Popularity of Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance

Dental Insurance

The benefits of dental insurance coverage have been further stressed upon by the popular icons on the television, who always seem to have flashing white flawless teeth. These teeth are a result of care, expensive dental care and thus need for expensive group dental insurance plans provided by insurance companies that reducing in number by the day.

 

Group dental insurance plans have been growing rapidly placed in the niche market of employee benefit programs. A few years back, dental insurance was a non-descript part of employee benefit programs and very simple to plan and execute. Most plans used were for full coverage of preventive care and cleaning, 80% coverage for basic restoration and 50% coverage for major restorative services like crowns and bridges. Despite advice many employees never visited their dentists resulting in the overall cost of insurance being low and stable compared to general health benefit plans which rose year after year. For many years dental insurance was a simple rider for employers who took it major plans from big insurance companies.

 

The last few years saw a spurt in television advertising and as the smiles brightened on the idiot box, the importance of whiter smiles and straighter teeth became apparent and people started taking more interest in dental care. This in turn saw a spurt in rise of dental insurance premiums almost at the rate of 7-10% a year. This rate is significant and big employers started looking at it with a bigger eye. This tells on the bottom-line of the company since the employee benefit expenses are going up due to this rise. The dental insurance costs about 10% of the total employee benefits for a corporate today. So the rise in premium year after year, pushes the total employee benefit expenses 1% higher year after year.

 

“Employers aren’t paying that much attention yet, but considering the way dental plans are evolving, they should,” says Donald S. Mayes, dental plan auditor and consultant from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 

Dental Insurance plans, as a part of employment package have also increased in popularity. So big companies, to recruit and retain their employees cannot do away with these plans; at the same time have to watch the cost going upward. A Catch 22 decision is awaited.

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Side effects of antidepressants on teeth and gums

Side effects of antidepressants and sedatives on teeth and gums

by Dr. Nadia Abazarnia

The side effects of psychotropic drugs may cause dental problems.

You may be prescribed psychotropic drugs either for a mental illness or to manage severe anxiety associated with dental procedures. When these drugs are used they can cause problems such as dry mouth, bruxism, surgical bleeding, hyper salivation which need preventive dental care.

Dry mouth or Xerostomia

Most antidepressants can cause dry mouth. Dental management of a patient with dry mouth requires:

  • Increased dental recalls for oral hygiene instructions, fluoride application and early intervention.
  • Use of artificial saliva products.
  • Drinking water or any type of sugarless drink throughout the day.
  • Cutting down on caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and tobacco because they contribute to a dry mouth.
  • Sugarless candy or gum can promote saliva production.
  • Salty and spicy foods can cause pain to an already dry mouth.
  • Use a humidifier at night.

Grinding of the teeth or Bruxism

It is occasionally seen with antipsychotics, antidepressants. Bruxism involves grinding of the teeth, and leads to excessive dental attrition. The complications can be reduced by the use of an occlusal splint.

Surgical bleeding

Antidepressants and some anticonvulsant drugs, can impairs platelet aggregation which can potentiate surgical bleeding and this may occur in dental patients.

Drug-induced excess salivation                                                                                      Excess saliva may compromise dental materials during dental treatment and create a difficult working environment for the dentist and pose a risk of aspiration. Anticholinergic drugs can be used for patients suffering hyper salivation, before dental work, in addition to standard measures for maintaining a dry field.

Enlarging Gums                                                                                      Also known as Gingival Overgrowth, the Enlarging Gums are caused by the Immunosuppressant Drugs, Calcium Channel Blockers, and Anti-seizure Medications etc.

Preventing side effects of medications

It is not advisable to stop the medications for the fear of the side effects affecting the oral health adversely. What is required is that you let your dentist know that you are taking these medications. Also, you should inform your doctor or physician if you are experiencing any side effects.

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