Dental Economics

It is Possible To Keep All Teeth Over 90 Years Old!

I would like to share my experience as a dentist about the relationship between dental care and a person’s dental health.  Most of the dental problems are preventable.  Often, prevention is the best cure to most dental problems and also is the least expensive ways.

People would often ignore the importance of routine checkup and cleaning dental visits because they feel it is unnecessary and too troublesome to visit dentists two times a year.  They feel it is unnecessary because they don’t have any pain or discomfort and as the result they might forget.  However, routine checkup is a good way for dentist to find small problems like small cavity and fix them before it gets too big.  Dental procedures like checkup exam, cleaning and fillings don’t cost much in comparison to other more complicated procedures like crowns, root canals and bridges.

From my observations, I would generalize that the group of people who has routine dental care would have less severe dental problems than those who only comes to dentist when they have pain or discomfort.  Also, the first group of people would also have less chance to lose their teeth.  I have many patients in their senior age who has maintained most of their teeth and they all are my routine dental patients who come for routine checkup and cleaning visits.  Part of the reasons might be genetic but more importantly, dental care throughout his/her life can greatly improve the dental outcome and helps to maintain teeth even to senior age.

This person is over 90 years old and with routine dental care, he has maintained all his teeth.

This person is over 90 years old and with routine dental care, he has maintained all his teeth.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Family Dentist Office in Tempe AZ

Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona. Practicing Family Dentist

Nice Looking Teeth Can Impress Your Boss At Job Interview

Everyone knows to dress up for a job interview.  However, there are more to the personal appearance than a nice suit and tie for men, or a nice business dress and heels for ladies.  An appropriate candidate should wear appropriate clothing for the job.  It shows that you respect the potential employer and that you view the job as important to you.  Also you need to convey that you are able to handle the job by first showing that you are able to take care of yourself first.  If you are not able to take care of yourself personally, then how can you persuade your potential employer who knows nothing about you that you can take care of business professionally?  What I mean by being able to take care of yourself is to show you are able to maintain good personal hygiene, like hair, fingernails, and teeth.  A lot of time when you smile, people is able to see your teeth immediately because it is front and center on your face.  Being able to convey an approachable personalities is also especially important for retail job or job that requires meeting with people.  Perfect white teeth adds points to you when you smile.

There are numerous dental procedures available to help you get better teeth and smile:

 

Teeth Whitening: Make yellowish teeth become whiter

Dental Veneers: repair broken front teeth and recreate shape of your teeth to perfect contour

Braces: Align crooked teeth, closes gap in between teeth.

Dental Crowns: repair broken teeth

Fillings: remove decayed or blacked area of teeth

Implants: Fill in Missing Teeth

These services are offered in my dental office.  If you have any broken teeth or discolored teeth, please contact my office for consultation and treatment.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Genral Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona. Practicing General Dentist

Dental Care at Another Country — Hidden Costs Might Make You Pay More!

As the licensed dentist in the United States, I often hear patients talking about how expensive the dental care is in the United States and that they would go to their own countries for dental care.

Hidden Cost #1: Cost to redo inadequate dental work

I believe in the United States, we have the highest standard of dental care in the world.  Each of the licensed dentist has to go through extensive education and training and have to pass numerous tests and licensing exam and has to have great credentials in order to be granted the licence to lawfully become a dentist to treat people.  I myself have high expectation when it comes to my personal medical/dental care.  I personally wouldn’t want less qualified person to work on my teeth.

I know in some foreign countries, the qualification of becoming a dentist is less stringent than in the United States.  Also, their standard of care is not clearly spelled out as in the United States.  In addition, there is no dedicated governmental agency to oversee the dentists in some of those foreign countries.  So the quality of the dental care is not uniform and hardly a guarantee.

Of course, I know there are some great dentists in those foreign countries and I can see their work can be great.   But more frequently I see patients with inadequate dental care received from the dentist in their home countries and the dental work needs to be repaired or completely redone.  Teeth are valuable and cost is not only the cost of repairing the existing dental work but also the cost of sacrificing your tooth to additional dental problems and the risk of losing your teeth.

Hidden Cost #2: The Cost of Going to the Foreign countries

Many times people think the dental work at foreign country is cheaper.  They forgot that this is due to the exchange rate between the US dollars and the foreign currency.

In order to get to the dentist at the foreign country, one has to spend a large sum to either buy a round trip of air ticket or driving for more than 6 hours round trip with many tanks of gas.  Round trip ticket to Asia can be at least two thousand dollars.  Driving for 6 hours can cost at least 100 dollars of gas, plus stopping in the mid-trip for food, plus missing one work day of pay.

Even if you just go back to your foreign country for leisure and you go to see dentist as part of the trip, it would still cost you.  For example, if your trip is 10 days and you spend two days going to see your dentist for some major work, then the cost of going to the dentist there would be at least 20% of the total cost of your trip.  The total cost of your trip might include the air fare, the hotel costs, the food, and the local transportation, etc, and the dental visit costs at least 20% of the total cost of your trip.

Hidden Cost #3: You will have to take additional days off from your work.  This could mean missed paid wages.

Hiddne Cost #4: You get less than what you paid for.  In the United States, dentist would usually warrant their work for a reasonable amount of time and for reasonable cause. However, any work done in the foreign country is nearly impossible to be warranted.  A patient can not go back to their dentist in foreign country for any followup adjustments.

Hidden Cost #5: You don’t know what materials were being used in the foreign country.  Foreign country might not have FDA (like in the United States) to oversee the safety and efficacy of the dental materials.  The safety and efficacy of the materials used by the dentist in foreign country is largely unknown.  And many times, dental materials sold in the United States cannot be sold in the foreign countries.

Hidden Cost #6: Health Hazard Cost.  Hepatitis B is common in Asian countries.  If the instruments were not sterilized appropriately, there is a chance of getting transmittable diseases.

Hepatitis B, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Gilbert, Arizona

Countries where Hepatitis B is common

 

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS
Practicing Dentist Serving Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa, and Gilbert Arizona

Dental Spending, Tax Seasons and How to Save

It is again this time of the year that everybody is busy preparing for their tax returns and plan for tax spending for next coming year.  I can share my experience in dental expenses and how to maximize your spending for the necessary dental treatment.

Medical Flexible Spending Account, Tax Season, Dental Expenses, Savings, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Gilbert, Arizona

Many companies will offer some kind of medical benefits to the employees.  This includes dental benefits.  This can be either in the form of dental insurances or some spending credits for paying necessary dental treatment.

In some situation, employees are allowed to allocate their desired dollar amount in their credit account to pay for their medical expenses.  Usually this type of credit account is sometimes referred to as flexible spending account.  It is pre-tax money.  Usually each employee allocates their desired amount of money into this account for medical spending.  The upside is that all money is pre-tax.  However, in some cases, any unspent dollar amount will be lost if the employees did not claim in a given year.

Generally, I would advise patient to first estimate their expected medical spendings.  Then based on this estimation, I would advise patient to allocate amount of money corresponding to the lower range of this estimate into their medical spending account.  The benefit of this is that patient can use this pre-tax money to spend on their medical/dental treatment.  On the other hand, if they put in too much money into the account, they may risk losing the unspent amount.

I would advise patient to come for routine dental checkup.  By monitoring their dental health, I as their dentist can comprehensively evaluate their dental needs and make necessary recommendation to the dental treatment they may need in the near future.  Even if the patient may have multiple problems, I can devise a suitable treatment plan and stage the treatments.

 

Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS
Practicing Dentist Serving Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Mesa, and Gilbert Arizona