New Patient Special
For a limited time, Dentistry For Life is offering first time patients the chance to get to know us RISK FREE! Your new patient comprehensive exam and any necessary x-rays are complimentary. Call us today to make your appointment!
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We Answer Your Questions
General Dentistry Philadelphia
At Dentistry For Life, we know the importance of ensuring our patients’ comfort. When patients are unsure or anxious, our ability to provide effective treatment is inhibited. We happily answer all of our patients’ questions and fully discuss treatment options so that patients are relaxed, well informed, and at ease with the dental treatment they are receiving. Provided below are answers to many of the questions frequently asked by Philadelphia patients considering smile makeover treatments or general dental care.
I am really scared of the dentist. I know I need to go, but I just get so nervous, I keep putting it off. Can you help me?
Dr. Barry Dubin has advanced training from the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation as well as a master’s degree in psychology, so we have lots of ways to counter your fears, whether it's providing a simple little pill or reassurance. It all depends on just how fearful you are.
Some of our patients experience such severe anxiety they must actually be “put to sleep” with IV sedation and monitored by a specially trained anesthesiologist. This is the rare case, however, even for complex smile makeover treatments.
Most of our nervous patients prefer what is called “anxiolysis” where their anxiety can be managed by taking a pill or two before their dental visit. These patients are awake during their procedure, but comfortable and relaxed, and they rarely even remember being in the chair. Because of the drowsiness caused by the medication, patients need someone to accompany them until the sedative effect wears off, which is typically fairly quickly after the procedure.
Many of our anxious patients prefer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation, in lieu of taking a pill. This inhaled gas causes mild relaxation and a happy feeling and stops almost immediately after the mask is removed.
And the great majority of our formerly nervous patients don’t need anything other than Dr. Dubin’s humor and gentleness, and maybe a good movie to watch on our virtual eyeglasses.
So there really is help. All you need to do is contact our office.
Why doesn’t my dental insurance cover everything?
Dental insurance really isn’t insurance (coverage for a catastrophic loss) at all. It is a benefit that you’re fortunate to have. It will pay for some of your dental procedures, occasionally in full, usually in part, and many procedures not at all. What is covered and how much your insurance pays is determined by the policy that you or your employer purchased. It has absolutely nothing to do with what you need dentally. Please don’t fall victim to the “I’ll only do what insurance covers” trap. Most people find a way to pay for what is important to them, and your health should be one of those. At Dentistry For Life, we offer a range of financing options to help our patients afford the dental procedures they need. Your Administrative Coordinator is a financing expert and will happily help you set up a payment schedule that works for you.
Why does dental care cost so much?
The value of anything is relative to what you’re comparing it to, the importance it has for you, and its quality.
Is dental care expensive compared to medical care? Not at all, but it is just as important. Gum disease is a contributing factor to heart attack, stroke, upper respiratory infection, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, diabetes, pre-term and low birth weight babies, and on and on.
Is dental care expensive compared to a car? Hardly, and considering the normal American only keeps that $20,000 car for less than 10 years, dentistry is quite the bargain.
As for quality, that’s like anything else. What does it cost to produce and how skilled must the provider be? Using the car analogy again, you don’t expect a Kia to drive like a Mercedes, or to cost the same. Nor should you expect your experience receiving a $500 crown to be the same as when receiving a $1,200 one.
In our Philadelphia office, we use advanced smile makeover and dental technology, the latest research, the most skilled staff, and the best materials to support Dr. Dubin’s 30 years of experience and training to give you the very best dental care possible. The value our patients receive is far greater than the cost of any cosmetic or restorative dentistry procedure.
I have some missing teeth and people have suggested I get dental implants. What exactly are they and what are the benefits and risks? How much do they cost?
Dental implants are a wonderful way to get your teeth back, but not everyone is a candidate. In simplest terms, an implant is a metal screw inserted into the jawbone which then holds a permanent tooth replacement. Since the screw has to go into the jawbone, the jaw must have enough bone to hold the screw firmly. Sometimes if there isn’t enough, a surgical procedure called grafting can take bone from elsewhere and place it into your jaw where it will grow and eventually become strong enough to hold an implant.
However, there are some conditions where even grafting is not feasible. The only way to know is to have a consultation with the dentist and usually a CAT scan of the jaw.
