Monthly Archives: November 2011

Teeth Whitening Treatment

As we get older, the  mineral structure in our teeth start to deteriorate and the enamel becomes porous. Those that regularly drink and/or use tea, coffee, tobacco or medicine can stain your teeth.  When this happens you can find a yellow/brown colored appearing on the surface of the teeth.  Teeth whitening, aka dental bleaching, is one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures.  Tooth whitening restores the natural white enamel of your teeth. The process involves your dentist removing the stains.  Then he or she uses a light cured protective layer that is painted on to the gums to protect the gums. They then use hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizing agent to penetrate the tooth enamel. The dentist then uses light to concentrate the bleaching power of the bleaching agent. The light element is usually a LED, halogen or plasma light that excite the bleaching molecules effectively.  This allows the dentist to have full control over the bleaching process and ensure a nice natural look.  The entire process usually doesn’t take long to ensure a perfect smile.

A less expensive alternative is to do it yourself at home.  There are various options for dental bleaching for the consumer, including a bleaching pen, bleaching strips, bleaching gels and whitening toothpastes. They all use a active agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide that you can easily apply using a thin guard tray to apply the gel to the teeth and bleaching strips at home.  After waiting the prescribed time period, you can remove the bleaching strip and wait about 30 minutes and you can see the results instantly.

Indemnity Dental Insurance Plan

With an Indemnity dental insurance plan, the dentists gets paid on a traditional fee for service basis.  The way it works is that a monthly premium is paid by  the patient or the employer to an insurance carrier, which directly reimburses the dentist for the services he or she provides.  The dental insurance company usually pays between 50% to 80% of the dentist’s fees for covered services.  The remainder of the bill gets paid by the patient directly to the dentist.  Generally these dental plans have a pre determined deductible that the patient must pay before the insurance carrier has to pay their portion


If you suspect or have been told by your dentists that you need a root canal, you will probably be referred to a Endodontic clinic or a dentist who specializes in the area.  These dentist have state of the art equipment and have learned special techniques to deal with root canals.  They also have access to sophisticated surgical microscopes which helps them in the process.  Its not fun getting a root canal but with the advances in technology, its not as bad as you think and in most cases far more beneficial and enjoyable after its been done because of the pain and discomfort that you experience prior to the procedure.  The University of Illinois at Chicago is one university in Illinois that has been educating future dentists and endodontist with a high degree of skill.

Why our teeth change color

Our teeth changes color because the internal portion of our teeth normally darkens over time.  What we eat, drink and smoke can also contribute to the change of color.  Our teeth can get stained from smoking, drinking dark coffee, teas and wine.  Certain medications can also cause the color of your teeth to change.  That is why it is important to regular visit your dentist and get regular cleaning cause it can help.  That is why tooth cleaning is covered under all dental insurance plan as a preventive measure.

Direct Reimbursement

A direct reimbursement plan is a dental insurance plan whereby your employer funds the entire plan and allows you to use any dentists that you want so there are no network or out of network dentist that you have to use.  The way it works with a direct reimbursement plan is that you get reimbursed for the money you spent on your dental work – which is not limited to specific treatments.  Depending on your employer, some plans will allow you to pay first and get reimbursed after the fact or some will let the employer to pay the dentist directly.  Personally I like to pay with my credit card, get the points and get reimbursed by my company.

Dental care for college students

If your son or daughter are in college be sure to tell them to check with their university because a lot of schools in Illinois provide dental care to their students.  For example, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides dental insurance for graduate holder waiver generating appointments at no additional cost.  All the student needs to do is to make an appoint.  Well actually they need to wait until the full terms begins for their dental coverage to begin which is on September 1.  For those starting school in the Spring, they start on February 1st.

So check with your son and daughter’s school and see what types of plans are available and at what prices.