Friday, April 18, 2008

Fun Dental Hygiene!

Often times, I don't really research things unless there's a pressing reason. This reason came up, thanfully through routine maintenence, rather than pain.

I went into the Dentist for a routine visit, and all the two back molars in my mouth, for a total of about 8 teeth needed to have the fillings replaced. The original dental office, West Coast Dentist in Buena Park, said I needed to replace all 8. Then they told me that my HMO insurance through Costco, which charges a flat, $70 fee for the silver fillings, would not cover the "desensitizing" that would be required for my teeth.

The crazy thing is that this Dentist office charges about $45 for the process, while I called around and found another place that charges only $15. What the heck? Plus, I didn't have the option to not have the desensitizing through them, so I had to go through a different dental office.

Anyway, so, I'm going to another Dentist's office, 7 Day Dental in Anaheim, where they said I only needed 6 fillings refilled, but she did recommend a hardcore teeth cleaning where they'll dig deep to tear off all the hard tartar under my gums. I'll need to get a shot and do one side of the mouth at a time. . .

The nice thing is that through a combination of my HMO through Delta Care with Costco, and my veteran's payment plan, I can get it for free. Basically, the HMO plan makes dentist's only charge $70/filling, and my secondary plan, which covers about 80% of the $130 operation, would cover the $70.


Ok, onto the home reaction. My question became, how can I take care of my teeth better without having to floss? I have a strategy on three fronts:

1. Use Original Listerine after brushing! According to this study, http://jada.ada.org/cgi/reprint/135/4/496.pdf
using Original Listerine is just as effective as flossing in killing the germs that rest inside your gums. The store brands have not been clinically tested to see if they're as effective as original listerine, and the way they tested in the study, they had people use the listerine mouth wash after brushing.

2. Use Oral-B Proffessional Care Toothbrush. This one already bought about four years ago, when I noticed a lot of people in my fraternity using the Soniccare tooth brush. I researched it and found out that the Oral-B is more effective at getting rid of the bacteria over Soniccare.

3. Use Colgate Total. This tooth paste is the only one that is ADA approved and clinically proven to destroy the germs that cause gingivitis. Well maybe not the ONLY one, but the cheapest one.

Most of the times I try and use "generic" brands, but after researching and finding that a lot of generic brands aren't ADA approved, there's no clinical evidence showing that generic brands are as effective as name brand ones. In fact, my reading of the above linked study seems to infer that generic brands were tested but failed to show results.

If someone has studies pointing otherwise, please let me know.