The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays in the Rogue Valley! The Ashland Chamber of Commerce does such a fantastic job of organizing the parade, fair booths, music performances - they blow us away! We love being a sponsor for the festivities and enjoy putting together a fun photobooth as part of our involvement. The photos are free to keep and always entertaining! Below are a few of our favorites (we even got Kelsey, the event organizer herself, in the photo booth with us). If you took photos at the booth this year, you can find digital copies on our Facebook album. As always, a huge thanks to Matt at Smile Photo Booth for providing excellent service. We highly recommend him for your next event or wedding!
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Hello and happy summer! We hope everyone has been enjoying the weather here in the Rogue Valley. We're particularly fond of afternoons at Emigrant Lake. Coming from the crowded state of California, we are always surprised at how few people are out on the lake, even in the middle of summer. Oh well - more fun for us!
We've noticed that we get asked a lot of the same questions by prospective patients when they first call in. We thought we'd gather a list to answer them in a blog.
Do you accept ______ insurance?
The easy answer is that we accept any insurance that allows you to choose your own dentist. My advice to friends and family when they have questions about their dental insurance is to request a copy of their benefits and become familiar with them. It is surprising how many patients are never given a copy of their benefits! Unfortunately, there are HUNDREDS of dental plans out there and they change yearly. A dental office will usually know the basics of your plan, but knowing the nuances yourself can answer a lot of questions. Most likely, you're looking for a section of your benefits titled "Out of Network". A lot of people are surprised to find that going to an out-of-network dentist may only cost them $20 more, but can mean a HUGE difference in the quality of care they receive.
Currently, we are IN network with Delta (aka Moda), Regence (aka Blue Cross Blue Shield) and Cigna. However, there are even some plans within those companies where they do not let you choose your own provider. So check out your benefits for the best answers! Feel free to ask us your questions too.
How much does _______ cost?
We are as transparent with costs for our services as possible and are certainly able to give you an estimate. The only problem is, without seeing what's going on in your mouth, its hard to know exactly what you need. Here are some common services we get asked about:
- A crown is usually $1,100. But in some cases, the tooth has worn down enough or has had a root canal and needs a $200 build up too. This is so the crown has something to secure it to.
- Fillings cost between about $100-300 depending on how many surfaces it needs to cover.
- Invisalign is $4700.
- A cleaning is $111. Unless you have periodontal disease and need a deeper cleaning called Periodontal Maintenance, that is $160.
Sometimes the best price to ask about is your initial exam (we usually run great specials!). From there we can see what you need and discuss costs. There are ways to work within any budget!
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes! We work with a third party service called CareCredit. They allow you to finance healthcare service, similar to using a credit card. They even offer no interest plans if its paid off within a certain time frame, usually a year. You can learn more or even apply on their website. We can also help you with the process in our office.
What will happen at the first visit?
First, you'll be greeted by our friendly team. Then, you'll be seated in our conference room to fill out welcome forms. We've had them laminated to eliminate paper waste. They are scanned into our computer when we're done and then erased for the next guest. You'll then be escorted to a treatment room by one of our awesome dental assistants. There, they'll take records. Most commonly this consists of not only xrays, but also digital images. Patients love that high resolution photography allows us to show you what we see. This way you can make more informed decisions about your dental care. Our assistants are highly trained and will often start the conversation about your dental health - if anything is bothering you, what they are seeing, your goals for your oral health, etc. Dr. Kivel will then do an in depth oral examination and review of records. He will present a comprehensive overview of your teeth and gums and if there is any recommended treatment. The main goal of this appointment is to give you any information you might want to know about your mouth, but most importantly - find out what you want and how we can help. Sometimes this means nothing at all! Other times, it means simply addressing any obvious decay or how your smile can look its best. It really is all up to the patient and what they want.
I just need a cleaning. Can I make an appointment for that only?
The state of Oregon actually requires that dentists perform an oral exam on a patient before assuming care for them. It makes sense! How can we even provide the best type of cleaning for a patient before we know what they need? So at Soulsmile, you'll first have an exam with Dr. Kivel and his assistants to see how things are going before booking a cleaning with our fantastic hygienists.
Do you offer consultations or second opinions?
Yes and yes! Anyone with more general questions about bigger treatment plans, cosmetics, treatment proposed by another dentist, etc, is welcome to come in to meet Dr. Kivel and an assistant for a free 15 minute consultation. This type of appointment is also useful for patients with dental anxiety who simply want to meet the team and check out the office before making their first appointment.
Have any other questions? You can contact us directly or leave it in the comments if you'd like us to add it to the blog article. Thanks for your interest in Soulsmile.
We know all the list of things that can be bad for your teeth - soda, gummy candy, smoking, etc. But there are a handful of habits with the potential to wreck your chompers that may not be quite as obvious. Here's the low down ...
1. Chewing Ice
Ice can easily be thought of as harmless - its juts H20 after all. But crunching down on hard, frozen cubes can cause cracks, chips and wear on your teeth. If you chew ice regularly enough, you may even cause aches in the soft gum tissues around your teeth. Often times a habitual ice-chewer gets "shorter" tooth appearance from all the wear. Dr. Kivel can fix this cosmetic issue but will only do so after the patient has curbed their ice habit!
