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Ste. 201 Miami, FL 33133

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have a dental insurance policy that has an annual maximum of $1,500, why do I have to pay differences for certain procedures way before I’ve reached the $1,500?

The $1,500 is the most your policy will pay in the benefit period, usually 1 calendar year. Different procedures are covered at certain percentages, usually 100%, 80% and 50%, depending on the procedure and policy. There’s also an annual deductible of $50 for most policies.


What are there 3 coverage categories for?

Preventive procedures, like cleanings, x-rays and exams are covered at 100% and the $50 deductible is usually waived. Basic procedures, like fillings, extractions and root canals are covered at 80%.  Major procedures, like crowns, dentures and implants are covered at 50%. Basic and major procedures are subject to the annual deductible.


Why is it necessary to stop smoking for several days after any dental surgical procedures?

Smoking irritates the oral cavity’s tissues even under normal circumstances. When you have a surgical wound, the irritation is worse because there are exposed areas open to the harmful heat and gases. This causes dryness, pain and delayed healing.


Is it ok to use the bleach gel and trays for longer periods and more days than the 10-14 days recommended if I want to get faster results?

No, exceeding the 1 hour per day limit can cause sensitivity and weaken your  tooth enamel. The same applies to bleaching for too many days. If you want faster results, it’s best to have power bleaching with the stronger, light activated gels in a 1-hour session.


It costs a lot more to have a root canal done by a specialist, why can’t my general dentist do it?

Many general dentists do root canals but not all of them. Even the ones who do, have to make sure the case is within their range of training and abilities. Things like the location of the tooth, the number and size of the canals and the presence of crowns on teeth that block x-rays are reasons we sometimes refer root canals to endodontists. A dentist must place the patient’s interests before their own.


Why do so many crowns have that dark line around the gums?

Those are porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns. The porcelain is made to match the color of the other teeth but is baked over a metal base. When the gums recede, with time, that metallic line is visible around the gums. An all porcelain crown has no metal and will not show a dark line.


Why is it so important to use ice right after any surgery if there’s no swelling?

Because you never know when there might be swelling, it’s best to prevent or minimize it. If you wait for swelling to occur, it can take a few days for it to come down.

Ice should be placed outside of the mouth for 20 minutes and rested for 40 minutes. The easiest way to do it is start on the hour for 20 minutes, then repeat at the top of each hour.


I don’t want to wear braces, why won’t my dentist treat me with Invisalign?

Because Invisalign works best for certain types of tooth movements and not as well for others. It’s better and less expensive to have it done correctly once, than try to force a case with Invisalign and end up doing it with conventional braces when it doesn’t resolve.


Do I have to take all my antibiotics? They upset my stomach.

Yes! Antibiotics work by maintaining a continuous level of medication in the bloodstream for 5-7 days, the period usually required to kill enough of the bacteria for the body to complete the healing process. If you stop before that’s occurred, you may kill some of the bacteria but leave behind the most resistant ones to reproduce. Now you’ve just created a stronger infection your body will have more difficulty in fighting off. If the meds upset your stomach, take them with some food.


How can I tell if I’m grinding my teeth at night and how do I treat it?

Aside from a spouse telling you they hear the noises, there are other signs. Soreness in the teeth or jaw muscles, wear spots on some of the teeth, broken teeth or fillings. Grinding can cause you to lose sleep, making you feel tired throughout the day. The best way to treat grinding is with a night guard or NTI device. Some cases are more complex and require further treatments by dentists who deal with those types of TMJ problems.


What’s the difference between a regular cleaning and deeps cleanings?

A routine cleaning is to prevent gum disease while deep cleanings are to treat already existing gum disease. The patient with gum disease has the spaces between teeth and gums deepened by bacterial infection and more of the tooth is exposed. Deep cleanings go further under the gum tissue and require al least a good surface anesthetic. They are often accompanied by placing an antibiotic powder or gel into pockets with 5mm or greater depth and usually done in 2-4 appointments.


Why are the new all porcelain crowns as strong or stronger than the traditional porcelain to metal crowns?

Because the all porcelain crowns are an outer layer of porcelain bonded to a stronger inner layer, or cut from one solid block of porcelain. Porcelain to metal crowns have a thinner layer or porcelain baked onto a metal base. The porcelain-metal bond is not as strong as a porcelain-porcelain bond.


How can airway obstruction issues be related to teeth grinding (bruxism) at night?

Because many patients with strained or reduced breathing through their nose are forced to mouth breathe during sleep. They grind their teeth due to forcing their lower jaw forward in an attempt to open their airway. This back and forth scraping motion goes on for hours and breaks or wears down tooth enamel.


What’s the difference between a regular cleaning and deeps cleanings?

A routine cleaning is to prevent gum disease while deep cleanings are to treat already existing gum disease. The patient with gum disease has the spaces between teeth and gums deepened by bacterial infection and more of the tooth is exposed. Deep cleanings go further under the gum tissue and require al least a good surface anesthetic. They are often accompanied by placing an antibiotic powder or gel into pockets with 5mm or greater depth and usually done in 2-4 appointments.


Why are the new all porcelain crowns as strong or stronger than the traditional porcelain to metal crowns?

Because the all porcelain crowns are an outer layer of porcelain bonded to a stronger inner layer, or cut from one solid block of porcelain. Porcelain to metal crowns have a thinner layer or porcelain baked onto a metal base. The porcelain-metal bond is not as strong as a porcelain-porcelain bond.


How can airway obstruction issues be related to teeth grinding (bruxism) at night?

Because many patients with strained or reduced breathing through their nose are forced to mouth breathe during sleep. They grind their teeth due to forcing their lower jaw forward in an attempt to open their airway. This back and forth scraping motion goes on for hours and breaks or wears down tooth enamel.

© Carlos A. Sanchez, D.D.S.          Web Design: BK Dental Consulting, LLC