally results in minor discomfort, when anesthesia or another pain blocking method is utilized. Patients can expect minor pain and swelling as the implant heals however.

 

The resounding feedback from our dental implant patients tends to be that the benefits of dental implants outweigh potential drawbacks. Dental implants offer many benefits over other alternatives, so if they’re within a patient’s budget, implants are often worth strong consideration.

 

Dr. Charles Goldberg is an experienced dentist practicing out of his dental clinic in downtown Toronto, Canada. Dr. Goldberg’s dental clinic offers a full range of dental services which range from teeth whitening in Toronto to emergency dental services in Toronto.

Dental Add Implant Coverage

How expensive are dental implants?

When you want to lose some weight and get rid of the parasites in your body, you can have some Fitobalt, but what do you do when you have dental problems? More specifically, what if you were missing some teeth? You will have to get dentures or an implant.

One of the biggest concerns for anyone who decides to go in for a dental implant is to worry about the fit and if they need it at all in the first place. For many it is the pain and discomfort involved. But the universal question everyone has is the expenses involved. How much will these implants cost?

Dental implants, though are expensive than simple dental procedures, are cheaper than getting your teeth replaced. The cost of these implants can vary according to your choice of implant, material used, and the dentist himself. The implants are customized to fit your mouth and look as natural as possible, as no one is going to pay up to have something artificial looking.

People are ready to pay more for a better looking implant as they don’t want to be seen with artificial looking teeth when they smile. Everyone wants to portray a bright smile and be confident about it. If one were to be hesitant and not too keen about smiling, despite getting an expensive implant, it is not something they would recommend other to go in for.

Dental Plans And Implants

It is also important to find out if you dental insurance plans cover the costs of implants. Generally, a surgery is required for placing the implants. Hence the overall costs include not only the dental implants, but the dentist and the surgery cost too.

A dental insurance does not generally cover these costs. There are some plans that may cover part of the cost, like for a crown. This is because, this procedure is considered as an elective procedure and not a necessity. Hence it is not covered in the dental insurance plans.

In such a case, one must consider the total cost involved and decide if they are ready to spend so much. Though dentures are a cheaper option, they will not look or feel as comfortable as an implant. This is the main reason one opts for it, despite it not being covered by their insurance plans. Everyone wants to sport a great smile and live a dental problem free life where they don’t have to comprise on what they eat.

Infographic: W.H.O. Oral Health Factsheet by Neoss

When it comes to your teeth and oral health, many assume that brushing your teeth twice a day is sufficient. However, one does not realize, there is more to oral health and one can run into a number of problems that may sound almost weird.

Here are some of the most shocking things you need to know about your oral health:

Your Health Matters

It is not just the health of your teeth, but your general health is also very important and can affect the health of your teeth. Regular exercises and a well balanced diet will not only ensure you are within the right weight range, but also ensure your teeth get all the right nutrition. This will decrease your chances of developing gum related diseases.

Oral Hygiene Takes Time

Everyone would love to sport a bright white smile. However, this doesn’t happen overnight or just after using that new toothpaste a couple of times. It takes time and effort to get the perfect set of white teeth. This is because, the plaque that forms on your teeth takes time to be removed.

Brush for two to three minutes, twice a day and also floss regularly, to ensure no food particles get stuck in your teeth, causing it to stain. Also, use a mouthwash every day. The results will be evident after a few days.

Right Technique With Right Products

It is not enough if you use the best of the products available in the market. One needs to follow the right techniques, to get the best results out of the products. When you use your toothbrush, ensure you cover all areas, including the outer teeth, inner teeth as well as the biting surfaces.

When it comes to toothpaste, one must select based on their need. There are various toothpastes available for cavity, gum protection, teeth whitening, etc. choose one that is suitable for you, but check the ingredients and do a little research to know which ingredients are required to achieve the results you are looking for. One cannot blindly trust what the package claims, marketing gimmicks can be very misleading.

Attend To Problems ASAP

When you have a throbbing pain in your jaw, do not ignore it or assume it is because of biting on something hard. Though biting on something hard can cause pain and discomfort, tooth ache cannot be solved easily like joint pains with Hondrocream. If your teeth hurt when you drink something hot or cold, it is an indication to get it checked by a dentist.

Our friends over at Neoss put together a great oral health fact sheet based on the April release of oral health statistic by the World Health Organizations. Share with your patients via your website, Facebook page or Twitter. Knowledge is power!

History of Sedation Dentistry – Enlightening a Path Free From Pain and Fear!