2. Playing Sports (Without Proper Protection)
We love sports! All of us here at Soulsmile not only grew up playing many sports, but still take part in a myriad of outdoor sports including biking (motorized and non-motorized, running, surfing, kayaking - you name it! But we are also huge proponents of mouth protection! Mouth guards are a piece of molded plastic that protects your teeth. Without it, contact sports can easily result in chips or even a full tooth knock-out. We can make these for you or your whole team. Just contact us to schedule an appointment.
3. Bottles Past Bedtime
Just like adults, a baby's teeth should be cleaned before bed. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of milk, formula or juice can put new teeth in harm's way. This can basically bathe the baby's teeth in sugars overnight. Its best to keep them out of the crib and establish a good hygiene routine.
4. Tongue Piercings
Dentists have long lamented tongue piercings. Accidentally bumping a metal stud along teeth for years can definitely pose a risk to your teeth. In a study published by the Journal of Periodontology, "nearly half of the participants who wore either long or short barbells for four or more years had chipped teeth." The study also found receding gums in up to 50% of participants who had worn long-stemmed barbells for two or more years. Furthermore, the mouth is a haven for bacteria, making tongue piercings a likely candidate for infection and sores. Bottom line - research the health risks before you decide on a tongue piercing.
Bruxism (the fancy name for teeth grinding) wears teeth down over time. It is most often caused by stress and sleeping habits, making it a hard habit to control. We just wrote a whole blog on teeth grinding if you want to find out more about diagnosing an treating this condition.
6. Cough Drops
We'd like to think that anything you find in the medicine aisle is healthy, but that's just not the case. Most cough drops are packed with sugar. We still love them, but recommend that after you sooth a sore throat with a lozenge, break out the toothbrush. Think of them like hard candy!
Have any questions for us about habits that you suspect may be compromising your oral health? Feel free to write them in the comments section below or feel free to make an appointment with our Ashland, OR dental team here at Soulsmile. We'd love to have you in as a new patient!
So you have a cavity, a broken tooth or an old leaking or breaking filling that requires attention. In my view, if the area of the tooth affected is greater than two thirds of the surface area of the tooth, then you have a choice to make: a plastic (aka composite) filling or a lab fabricated partial crown (also called onlays). A filling of this size is generally around $275. It is stacked in a jelly form into the tooth where it is then light cured to become hard. You can imagine that its strength, while incredible for the jelly-to-rock transformation, is somewhat limited as compared to a partial crown constructed outside of the mouth and then glued in place.
Partial crowns/onlays are fabricated with modern chemistry, under pressure and subjected to massive crystallization heat - outside of the mouth of course! Partial crowns cost $1100 and require only two hours to make start-to-finish. They can be done with no temporary filling if you are in a digital office like ours, or two weeks if a dentist sends out to a lab while the patient wears a temporary filling. If the problem area on your tooth is smaller than two thirds of the surface area of the tooth, then the modern composites offer great strength at that size, look great, flex like a natural tooth, and provide a unifying strength to the tooth due to its adhesive nature. But will a filling last if it is two thirds or greater? Maybe. And that’s where the decision rests. Let’s jump right into the main question.
Ask yourself if you mind the filling not lasting in order to save the money or if you would prefer to spend a little more to have something that will last longer. (Yes insurance covers both, just be sure to have great photos/xrays and maybe even a pre-authorization from your insurance company for an onlay).
If money were not a consideration, I would choose an onlay. I would choose a more flexible material such as Lava Ultimate if it was slightly smaller and on a premolar, or Emax if it was slightly larger and/or on a molar. That said, stopping decay or handling a problem immediately with a filling is much better than letting it go or blowing your budget on a single tooth if you have several teeth to work on. I’ve done large composites that last for years. It’s an especially common choice for students and people getting started or restarted in the workplace who just need to buy a little time. We monitor these large fillings closely. After a few years or in the event of breakage, often the patient is ready to graduate the filling to an onlay.
There is no right or wrong answer; just a risk-tolerance preference and financial comfort level assessment.
I hope this post helps you decide between a partial crown/onlay or a filling. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or contact our office.
Thank you for your interest.
We have a special post this week, written by our fantastic hygienist, Pam. Over to her ...
You’ll love our intra-oral camera! You will now get to see up close and in detail, the state of your teeth. Our intra-oral camera is a small pen-like device that connects to our computer and a large monitor so that you can see what we see as we check out your teeth.
Benefits to you –
The intra-oral camera makes going to the dentist easier, provides patients with a greater understanding of their dental health and allows patients to be more interactive.
Early Detection of Dental Health Problems
The intra-oral camera enlarges your teeth to almost 40 times their actual size on a color screen display. By zooming in on problems we are able to see more than we could with the human eye alone. Often we can find the beginnings of dental disease (like decay and periodontal disease) that may have otherwise gone undetected.
Positive Patient Interaction
The intra-oral camera isn’t just a diagnostic instrument, but a great educational one as well. Most people cannot see into their own mouths, but with the camera we can point out areas of concern and the patient can see exactly what we see. This allows for a better understanding of oral conditions and creates an opportunity to ask questions and become part of the discovery process.
Great Record Keeping
The intra-oral camera helps make record keeping simple. The camera can take pictures of decay or the beginning of an oral condition and save images to a patient’s file. We can accurately track the progress of treatment or problems for years. In addition, we can print and send images to specialists and insurance companies.
The Intra-Oral Camera
Because it is so small, the camera can reveal images of your teeth and tissues from angles previously unseen. Using the intra-oral camera is completely sanitary, as we use a different disposable camera cover for each patient every time. All images can be digitally stored, printed or discarded following an exam.
- Pamela Philips, RDH