E. M. Conway Jr., DDS
Jenna Katz Schwibner, DMD Tamra Brown, DMD

Call: (772) 569-4118

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FAQ's

1. CareCredit®, What is it?

CareCredit is a healthcare credit card with a credit line for treatments and procedures for your entire family, including your pets. It is a credit card designed for your health and beauty needs. With many of our promotional offers, you can avoid paying interest by making your minimum monthly payments and paying the full amount due by the end of the promotional period. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional purchase is not paid in full within the promotional period. Minimum monthly payments are required. Not all practices offer all CareCredit financing options, so check with your provider.

 

2. Dental Implants, About

Dental Partners of Vero Beach | Fort Pierce, FL DentistAbout Dental Implants

More people than ever before are choosing dental implants to replace missing teeth. They are a long-term solution, looking and behaving just like your natural teeth. Dental implants can actually be an improvement upon natural teeth, as they cannot develop cavities. Plus, unlike a fixed bridge or removable denture, dental implants will not affect neighboring healthy teeth or lead to bone loss in the jaw. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Many patients describe dental implants as far superior to fixed bridges or removable dentures. The quality of life is exceptionally improved as patients are more confident in public situations because of the comfort and security implants offer.

While the advantages of dental implant therapy vary, most patients experience a minimizing of oral bone loss, reducing the risk of compromising adjacent healthy teeth. Implants preserve the natural facial contours and restore oral function in a manner that is almost impossible to tell from natural teeth. That means you can show off your improved smile with confidence, and participate in social situations, never being limited by what’s on the table.

 

What to Expect

A successful implant requires teamwork from all involved – the patient, the general dentist who makes the abutment and crown for the implant, the dental laboratory who fabricates the abutment and restoration, and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon who surgically places the implant. Each member of the team follows a careful plan of treatment and maintains clear communication so that the final result meets the patient’s expectations.

Information provided by American Society of Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry www.asird.org

3. Dental Implants, Procedure

Dental Partners of Vero Beach | Fort Pierce, FL DentistImplant Procedure

Following an evaluation that includes a comprehensive examination, radiographs and a consultation with the patient and members of the implant team, the surgeon places the implant under the gums in the jaw.
Usually, this is a relatively painless procedure. Often, the surgeon can remove the tooth needing replacement and place the dental implant at the same surgical appointment.
Patients are surprised to learn that this procedure is often performed in about one hour, and requires only local anesthesia so the patient is awake. You are able to drive to and from your surgical appointment. If you are nervous about the surgery, you may decide to have your surgeon put you to sleep for the surgery by administering a general anesthetic.

Local Anesthesia

As a result of their extensive training, every oral and maxillofacial surgeon is well prepared to appropriately administer local anesthesia, all forms of sedation and general anesthesia. They are experienced in airway management, endotracheal intubation, establishing and maintaining intravenous lines, and managing complications and emergencies that may arise during the administration of anesthesia. Before your surgery, your surgeon will review the type of anesthetic to be used, as well as the way you’re likely to feel during and after the operation.

Recovery

The recovery period is surprisingly short too. Although patients often report they can work from home the day after having a dental implant, it is recommended you take the day off work to relax and heal. During the three months of time required for your dental implant to fuse to the bone, except for not being able to chew on the implant site, you can return to a normal active lifestyle, travel, and workout routine.

Restoration

If your implant is properly fused to the bone you will be referred to the dentist after three months. Your surgeon will test your implant to ensure healing is complete and release you back to your dentist to design and fabricate the dental restoration.

The general dentist obtains an impression of the upper and lower jaws. This impression is used to make the model from which the dentures or crowns are completed. If your dentist decides to use a digital impression, impression materials and dental trays are not needed. At your surgical release appointment, your surgeon will obtain an intraoral scan of your teeth and gums. This accurate digital impression saves time, is more accurate and allows the dentist to design and manufacture your abutment and crown in advance of your appointment. You only need to visit your dentist one time to receive your new crown.

Throughout the course of your treatment, the dentist and surgeon together with the dental laboratory work as a team to provide the best long-term solution to your dental problem. Your dentist and surgeon will provide you with a treatment plan that outlines the benefits and costs, and inform you of the risks and alternatives to the proposed treatment.

