Lack of Dental Insurance Among Older Adults

senior3Medicare is focused specifically on physical health needs and does not cover basic oral health care. This leaves a staggering 49 million Medicare beneficiaries in this country without dental insurance.

According to research on Medicare beneficiaries conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, only 12 percent of older Americans have some form of dental insurance and fewer than half visited a dentist in the previous year. Analysis of 2012 Medicare data showed that insurance status appeared to be the biggest predictor of whether a person received oral health care. For those with incomes just over the federal poverty level, 27 percent of those without dental insurance had a dental visit in the previous year, compared to 65 percent with dental insurance.

Furthermore, high-income beneficiaries were almost three times as likely to have received dental care in the previous 12 months as compared to low-income beneficiaries, 74 percent of whom reported receiving no dental care.

On average, Medicare beneficiaries reported spending $427 on dental care over the previous year, 77 percent of which was out-of-pocket spending. An estimated seven percent reported spending more than $1,500. Dental expenses, on average, accounted for 14 percent of Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket health spending.

Bottom line: There is an enormous unmet need for dental insurance among those 65 and older in the United States. It puts older adults at risk for oral health problems that could be prevented or treated with timely dental care, including tooth decay, gum disease and loss of teeth. It also highlights the financial burden associated with dental visits, among both the insured and uninsured.

Dr. Douglas Angell and the dental hygienists at Angell’s Dentistry are committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. We invite you to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

Posted in adult dental care, Americans' dental habits, Angell's Dentistry testimonials, dental insurance, dentist search Troy MI, Dr. Douglas Angell, find a dentist Birmingham MI, find a dentist Michigan, find a dentist Troy MI, Michigan dentists, www.angellsdentistry.com

Are Bottled Water Drinkers Getting Enough Fluoride?

water2According to the International Bottled Water Association, Americans consumed more than 8 billion gallons of bottled water in 2009. A recent report from Beverage Marketing found that bottled water consumption grew 120 percent between 2000 and 2015. This increase can be attributed to growing concerns about the negative impact of high-sugar beverages and the general trend toward diets filled with more natural food and drinks.

If you or your family consumes bottled water in significant quantities, you may not be getting enough of the fluoride that is so important to preventing tooth decay. Optimal levels of fluoride for drinking water are 0.7-1.2 part per million; and the fluoride levels in bottled water can vary greatly by brand.

Since most bottled water is derived from fresh surface water sources, it is not surprising to find that the levels in bottled water are generally very low. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average level of fluoride in bottled water is 0.11 ppm. Less than 10 percent of bottled waters contain more than 0.3 ppm.

Bottled water products labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled have been treated in such a way that they contain no fluoride or only trace amounts—unless they specifically list fluoride as an added ingredient.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water products, working to ensure that they’re safe to drink. The FDA sets limits for fluoride in bottled water, based on several factors, including the source of the water. You can contact bottled water  manufacturers to ask about the fluoride content of a particular brand if it does not appear on the product label.

If you drink mostly bottled water, Dr. Angell at Angell’s Dentistry can help you determine if you need supplemental fluoride treatments. Fluoride drops or tablets are available for your children if it they are not receiving adequate levels of fluoride.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

Posted in Americans' dental habits, find a dentist Birmingham MI, find a dentist Michigan, find a dentist Troy MI, fluoridation, fluoride and bottled water, local dentists Troy MI

Do You Need a Mouthwash?

mouthwash3Mouthwash was first mass-produced commercially in the late 1800s. While the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of mouthwashes remains limited to improving breath and preventing plaque buildup, today you can find a mouthwash to achieve any number of desired results, including:

  • to freshen breath
  • to help prevent or control tooth decay
  • to reduce plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on teeth)
  • to prevent or reduce gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease)
  • to  reduce the speed that tartar (hardened plaque) forms on the teeth or to produce a combination of these effects
  • to relieve dry mouth

Basic ingredients include water, alcohol, cleansing agents, flavoring ingredients and coloring agents. Active ingredients vary depending on the type of mouthrinse, but they can be placed into four general groups:

  • Antimicrobial agents act directly on oral bacteria to help reduce plaque, decrease the severity of gingivitis and control bad breath.
  • Fluoride helps reduce tiny lesions (tooth decay) on tooth enamel and make teeth more resistant to decay.
  • Astringent salts can serve as temporary deodorizers that mask bad breath.
  • Odor neutralizers act by chemically inactivating odor causing compounds.

Your dentist can advise you whether you need a mouthwash and what kind of mouthwash to use depending on your oral health needs. If you have difficulty brushing and flossing, a mouthwash may provide additional protection against cavities and gum disease. When selecting a mouthwash look for products that carry the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, which have been tested for their safety and effectiveness.

Angell’s Dentistry serves Troy, Birmingham and surrounding metro Detroit communities. We are committed to helping you keep your mouth healthy. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

Posted in Dr. Douglas Angell, find a dentist Birmingham MI, find a dentist Michigan, find a dentist Troy MI, mouthwash

Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss

bone2Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. More than 53 million Americans either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.

Osteoporosis can affect any bone in the body, but the bones in the hip, spine and wrist are affected most often. Some research also suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jawbone, which supports and anchors the teeth. When the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur, a common occurrence in older adults.

The portion of the jawbone that supports our teeth is known as the alveolar process. Several studies have found a link between the loss of alveolar bone and an increase in loose teeth (tooth mobility) and tooth loss. Women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than those who do not have the disease.

Researchers have found that dental x-rays are highly effective in distinguishing people with osteoporosis from those with normal bone density, making them a good screening tool for the disease. So your dentist is in a unique position to help identify patients with low bone density.