A trip to the dentist can instigate great fear in the minds of many, so much so that they are ready to put up with the pain and the side effects of a painful set of teeth, rather than walk into that clinic and opening their mouths for the dentist to take a look at. They are scared if they would be asked to go in for some procedure and if it would be painful

What many don’t realize is that, not all dentist visits need to end in a surgery or a painful procedure. Some of them can be as simple as just some advice and tips to keep your teeth cleaner or one can get away with a mild cleaning.

Tips To Help

Here are some tips to reduce your need to visit the dentist, at the same time ensure your oral health is in good shape.

Brush Twice A Day

Brushing your teeth must be done the first thing in the morning and the last before you go to bed. The reason is simple. When you wake up in the morning, your mouth is filled with germs and residue due to the saliva being stagnate on the inside. Not only will it get rid of the odor, but will also keep your teeth healthy and bright.

When you brush at night, it will help in removing all the food particles and reduce the chances of some food particles getting lodged between your teeth. This can sometimes lead to serious issues where one can suffer from immense pain.

Right Products

It is important to use the right products. One cannot use the wrong type of brush or toothpaste. There are a number of options available in the market, to choose from. do your research, learn about the products and choose wisely.

Right Techniques

When you brush your teeth using the right technique, your teeth’s health is maintained and this reduces the need to visit a dentist. If you are not too sure of your brushing technique, check with your dentist. They will be able to show you how to brush effectively and reduce most of the problems, before they can get too serious.

Regular Checkups

Even if you hate visiting the dentist, ensure you visit a dentist at least once in a year to ensure there are no problems with your teeth. Plaque formation is one thing that cannot be avoided. Hence, getting it checked and cleaned periodically can prevent the plaque from getting too thick or affecting the teeth layer.

If one practiced the above steps, even your regular cup of Chocolate slim can be consumed without any worry as your teeth will be well protected.

Some people experienced a traumatic experience with dentistry when they were kids and some suffered that annoying feeling and pain as adults. Dental fear and anxiety might have restricted you also from an essential treatment someday. Isn’t it? A safe and comfortable dental experience is a dream of all.

The pain turned into laughter, with the help of Laughing gas (nitrous oxide). Thinking how these two things are related? Yes! The history of sedation or sleep dentistry holds a foremost contribution of this gas. How? When? Where? Get answers to all such questions that are hidden in the deep history of sedation dentistry.

Here’s a Timeline, depicting these facts, created by Brilliant Smiles Bellevue, a dentist in Bellevue who specializes in Sedation Dentistry and pain free procedures.

Click Here For The Timeline

New Certificate Program for Dental Office Managers Now Available: Financial Reporting for the Dental Office

The DALE Foundation recently launched a new online certificate program for office managers: Financial Reporting for the Dental Office. A self-paced, interactive course, Financial Reporting for the Dental Office does not need to be completed in one sitting; participants can stop and start as needed throughout the six-month access period. Worth 6 CE credits upon successful completion, Financial Reporting for the Dental Office provides an overview of the basic financial reporting responsibilities that dental office managers handle.

This course was developed in conjunction with three subject matter experts who all hold the FAADOM (Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Managers) designation and is one of the requirements for AADOM Fellowship. After completing the course and passing the post-course assessment, participants will earn a certificate of completion to print and display.

This is the third course offered by the DALE Foundation for office managers, along with HR Fundamentals for the Dental Office and Accounts Receivable for the Dental Office. To view a demo, click on the Course Demo tab on the Financial Reporting for the Dental Office page.

No, this was not introduced to relieve problems like varicose veins or the like, a simple solution like Varikosette can take care of it. This program has been introduced to enable the ever busy professionals learn a better way to report their financials, so that they can have better records and idea about the business. As it need not be completed in one sitting, it makes it convenient for the professionals to split their time, and complete the course successfully.

The reason behind this facility is to ensure, the professionals can still study and improve their knowledge base, without having to compromise on their profession. When one is forced to complete a particular course in one sitting or in a fixed set of classes, there is no flexibility and they are forced to compromise on one thing or the other.

What a professional dentist with sufficient clientele would do is, skip the course despite knowing the value it can add. Those who are seeking improvement in their credentials, will be forced to reduce their time spent on patients and take these classes instead. One way or the other, the dentist loses some to get some.

Now, with this course and the flexibility offered, one can concentrate both on their patients as well as get certified and increase the knowledge base. One can opt to take up the classes and examinations at their convenience. This will improve the standards of the industry itself.

