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Dentists Are Doctors, Too!

March 27, 2021

Filed under: Blog,Dental News — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 11:47 am

There are many kinds of doctors—Doctors of English, Doctors of Philosophy, Doctors of Medicine, Dr. Pepper… (wink). Of course, when we use the term doctor, we most often mean a physician or Doctor of Medicine. But did you know that dentists are doctors, too? Every doctor has a specialty, and a dentist’s specialty is oral health.

Dr. Peter Thompson, your Portales dentist explains how dentistry is a specific branch of medicine, and what it all means for the link between oral health and overall wellness.

Dentists are Doctors

Dentists are every bit as trained and educated as physicians. They have the same general education in science as physicians before they get clinical training in dentistry. This background education helps dentists look at you—the whole package—when taking care of your teeth.

Dentists are specialists in the science and mechanics of oral health, which extends to your head, face, and neck (the craniofacial region)—important parts of your body! Your oral health is an MVP when it comes to overall health and wellness, and dentists are just as important as other doctors when it comes to total body health.

The Oral-Systemic Link

Have you ever had your whole printer jam because one tiny piece of paper is out of line? It’s endlessly frustrating and time-consuming, and a reminder that machines require all parts, big and small, to be in good shape to get the job done. You are not a printer, but you are made of countless cells, organs, muscles, and bones that all work together to make you human and allow you to survive and be healthy. 

Dentists look at your mouth, gums, and teeth, but they also look at your jaw (TMJ), face, head, and neck, keeping an eye out for signs of a problem such as swelling, discoloration, and more. Often times, dentists also perform tissue biopsies, diagnose illnesses, and screen for high blood pressure and oral cancer. Dentists can tell just by the look of your mouth if you might have other health issues like stress, chronic inflammation or poor quality of sleep.

Time and time again, doctors, dentists, and researchers come together to find important overlaps in medicine and dentistry. We call these overlaps “the oral-systemic link.” There are already many studies about oral health links to diabetes and heart conditions.

Seeing the dentist regularly is important in assessing your risks for health conditions all over your body. For example, respected family physician Bradley Bale says: “Periodontal disease is a medical disease with a dental solution.” Periodontal disease is advanced gum disease that’s linked to other chronic and acute illnesses like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. The best dentists and physicians will insist on working together to help you reach your optimal health.

Good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits accomplish much more than just polish your pearly whites. Everything from eating and sleeping to working and playing depends on a healthy smile. The healthier your mouth is, the healthier and happier your whole life will be.

Choose a dentist who asks questions about your personal goals for life and health. Ask them about their views on whole body dentistry that works toward your wellness as one, big, interconnected machine.

If you’re ready to take care of your health from top to bottom, make an appointment with us at Peter L. Thompson, DDS today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Dental Insurance Trends

June 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental News — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 8:16 am

Above any other medical need, people are more likely to skip seeing the dentist because they can’t afford it.

Many people choose not to buy dental insurance because it’s an added cost without a lot of perceived value. For some reason, people simply feel more comfortable taking this risk because they don’t fully understand the consequences of oral health problems. But it’s a risk indeed. You can develop a facial or oral injury just as easily as any other injury and oral infections and diseases are just as common—if not more common—as any other.

Beyond the critical events of oral injury or infection, preventive dental care (aka your regular cleanings and check-ups) is crucial for catching problems before they become dangerous. Seeing the dentist regularly can help you address a surprising number of overall health and wellness issues.

Still, dentists understand that medical costs are rising, the world of insurance is often a mystery, and sometimes you’re just at a loss. Dr. Peter Thompson, Portales dentist explains more below about the current trends in dental insurance and what they mean for you.

Forgoing Dental Insurance

Of all the reasons adults avoid the dentist, 40% say it’s because of cost, followed closely by the 33%  who don’t think they need dental care. You can see where this is going—there’s almost no reason someone would pay for a service they think is expensive and unnecessary.

A lot of people seek dental treatments without dental insurance to help cover it. In 2013, the numbers ranged from 12% of children to 61% of senior citizens. Insurance may seem like a luxury but when you need it, it becomes essential. If you can make any changes to your monthly budget to allow room for dental insurance, it might be one of the best ways you take care of yourself and your family. No one wants to be stuck with a cracked tooth, gum infection, or jaw pain while also wondering how you’re going to pay for treatment.

Children’s Dental Insurance

Government-mandated insurance through the Affordable Care Act does not include dental coverage, except in the case of children. This is for good reason—children are vulnerable and they’re growing at such a fast rate. Catching a health problem and treating it promptly is essential for a lifetime of health and wellness.

It’s also important that children develop good oral health habits early that they’ll stick to the rest of their life. Search HealthCare.Gov, or talk with a caseworker if you have one, to learn about your options for enrolling children in free or discounted dental insurance.

Increased PPOs & Decreasing Payments

PPO plans (Preferred Provider Organization), which are more expensive, are becoming far and away more popular, making up 80% of all dental plans. But dental insurance plans are actually paying dentists slightly less per patient than they have in the past.

Consumerism

With or without dental insurance, more people are shopping around for the best rate before making a dental appointment. Following the recession, people care more than ever about understanding what they are paying for when they buy any goods or services.

Dental Plans Need to Stay Current

Research shows that, over time, dental insurance is actually the best “bang for your buck.” To help patients get even more out of their dental coverage, some plans are offering a rollover of funds if you don’t use all of your yearly benefits. Some plans allow for important preventative and diagnostic services without it going against yearly maximums.