Dental Implant Options

Replacing one tooth the same day
Often a dental implant can be placed at the same time as the removal of a failing natural tooth. The dental implant does not require treatment to the adjacent teeth and in fact can help preserve them. The dental implant and implant crown are maintained similar to a natural tooth, and can look, feel and function similar to a natural tooth. In some instances, your dentist can secure a temporary tooth to the implant that same day.

Why not have a natural tooth bridge?
Fixed bridges are not the perfect solution. A bridge may require the cutting down of healthy adjacent teeth that may or may not need to be restored in the future. Then there is the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice or more over the course of a lifetime. Recurrent decay, gum disease and wear and tear often doom fixed bridgework to early failure. For these reasons, fixed bridges usually need to be replaced every five to seven years.

Replacing missing teeth without implants: Partial Denture

A removable partial denture is made of plastic and is removed at bedtime. This appliance may move during speech or eating, which may be physically and psychologically uncomfortable. For stability your dentist may add metal hooks that wrap around surrounding teeth. These hooks may be visible and cause additional tooth loss due to mechanical forces on remaining teeth. Partial dentures may also accelerate bone loss. This negatively affects the width, height and density of oral bone creating bony defects. It may be difficult to chew or eat properly and require multiple ongoing dental visits. You may need to replace the removable partial denture every 3-5 years.

Replacing all teeth with a removable complete denture

A complete denture, or “false teeth,” is made of plastic and is removed at bedtime. This appliance may move during speech or eating, which may be physically and psychologically uncomfortable. These ill-fitting appliances are stabilized by the daily application of denture adhesives. Even with denture adhesive, false teeth are unstable and your diet is limited to softer non-chewing foods.

Implant retained dentures are secured in place onto three or more dental implants by attachments that connect to the implant. It is not necessary to use denture adhesives. The attachments allow you to have control over when your teeth are removed for easy daily care.

Replacing all teeth with a fixed complete denture

Implant supported fixed dentures are replacement teeth secured in place by the foundation provided by dental implants. This option is fixed and only your dentist has control over when your replacement teeth can be removed. Implant-supported replacement teeth help to preserve your oral bone, gum tissue and natural facial contours.
They are easy to care for, they look, feel and function like natural teeth and you are able to chew regular foods.

Replacing all teeth the same day

Just like single teeth, your surgeon can remove all your teeth, place dental implants and in some cases, your dentist can attach a full set of temporary fixed teeth that same day.

For additional information about our dental implant procedures please call our office at 772.569.4118 to speak to a dental health professional.

Information provided by American Society of Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry www.asird.org

4. Dry Mouth, Do You Suffer?

Dental Health and Dry Mouth

We all need saliva to moisten and cleanse our mouths and digest food saliva also prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth.
When you don't make enough saliva, your mouth gets dry and uncomfortable. Fortunately, many treatments can help against dry mouth, also called xerostomia.

Dental Partners of Vero Beach | Fort Pierce, FL Dentist

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Causes of dry mouth include:

  • Side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription and nonprescription drugs, including drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, allergies, and colds(antihistamines and decongestants), obesity, acne, epilepsy,hypertension (diuretics), diarrhea, nausea, psychotic disorders,urinary incontinence, asthma (certain bronchodilators), andParkinson's disease. Dry mouth can also be a side effect of muscle relaxants and sedatives.
  • Side effect of certain diseases and infections. Dry mouth can be a side effect of medical conditions, including Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, anemia, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertension, Parkinson's disease, stroke, and mumps.
  • Side effect of certain medical treatments. Damage to the salivary glands, the glands that make saliva, can reduce the amount of saliva produced. For example, the damage could stem from radiation to the head and neck, and chemotherapy treatments, for cancer.
  • Nerve damage. Dry mouth can be a result of nerve damage to the head and neck area from an injury or surgery.
  • Dehydration. Conditions that lead to dehydration, such as fever, excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, blood loss, and burns can cause dry mouth.
  • Surgical removal of the salivary glands.
  • Lifestyle. Smoking or chewing tobacco can affect how much saliva you make and aggravate dry mouth. Breathing with your mouth open a lot can also contribute to the problem.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

Common symptoms include:

• A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
• Frequent thirst
• Sores in the mouth; sores or split skin at the corners of the mouth; cracked lips
• A dry feeling in the throat
• A burning or tingling sensation in the mouth and especially on the tongue
• A dry, red, raw tongue
• Problems speaking or trouble tasting, chewing, and swallowing
• Hoarseness, dry nasal passages, sore throat
• Bad breath

 

Why Is Dry Mouth a Problem?

