Wednesday, February 7, 2018

APPROPRIATE AND EFFECTIVE DENTISTRY IS AFFORDABLE


Recently a patient told me a story about her friend that had treatment for missing and damaged teeth that was complicated.  It was not satisfactory and so needed to be redone at a second additional cost.  She said that she wished she had paid a little more to have it done the appropriate and effective way the first time instead of have to pay twice for.  It  seemed that the insurance company had contracted to the lowest bidding provider in the area and was not committed to the best outcome for her.  Although the insurance company readily takes monthly premiums, they often deny to pay for the most appropriate and effective treatments.  Why was it called “insurance”?  What exactly do they insure against loss or damage?  Nothing.  At best it seemed that it was a mediocre discount plan.  I told her, what I told my own mother—“pay yourself the monthly premiums and put the money under your mattress for when you need dental work and be true to your teeth.” 

 When it comes to the sometimes limited resources of older adults on fixed income, it is important for them to receive the most appropriate and effective care to avoid redo dentistry. Appropriate and effective treatment is more affordable over time.  That’s why prosthodontists dedicate an additional 3 years after dental school training—they are the committed to give the best outcomes to adult patients with missing and damaged teeth issues. The final result is what matters.  Prosthodontists are specialists in the final result.  They see the treatment through from start to finish to ensure your result is appropriate and effective and affordable.

Dr Rod Andrus is Southern Utah’s ONLY board certified prosthodontist and exclusively serves adults with advanced dental needs.  He can be reached for appointment at 435-674-3100.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Snap on dentures


We hear all the time from our patients how life changing dental implants are when they are done appropriately.   Patients become very emotional when they describe the positive change effective treatment has made for their quality of life.  Indeed, one of the greatest modern advances in lower denture therapy are “snap-on” dentures. Consensus groups at Mc Gill University in 2002 have even called it the “standard of care” for lower dentures.  However, sadly we often meet patients that have wasted money on implants placed in inappropriate locations, sometimes with much care, precision and expense.  A few tips to save money when contemplating implants to control your dentures are not widely adhered to are:
  1. When your teeth are failing, don’t have any implants placed until a prosthodontist has made a sensible plan for you based on the long term prognosis of the rest of your teeth.  They cannot be removed easily or moved to other locations in your mouth after they are put in if the rest of your teeth around them are lost. Implants installed for crowns usually do not work for dentures and visa versa.  The cost for them is often just a waist.
  2. Implants for upper dentures are usually not necessary for an effective result if the denture is properly molded by a prosthodontist to fit well.  This can be a huge savings to you by eliminating the expense of unnecessary number of implants and the cost of their future maintenance.
  3. How many implants are needed?  As few as it takes to satisfy the requirements of an optimal result—usually only two if placed in the correct orientation.  More implants usually means more initial cost and more future maintenance cost for only a small amount of additional satisfaction.  This is a documented by a published study of thousands of denture wearers that reported their satisfaction after two implants and then after two additional implants, showing more bang for your buck with the first two and only a little more after the second two.
  4. Dental implants not placed parallel don’t allow the snap-on mechanism to work properly and require more maintenance cost in the future.
  5. Dental implants not placed deep enough do not leave room for denture teeth to fit over them—this results in a thin denture that is weak and breaks and leads to more replacement cost.
  6. Mini implants are for mini jaws.

The final result is what matters.  Prosthodontists are specialists in the final result.  They see the treatment through from start to finish to ensure your result is appropriate and effective and affordable. 

Dr Rod Andrus is Southern Utah’s ONLY board certified prosthodontist and exclusively serves adults with advanced dental needs.  He can be reached for appointment at 435-674-3100.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

AFFORDABLE SOLUTIONS FOR ADULT DENTAL ISSUES



If you are an adult still going to the same dentist you were when you were 9, it might be time for a change.  You’re not a kid anymore!  Unlike kids and teens that need braces and wisdom teeth removal, adults have different dental issues. 
For adults, treatment can be complex.  Medications can cause dry mouth that can, in turn, cause cavities.  Gum disease over time can lead to tooth loss later in life causing the bite to shift and compromise the ability to chew food.  Tooth wear can make teeth look older. 
Fortunately there is a dental specialty recognized by the ADA that deals with these unique adult issues--Prosthodontics.  Just as a kid’s dentist only sees kids, prosthodontists usually exclusively treat the advanced needs of adults. 
Furthermore, when it comes to the sometimes limited resources of older adults on fixed income, it is important for them to receive the most appropriate and effective care with that in mind.  Appropriate and effective treatment is more affordable over time.  That’s why prosthodontists dedicate an additional 3 years after dental school training—they are the committed to give their patients the best outcomes.

Dr Rod Andrus is a board certified prosthodontist

Exclusively serving adults with advanced dental needs.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Partial Dentures—Good or Bad?


Did you stop wearing your partial denture or “partial” because it was loose or uncomfortable?  Has it since ended up in your dresser drawer or tucked away under the bathroom sink somewhere?  Did you get tired of the adjustments, excuses and even blaming?  How can something so ineffective be considered appropriate or affordable at any cost?

The answer is, it’s not--poorly designed partials are a waist of money.  You see, many dental schools have stopped teaching dentists proper partial design because dental implants are so popular.  However, there are many times when dental implants are not appropriate and sometimes not even possible.  In these situations, a well designed partial can be the best option.  The best outcomes for partials are realized when enhancement features to the anchoring teeth are made prior to making the mold.  If this step is delegated to the lab after the mold is made, it’s too late.  The enhancement features are key to the partial fitting tightly and can only be made by someone who has designed the partial in advance of making the mold.  Furthermore thin, ridged materials are best when designed properly, unlike the damaging flexible materials that have become a fad lately.