Flexible Payment Plans

Your dentist wants you to be healthy and will do whatever we can to increase your access to good oral health care. If you’re avoiding dental treatment because you don’t have insurance and/or you’re afraid of the cost, talk honestly with your Portales dentist. Dentists are humans, too, and we understand life circumstances especially in regards to health and finances.

Some flexible payment options we can discuss together are:

  • Discounted services for paying upfront, before the treatment
  • Interest-free payment plans
  • Splitting up the treatment over time (when appropriate) so you don’t have to pay for it all at once
  • Cheaper alternatives: many dental procedures have cheaper (though sometimes less desirable) ways of treating a problem. Your doctor can tell you what the most affordable route of treatment is.

If you need dental care, whether you have insurance or not, come see us at Peter L. Thompson, DDS. We’re a contemporary practice that can meet you where you are and offer caring, professional services. Make an appointment today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Did George Washington Really Have Wooden Teeth?

August 27, 2017

Filed under: Dental News — Dr Peter Thompson @ 8:47 am

When he became the first president of the United States, George Washington had only one real tooth left! You heard right…just ONE.

Everyone has heard something about this great man and his dental history, but if you heard that Washington had wooden teeth, then you heard wrong. This myth is totally false, and Dr. Thompson at Peter Thompson, DDS is here to tell you the truth. (more…)

Need a Tooth Extraction? Don’t Be Afraid!

June 15, 2017

Filed under: Dental News — Dr Peter Thompson @ 12:12 pm

We’ve all had a toothache at some point at some point or another. While you should always consult your Portales dentist, it’s not always a serious problem. Often, the issue can be fixed with a filling or a root canal. However, many Portales residents have found themselves in a situation where the tooth is not salvageable, and the only solution is for Dr. Thompson to perform an extraction, or remove the tooth. Today, Dr. Thompson at Peter Thompson, DDS would like to talk about what you can expect from an extraction and why it’s not something to fear!

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What is Dental Botox®?

May 13, 2017

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Dental News,Dental Services,Peter Thompson DDS News — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:30 am

As specialists in facial anatomy and esthetics, an increasing number of dentists are taking their skills into the world of Botox®. Often associated just with appearances, Botox® can be equally as therapeutic as cosmetic.

Botox® is a purified protein that irons out wrinkles by attaching to a muscle and preventing it from contracting. (Muscle contracting away from skin is what causes wrinkles). This has thus far been its most popular use in cosmetic facial treatments. (more…)

Choosing the Right Dentist

April 27, 2017

Filed under: Dental News,Dental Services — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:45 am

It’s no secret that Portales residents are careful about how they choose medical professionals for their family, but sometimes it’s not easy to find everything you want in a dentist. We at Peter L. Thompson, DDS understand that choosing a dentist is no small feat, so we’ve put together this guide to picking a dentist for individuals and families. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us! Even if you decide on a different dentist, Dr. Thompson is always happy to help! (more…)

How Dental Night Guards Can Help You

April 13, 2017

Filed under: Dental News,Dental Services — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:45 am

It’s common to see people wearing mouth guards in Portales during all kinds of sports, such as football, basketball, and boxing, but did you know that lots of folks wear mouth guards at night for their dental health? People who grind their teeth (bruxism) and people with sleep apnea can get relief from their symptoms simply by wearing a specially-designed mouth guard at night. Dr. Thompson has helped tons of Portales residents improve the quality of their life with night guards and we at Peter L. Thompson, DDS invite you to come visit us today to find out more. (more…)

Trend Alert – Oil Pulling

March 27, 2017

Filed under: Dental News — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:30 am

What is oil pulling?

Claiming everything from whiter teeth and healthier gums to decreased body aches and pains, oil pulling is the latest trend in DIY detox therapies. Newly popular among celebrities and lovers of natural health and wellness, oil pulling is a hygiene practice that actually dates back centuries through the Indian medical tradition Ayurveda. Simply put, oil pulling uses common plant-based oils (coconut is a favorite) in place of store-bought mouthwash.

Users swish, or “pull” one tablespoon of oil in their mouth for 10-20 minutes every day. The oil usually doubles in size due to collecting saliva and toxins from the mouth. Users are strongly warned to spit out the oil because it contains the microorganisms which pulling aims to extract. Oil is believed to draw toxins out of the mouth by sticking to their outer, fatty layer. Since oral hygiene is linked to health in all parts of the body, it’s believed that the benefits of oil pulling go beyond just your mouth. (more…)

Periodontal Disease in Pets

July 13, 2015

Filed under: Dental News — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:48 am

If you’re a regular visitor of our blog, you know that we love talking to Portales folks about the importance of good home dental hygiene and regular visits to Dr. Thompson. Preventive dental medicine adds years of good oral health and beautiful smiles to your family’s lives. But did you know that your pets can also benefit from oral hygiene care?

Here are a few fun facts about our furry friends:

Cat Dental Facts

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Are Your Teeth Safe From Coffee Stains?

June 27, 2015

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Dental News,Peter Thompson DDS News — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:59 am

First things first, put your worries away! We are not about to tell you that your coffee drinking days are over. We know that each shot of caffeine is crucial and we cherish our coffee, too! Dr. Thompson wants to educate you on what causes coffee stains and what you can do to fight them.

It’s no secret how Portales residents feel about their coffee, and we’re not about to get in the way of that love. However, we will help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful[LINK] with tips that won’t drastically affect your lifestyle. Dr. Thompson and our Portales dental team are your oral health allies!

So let’s start off with the basics. What makes coffee stain your teeth?

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