Besides causing the symptoms mentioned above, dry mouth also raises your risk of gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay, and mouth infections, such as thrush.
Dry mouth can also make it hard to wear dentures.

How Is Dry Mouth Treated?

If you think your dry mouth is caused by certain medication you're taking, talk to your doctor. The doctor may adjust the dose you're taking or switch you to a different drug that doesn't cause dry mouth.
The doctor may also prescribe an oral rinse to restore mouth moisture. If that doesn't help, he or she may prescribe a medication that boosts saliva production called Salagen.

You can also try these other steps, which may help improve saliva flow:
• Suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum.
• Drink plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist.
• Brush with a fluoride toothpaste, use a fluoride rinse, and visit your dentist regularly.
• Breathe through your nose, not your mouth, as much as possible.
• Use a room vaporizer to add moisture to the bedroom air.
• Use an over-the-counter artificial saliva substitute.
For additional information on Dry Mouth or any other Dental Health issues please call our office and speak to one of our dental health professionals. We can be reached by calling 772.569.4118

WebMD Medical Reference

5. Emergencies- What do I do if I have a dental emergency after hours?

Dental Partners of Vero Beach | Fort Pierce, FL DentistYour dental health and comfort are our primary concern. We understand that emergencies may take place and you may need to speak to or in some cases be seen by one of our dentists. For patients of record, simply call our main phone number at 772. 569. 4118 and emergency contact information will be provided.

6. Financial Arrangements Information

Payment is expected at the time services are performed. We accept cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. When extensive dental care is necessary please inquire about our financing plans which include 12 month interest free options though Care Credit.

7. Headaches and Dental Health

Dental Partners of Vero Beach | Fort Pierce, FL DentistHeadaches and Dental Health

One in eight Americans suffer from recurring headaches that are so severe they cannot carry out normal living! An estimated 80% of all headaches occur from muscle tension. Did you know that many tension headaches are related to your bite? This article explains how headaches can result from dental stress and how your dentist might treat them.
Headaches are our number one pain problem in the United States. Approximately 40% of all "healthy" individuals suffer from chronic headaches. Head pain is not new. Early civilizations relied on magical potions and spells to cure headaches. In severe cases, holes were drilled in the skulls of headache sufferers so that the evil spirits which were believed to be the cause of the pain could escape. Over the years we have learned much about what causes headaches and how to treat them. Today, there is a growing realization that a common cause of tension headaches is a bad bite.

Headaches from Dental Stress

How can your bite cause a headache? Tension headaches result from muscle strain, or contraction. When muscles are held tight for long periods of time they begin to ache. Headaches from dental stress are a type of muscle tension headache. A tension headache may be on one or both sides of your head. Or, it may surround your head as if a steel band were wrapped around it. The pain feels like a dull, non-throbbing ache. Tension headaches are usually relieved by aspirin.

Specific signs which indicate that the headache may have a dental origin include:
• Pain behind the eyes
• Sore jaw muscles or "tired" muscles upon awakening
• Teeth grinding
• Clicking or popping jaw joints
• Head and/or scalp painful to the touch

Tired Bite

The muscles which control your jaw and hold your head upright are very complex. Many people do not realize that every time they swallow, their upper and lower teeth must come together in a firm way to brace the jaw against the skull. We swallow over 2000 times each day and night! If your bite is unstable, as from poorly aligned teeth or even a missing tooth, the muscles must work harder to bring the teeth together. Most people take a vacation from work when they tire out-but your jaw muscles never get a break! The overworked muscles become strained. When muscles are under constant strain, they eventually become painful.

Referred Pain

The pain may be felt in the cheeks or the jaw joints. Many times, however, the pain is "referred" to other areas of the head. Referred pain is when a pain originates in a part of the body that differs from the area where it is felt. Even a single tooth can refer pain to the head.