 

About the DALE Foundation

The DALE Foundation, or the Dental Auxiliary Learning and Education Foundation, was founded in March 2010. An ADA CERP Recognized Provider, the DALE Foundation is the official DANB affiliate and is a separately incorporated, independent nonprofit organization. The DALE Foundation offers interactive e-learning courses and study aids to help advance the dental team.

PerioSciences Launches AO ProVantage Family of Antioxidant Oral Care Products

Dallas, TX –  Exhibiting for the first time at the 2012 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, PerioSciences, LLC (www.periosciences.com) launched the dental industry’s first antioxidant-based, topically-applied oral care products.

Specifically, the company presented its AO ProVantage family of products, which contain the novel combination of antioxidants Phloretin and Ferulic.  Phloretin and Ferulic have been shown in university based studies to neutralize free radicals which lead to oxidative stress commonly caused by dental materials, alcohol, nicotine, and the hydrogen peroxide used in teeth whitening products. Case studies reveal reduced inflammation and bleeding as well as accelerated wound healing in soft oral tissue.

Just like there are a number of customized products like Hair MegaSpray, etc, available to take care of one’s hair, there are a number of products to take care of your dental health too. These are for topical application and are considered to be extremely safe. It is perfectly suitable even for those with high oral sensitivity.

The AO ProVantage product line is as follows:

  • AO ProVantage: An antioxidant-infused gel designed for application on soft oral tissue is available in both a 30 ml and 15ml travel size delivers antioxidant to tissue and is extremely soothing upon application. Also contains antibacterial agents such as xylitol, menthol and thymol.
  •  AO ProVantage BLAST: A higher concentration antioxidant gel is designed to be applied after tobacco use delivering the most advanced combination of antioxidants.  The unique and strong combination of essential oils, and xylitol will freshen breath even after nicotine use.   Package contains three .17ml airless bottles which are easy to carry.
  •  AO ProRinse: An alcohol-free, mouth rinse that contains a proprietary antioxidant combination with the added power of catechins from Green Tea.  This great tasting mouth rinse is extremely effective against general halitosis and also contains xylitol.

According PerioSciences Founder and CEO Russell Moon, “The AO Pro family of products have been proven to be well tolerated and highly effective by patients with extreme cases of halitosis and oral sensitivity, even when caused by serious conditions, such as bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, post-oral surgery, and cancer treatments.”

PerioSciences and its AO Pro product line are the result of more than 20 years of experience in the topical application of antioxidants. Company CEO Russell Moon’s earlier venture, SkinCeuticals, which commercialized topically-applied antioxidant skincare, paved the way for PerioSciences with strong anti-inflammatory results from Duke University testing. SkinCeuticals was acquired by L’Oréal in 2005.

PerioSciences was founded in 2008, when additional research at Baylor College of Dentistry and UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry further confirmed that specific combinations of antioxidants neutralize free radicals / oxidative stress in the oral cavity. Antioxidants naturally occur in saliva, and abnormally low levels of salivary antioxidants have been associated with oral disease, such as oral lichen planus (OLP), temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), periodontal disease (PD), and even oral cancer.

For more information about PerioScinces and its AO Pro family of products, please visit www.PerioSciences.com or call 1-800-915-8110.

About PerioSciences: 

PerioSciences researches, formulates, and markets topically applied, antioxidant-based oral care and oral hygiene products. The company markets to dental professionals, hygienists, and other health care professionals such as cardiologists, rheumatologists, and medi-spas. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, PerioSciences’ objective is to establish a new category of products – antioxidant-based oral care. PerioSciences will provide the most advanced products for patients and a state-of-the-art business model for practitioners while maintaining a long-term commitment to research.

 

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About The Blog Author

Teresa Duncan received a degree of Master of Science in Healthcare Management from Marymount University. With over 22 years of healthcare experience (15 in dental), she has unique insight into the world of dentistry. Her specialty is helping dentists and managers increase revenue. By focusing on accounts receivable and insurance management, she helps dentists increase the value of their practice. As a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, she has a special interest in helping dentists identify and safeguard against employee embezzlement.

Teresa is founder and president of Odyssey Management.

She is a Fellow and Educator for the ICOI’s Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries. Look for more articles from her regarding practice management, dental implants and oral health care news. She was named 2010’s ADIA Educator of the Year.

Teresa is a member-at-large on the board of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants.

Teresa is a Trustee for the auxiliary education-focused DALE Foundation.

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