Cost is comparatively low. Again, how much would it cost to replace any other part of the body? The cost of an implant could be less than the cost of a vacation that is over in a few days, but will give you back permanent teeth.
There are some small risks involved - mainly that the implant will fail, but this is not usual, and another implant can be placed. The main risk involves failure to get a complete medical history, because there are conditions under which implants should not be placed.
And of course, the skill of the surgeon is extremely important as in any other surgical procedure. Implants are placed in our office by Dr. Jay Friedman, an instructor at the renowned Misch International Implant Institute in Detroit, where Dr. Dubin received advanced training in implant prosthodontics. Dr. Friedman also has a private practice in California, but he flies in to treat our patients once a month.
My gums have been bleeding every time I brush. Do I have gum disease and how serious is it?
Bleeding anywhere in the body is a sign of something wrong. Healthy tissue does NOT bleed, including gum tissue. That means something is definitely wrong. Bleeding is usually a sign of gum disease. How serious your disease is can only be determined by a comprehensive evaluation by your dentist.
But no matter whether you have a little or a lot of gum disease, the latest research shows that any level of gum disease is very serious. There is a definite link between the bacteria and inflammation in your mouth and the rest of your body. There is a systemic (affecting the entire body) link to gum disease. The bacteria causing the inflammation of gum disease sets up an inflammatory ripple effect throughout the body impacting the heart, bones, brain, lungs, joints, immune system, and just about every other system in the body. Left untreated, gum disease is a contributing factor in a host of life-threatening illnesses and conditions, including heart attack, diabetes, stroke, pneumonia, and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few.
Don’t take a chance with your health. Contact us today.
I’ve waited so long that I think there’s no hope for my mouth. I’m considering just having all my teeth pulled out and getting dentures.
STOP! If there is anything we can do to convince you otherwise, I beg you to let us try. We have seen so many patients who felt the same as you, and we promise that there is hope. Patients who come to us who have already lost all of their teeth would love to have them back. Why do you think so many people get implants? Dentures NEVER fit. That’s because you are continually losing bone in your jaw, and eventually, you’ll lose so much bone there will be no ridge for the dentures to fit on, so they’ll slide around in your mouth. Dentures should be considered only as a last option. Even if your teeth look terrible and are decayed, they can still be saved if the roots are good. Dr. Dubin and the staff at our Philadelphia office are smile makeover experts who have restored some of the most severely damaged mouths to full function and beauty. Please let us see if we can help you. You’ll be amazed at what is possible.
I’ve already lost all my teeth and I wear a denture which I hate. I’m always afraid they’re going to fall out in a restaurant. Can anything make them fit better?
There are a number of things that can be done. Your current denture could be relined or renewed for a better fit. You could get one of the newer types of flexible dentures that tend to fit better and look more natural. Of course, by far the best option would be to have a new implant-supported denture. That’s almost like having your teeth back. So don’t give up and suffer. Help is available.
I know I need a lot of dental work, but I don’t have any insurance. Is there any kind of payment plan?
We know that most people don’t have thousands of dollars lying around, and even if you do, monthly payments are sometimes the best option. Consequently, we’ve partnered with four different healthcare financing companies to give you every opportunity to get the treatment you need at a monthly payment you can afford. You can even apply right online and be approved before you come in. If you have any questions, our office manager, Leang, will be glad to help you.
I know I need a root canal, but the last one cost so much, I think this time I’ll just have the tooth extracted. It’s way in the back, anyway. I don’t need it.
A tooth is a body part. It’s there for a reason. If you have the tooth taken out, then you will have a big hole in your jawbone where the root of the tooth used to be. Bone doesn’t grow fast enough to fill up that hole. Instead, it sort of moves around to fill in the space, so you’d probably end up losing bone around the existing teeth. Then those teeth would start leaning in to fill the gap and the tooth above would start moving down. Eventually the surrounding teeth will get loose and all of your teeth will shift. That will throw off your bite and that could lead to headaches and a whole range of TMJ problems. Please - never take out a tooth that can be saved.
Contact Our Office
Contact our Philadelphia office today to schedule a smile makeover consultation, make a dental checkup appointment, or find answers to any further questions you may have.