Muscle Imbalance

Other muscles may also become involved. Your head is delicately balanced on top of your spinal column by muscles in your jaw, neck, shoulders, and back. Your head weighs approximately 15 pounds the weight of an average bowling ball! Imagine your head as a baseball balanced on top of a pencil by a number of rubber bands. When muscles are tense, they shorten. Now imagine shortening just one of those rubber bands. Some rubber bands would stretch, some would shorten, and the baseball would be thrown off kilter! Similarly, when even a single jaw, neck, or shoulder muscle becomes shortened, all of the other muscles are forced to overwork to keep the head balanced on top of the spinal column. We see then that dental headaches originate from an unstable bite which cause the muscles of the jaw, head, and neck to overwork and become painful. Once the muscles become painful, a vicious cycle begins. The pain makes you feel tense and uptight. This worsens the muscle spasm, which in turn increases the pain.

Dental Treatment

If you suspect that your headaches might be caused by your bite, contact your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth, your muscles, and your jaw joints to determine if dental stress is the source of your headaches. If so, treatment will involve correcting your bite so that the muscles can function without extra strain and tension. In some cases it is helpful to receive other types of treatment, such as physical therapy, along with dental treatment to correct the postural relationship of your head, neck, and shoulders. Counseling or relaxation training might also be helpful to teach you ways to relax the muscles and to identify sources of emotional stress. However, if the true source of the headache is an unstable bite, this must ultimately be corrected to relieve the headaches.
The important aim of correcting your bite is to insure optimal long-term health. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned, discuss them with your dentist. Your health is your most priceless possession. It is worth the investment!

When Medical Help is Needed

It is important to realize that headaches have many different causes and a wide range of severity. Immediate medical help should be sought for any head pain that leads to: Weakness of an arm or leg Loss of vision Disorientation Loss of consciousness.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION from TMData Resources.

8. Heart Disease, What Is The Connection With Oral Health?

The following information is provided by Philips Sonicare.

Are oral health and heart disease connected?

People who have good oral hygiene are often rewarded with a healthy cardio-vascular system, as well as a nice smile. There may be several causes for this, not least that people who take good care of their teeth lead healthier lifestyles overall.

Can good oral hygiene help prevent heart disease?

There are different theories as to why oral health and heart issues are connected. Because gingivitis and plaque are caused by bacteria growing in the mouth, it could be that the bacteria is passed directly into the bloodstream through the gums, and from there to the heart. Because of this, it makes sense to take good care of your teeth and gums to prevent any problems before they happen.

Treating oral health problems

If you have gingivitis or plaque already, it’s possible to treat these problems. Brush at least twice a day, for longer than usual, making sure you brush along the gum line. Spending two weeks brushing with Philips Sonicare should be enough to reverse most problems if they are caught early. If the problem persists, contact our office for an appointment.

Treating oral health problems

If you have gingivitis or plaque already, it’s possible to treat these problems. Brush at least twice a day, for longer than usual, making sure you brush along the gum line. Spending two weeks brushing with Philips Sonicare should be enough to reverse most problems if they are caught early. If the problem persists, contact our office for an appointment by calling 772.569.4118.

The professionals at Dental Partners of Vero Beach recommend Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes. For additional information please contact us today !!

9. Insurance, What Will My Dental Insurance Cover?

Understanding Your Insurance

If your employer offers dental insurance, consider yourself fortunate. This benefit works like a valuable "coupon" that can greatly reduce the costs of dental care. However, no dental benefit plan is set up to cover all of your costs. To avoid surprises on your dental bill, it is important to understand what your insurance will cover, and what you will need to cover some other way. Dental benefits should not be confused with the dental services you need, which are determined by you and your dentist.

How dental plans work

Almost all dental plans are the result of a contract between your employer and an insurance company. The amount your plan pays is agreed upon by your employer with the insurer. Your dental coverage is not based on what you need or what your dentist recommends. It is based on how much your employer pays into the plan. Employers generally choose to cover some, but not all, of employees' dental costs. If you are not satisfied with the coverage provided by your insurance, let your employer know.

The role of your dental office

Your dentist's main goal is to help you take good care of your teeth. Many offices will file claims with your insurance company as a service to you. The portion of the bill not covered by insurance is your responsibility. Many practices offer financing plans or other ways to help you pay your part of the bill.

Insurance terms

Key terms used to describe the features of a dental plan may include the following:

UCR (Usual, Customary, and Reasonable)
Usual, customary and reasonable charges (UCR) are the maximum amounts that will be covered by the plan. Although these terms make it sound like a UCR charge is a kind of standard rate for dental care, that is not the case.