Signs of low bone density include loose teeth, gums detaching from the teeth or receding gums, and ill-fitting or loose dentures.

If you are concerned that osteoporosis may be affecting your teeth, please give us a call at Angell’s Dentistry.  Dr. Douglas Angell will be happy to check your mouth and answer your questions. We are committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. We invite you to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

Posted in adult dental care, dental bone loss, Dr. Douglas Angell, find a dentist Birmingham MI, find a dentist Michigan, find a dentist Troy MI, osteoporosis and oral health

Regenerative Fillings Could Make Root Canals Obsolete Someday

Researchers from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and the University of Nottingham are working on a technology that could make root canals obsolete.

During a root canal, the pulp of the tooth and the nerve are removed. The researchers are developing new regenerative dental fillings made of synthetic biomaterials that use the stem cells inside your teeth to repair tissue. The fillings would spur stem cells to repair and regrow dentin, the hard substance that makes up most of teeth, and pulp tissue, where blood vessels and nerves are found.

The new fillings would be an improvement over conventional fillings—which are actually toxic to the pulp—because they would heal teeth from within. This could change the way dental diseases are treated, and potentially eliminate or reduce the need for procedures such as root canals. For patients who suffer from dental disease or undergo dental surgery, the new treatment could be extraordinary.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, stem cells can serve many different functions in the body, including repairs. Currently stem cells are used, for example, to help treat spinal cord injuries, arthritis and diabetes.

It will likely be some time before the new fillings are available on a widespread basis. In the meantime, if you need a root canal, crown, filling or tooth replacement, give Angell’s Dentistry a call. Dr. Douglas Angell utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology to provide our patients with beautiful, healthy smiles. We serve Troy, Birmingham and surrounding areas. Learn more about us at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

Posted in dental stem cell research, dentist search Troy MI, Dr. Douglas Angell, local dentists Troy MI, Michigan dentists, root canals, www.angellsdentistry.com

Seniors Can Still Get Cavities

srcav3Were you surprised at your last dental visit that your dentist found a cavity or two? Then you will also be surprised to learn that today children and seniors are the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay.

As we age, our mouths age along with our bodies. Tooth enamel wears away, gums recede and some people lose parts of their jawbone. Many baby boomers probably have recollections of grandparents who had false or missing teeth, likely the result of dental disease, lack of fluoridated water or tooth extraction, which was once a common treatment for dental problems.

Fortunately, thanks to today’s modern dental procedures and new technologies, we are keeping our teeth longer. But the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.

Angell’s Dentistry offers some tips to improve your chances of staying dental cavity-free as you experience those “golden” years:

  • Follow a diet that is low in sugar and high in calcium to promote tooth health.
  • Use toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain fluoride.
  • Drink water and suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production and reduce dry mouth.
  • Improve teeth brushing dexterity by wrapping an elastic bandage around your toothbrush handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily.
  • Try using floss holders and waxed floss to make daily flossing easier.

Regular dental visits are crucial for seniors. Dr. Angell and our hygienists will check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.

Now that you have the chance to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you should take advantage of it. If you have concerns about cavities, Dr. Douglas Angell and the dental hygienists at Angell’s Dentistry will be happy to answer your questions. Call us today to schedule an appointment for a checkup and evaluation. We invite you to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com to learn more about us.

Posted in adult dental care, caries, cavities in older adults, cavity prevention, dental caries, fluoride and tooth loss, oral care in older adults

Looking for a Great Dentist in the Troy/Birmingham Area?

Visiting the dentist is not high on most people’s list of pleasant things to do. But if you are looking for a great family dentist with an excellent reputation, we hope you will check out Dr. Douglas Angell at Angell’s Dentistry.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, Dr. Angell has been a member of both the American Dental Association and the Michigan Dental Association. He has practiced dentistry for more than 30 years, specializing in general and cosmetic dentistry for all ages—everything from dental hygiene and preventive care to all forms of tooth replacement including implant restoration.

office2Our modern, relaxing office is conveniently located in Troy on the north side of Big Beaver Road between I-75 and Rochester Road. We are proud to offer the latest dental technologies and procedures from a highly trained, compassionate staff.

Of course, we have nice things to say about Angell’s Dentistry, but don’t just take our word for it. Here are just a few comments we’ve received recently from our patients:

“Best of the best. Would travel a long distance for the caring and professional treatment I receive from Dr. Angell’s team.”—Steven H.

“Been going here for over 20 years. Sometimes I think he worries more about my teeth than I do. Well, maybe almost as much as I do. Is great with my kids and wife too.”—Carl M.

“I’ve been Dr. Angell’s patient for more than 20 years, because he has always listened to my history and concerns and addressed my physical pain/discomfort with sensitivity and kindness.”—Kathryn W.

“The office staff are very nice, and welcoming. They made me very comfortable and put me at ease. I had to have my front teeth repaired as I knocked them out in an accident. I came to Dr. Angell on a referral. I am constantly getting compliments on my beautiful teeth, from many who do not even know they are not real. I am so happy with the referral and have changed to the office as my primary dentist.”—Elaine J.

Angell’s Dentistry is located at 525 East Big Beaver Road, Suite 110. Give us a call at (248) 362-4330 to schedule an appointment and be sure to visit our website at: www.angellsdentistry.com.

Posted in Angell's Dentistry, Angell's Dentistry testimonials, dental implants Troy MI, dentist search Troy MI, Dr. Douglas Angell, find a dentist Birmingham MI, find a dentist Michigan, find a dentist Troy MI, local dentists Troy MI, Michigan dentists, www.angellsdentistry.com