The specialty of prosthodontics is committed to preserving the art of quality partial denture design from becoming lost for the sake of improving outcomes for everyone who is suffering from missing teeth.  Prosthodontists receive years of extensive specialized training beyond dental school in appropriate and effective partial design.  Dr Rod Andrus is Southern Utah’s only board certified prosthodontist and exclusively serves adults with advanced dental needs.



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Breathe! Your Life Depends On It

Snoring is more than just annoying—90% of the time it is associated with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  When the tongue and tissues of the airway relax during sleep they can vibrate (snoring sound) or become blocked (obstructed).  You stop breathing!  Lack of air and lack of sleep can be a serious and deadly health hazard and is related to the following conditions:

Lack of energy
Obesity
Acid Reflux
Migraines
Dental Problems
Hypertension
Heart Problems
Depression
Stroke
Impotence
Diabetes
Cardiac Arrest
Death

A CPAP mask is an excellent solution that forces air past the obstruction while you sleep, but when this is not an option, there is another more comfortable and very simple solution—wear a mouth guard at night that positions the lower jaw forward, allows the airway to open and allows more air in so you don’t snore and you get the air and rest your body needs to be healthy and perform better.  This type of appliance is covered by medical insurance and Medicaid and has been shown to be highly effective in treating mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea and snoring.  It is a simple solution that can save your life.



Dr Rodney Andrus is Southern Utah’s only board certified ADA recognized specialist for missing and damaged teeth issues—a prosthodontist.  Making effective and comfortable snoring and sleep apnea appliances for patients since 1999.  Call St George Center for Specialized Dentistry for a FREE consultation (435) 674-3100.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Flossing—A First String Player
A simple piece of string can prevent cavities and boost your overall health. 

If you think brushing reaches all tooth surfaces vulnerable to cavities consider this.  A tooth has five sides at risk of developing a cavity and brushing only gets three of them—the top, inside and outside. These surfaces have the natural cleansing effects of the tongue to help them, but the in between areas can only be cleaned by flossing.  So flossing may be even more important than brushing.

Flossing dislodges food particles under the gums in between the teeth that if not removed everyday can harden and fester causing a bacterial load that can lead to an infection of the gums and bone around the teeth-- destroying the very tissues that hold the teeth in the mouth.  Furthermore, this inflammatory disorder can contribute to major problems throughout the body and recent studies suggest links between periodontal disease and diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and stomach cancer.

Ideally, one should floss after every meal, but once a day is more practical.  Bedtime is better, rather than morning because, for those seven to eight hours at night the natural washing effect of salivary flow is very low and the bacteria can proliferate more rapidly in a dry environment. 

Here’s how to get into the groove: Take 60 seconds to wrap 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers and hold it with your index fingers and thumbs to give a “tight inch”.  See-saw through the tight spots and hug the tooth as you scrape up and down.  Begin on the upper right and go all the way around the upper left, and then go from left to right on the lower teeth--systematically so that you do not miss any spots. 

Use flavored floss if you like, a floss pick if you are on the go, a floss holder with a large gripping handle if you have arthritis, waxed or unwaxed (waxed is less likely to shred and easier to slide in between), wider floss “tape” if it is more comfortable to your fingers (it also has the benefit of covering a larger portion of the tooth).  It may take a little practice and your gums might bleed a little until they become healthier, but it is a daily routine that is absolutely essential.


Dr Rodney Andrus is a Board Certified Prosthodontist (an ADA recognized specialist tooth replacement and restoration) and provides expert solutions to challenging dental problems at St George Center for Specialized Dentistry in St George, UT.  For more information you can call his office at 435-674-3100.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Deciding on Denture Teeth

Deciding what type of denture teeth to ask the dentist for can be confusing to patients who want to get the best quality, most durable, and most aesthetic result.  Old chemistry acrylic denture teeth are made out of the same material as the pink part of the denture and therefore have the advantage of adhering well to it, but they are not very aesthetic and usually wear out quicker than the expected 5-6 year life of a denture. 

Porcelain denture teeth have overcome some of these problems, but they have a list of disadvantages of their own.  I was reminded of one of their main disadvantages as I watched the recent movie, Frozen with my kids again.  Just like Elsa, porcelain denture teeth are elegant and beautiful, but have a secret ability to destroy.  They don’t turn things into snow and ice, but their damage can be just as scary.  They are so durable that they can wear down natural teeth and dental work that can be expensive to fix.  Furthermore, they have no dampening effect, and in certain situations, can cause permanent deterioration of the jaw bone underneath the denture, thereby worsening the fit of the denture and all future dentures.

New chemistry acrylic denture teeth have natural layers for better aesthetics and wear resistance and are also kind to the jaws and opposing teeth.  They usually wear out on time with the rest of the denture and you “just let it go” and get a new denture.  Another material, composite resin (similar to the material used in white fillings of teeth) is also kind and looks even more natural.  It is used when even longer durability is desired such as is needed when dental implants or natural opposing teeth give you a stronger bite.


Many factors go into selecting the right material for your unique situation.  As a Board Certified Prosthodontist, an ADA recognized specialist in the replacement and restoration of teeth, Dr Andrus provides expert solutions to challenging dental problems at St GeorgeCenter for Specialized Dentistry in St George, UT.  For more information call 435-674-3100.