The terms "usual," "customary" and "reasonable" are misleading for several reasons:

  • UCR charges often do not reflect what dentists "usually" charge in a given area.
  • Insurance companies can set whatever they want for UCR charges--they are not required to match actual fees charged by dentists.
  • A company's UCR amounts may stay the same for many years--they do not have to keep up with inflation, for example.
  • Insurance companies are not required to say how they set their UCR rates. Each company has its own formula.
  • So if your dental bill is higher than the UCR, it does not mean your dentist has charged too much for the procedure. It could mean your insurance company has not updated its UCRs, or the data used to set the UCRs is taken from areas of your state that are not similar to your community.

Annual Maximums

This is the largest dollar amount a dental plan will pay during the year. Your employer makes the final decision on maximum levels of payment through the contract with the insurance company. You are expected to pay copayments, as well as any costs above the annual maximum. Annual maximums are not always updated to keep up with the costs of dental care. If the annual maximum of your plan is too low to meet your needs, ask your employer to look into plans with higher annual.

Preferred Providers

The plan may want you to choose dental care from a list of its preferred providers (dentists who have a contract with the dental benefit plan). The term "preferred" has nothing to do with the patient's personal choice of a dentist; it refers to the insurance company's choices. If you choose to receive dental care from outside the preferred provider group, you may have higher out-of-pocket costs. Inform yourself about your plan's methods for paying both in- and out-of-network dentists.

Pre-existing Conditions

A dental plan may not cover conditions that existed before you enrolled in the plan. For example, benefits will not be paid for replacing a tooth that was missing before the effective date of coverage. Even though your plan may not cover certain conditions, treatment may still be necessary to maintain your oral health.

Coordination of Benefits (COB) or Nonduplication of Benefits

These terms apply to patients covered by more than one dental plan (for example, if you are insured by your employer and are also on your spouse's plan). Insurance companies usually want to know if you have coverage from other companies as well, so they can coordinate your benefits. For example, if your primary (main) insurance will pay half your bill, your secondary insurance will not cover that same portion of the bill.
Benefits from all companies should not add up to more than the total charges. Even though you may have two or more dental benefit plans, there is no guarantee that all of the plans will pay for your services. Sometimes, none of the plans will pay for the services you need. Each insurance company handles COB in its own way. Please check your plans for details.

Plan Limits

A dental plan may limit the number of times it will pay for a certain treatment. But some patients may need treatment more often than that for best oral health. For example: a plan might pay for teeth cleaning only twice a year even though the patient needs cleaning four times a year. Be aware of the details in your dental plan but decide about treatment based on what's best for your health, not just what may be covered.

Not Dentally Necessary

Each dental benefit plan has its own guidelines for which treatment is "dentally necessary." If a service provided by your dentist does not meet the plan's "dentally necessary" guidelines, the charges may not be reimbursed.
However, that does not mean that the dental treatment was not necessary.
Your dentist's advice is based on his or her professional opinion of your case. Your plan's guidelines are not based on your specific case. If your plan rejects a claim because a service was "not dentally necessary," you can follow the appeals process by working with your benefits manager and/or the plan's customer service department.

Least Expensive Alternative Treatment (LEAT)

If a plan has a LEAT clause, it means that if there is more than one way to treat a condition, the plan will only pay for the least expensive treatment. This is one way that insurance companies keep their costs down. However, the least expensive alternative is not always the best option. You should consult with your own dentist on the best treatment option for you.

Explanation of Benefits (EOB)

EOB is a written statement from the insurance company, telling you what they will cover and what you must pay yourself. Your portion of the bill should be paid to the dental practice. If you have questions about the EOB, contact your insurance provider.

Make your dental health the top priority

Although you may be tempted to decide on your dental care based on what insurance will pay, always remember that your health is the most important thing. As with other choices in life--such as buying medical or auto insurance, or even a home--the least expensive option is not always the best. Now you know more about "Why doesn't my insurance pay for this?" Your employer has agreed with the insurance company to pay for part of your treatment through your dental insurance plan. While it can be frustrating if you expect insurance to cover the whole bill, the costs of dental care can be managed. Just get familiar with your dental coverage and do some advance planning. Work with your dentist to take the best possible care of your teeth so they will last a lifetime!

Patient education content ©2013 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. "ADA" and the "ADA" Logo are registered trademarks of the American Dental Association.

10. Invisalign, How Does It Work?

Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won't even know you're straightening your teeth.

 

Dental Partners of Vero Beach | Fort Pierce, FL Dentist