Steven Nguyen DDS is a dentist in Arizona and a Doctor of Dental Surgery in Mesa. Since the start of his career, he has dedicated himself to creating the most effective and affordable treatments for each of his patients. By continually learning the new standards and trends in the dental world, he further strives to ensure that painless methods are the only approach his customers experience. Additionally, since repairs can be very pricey and cause a lot of physical pain, Steven Nguyen, DDS, works with fellow professionals on revolutionary research that combats these problems. Their ultimate goal is to find a way to treat individuals of all ages without worrying about adverse reactions or having to use extreme quantities of drugs to numb their mouth.
As an experienced Doctor of Dental Surgery and a dentist in Arizona, could you tell us what people with loose teeth should do to prevent them from falling out?
First of all, you should see a professional to determine the cause of teeth is getting loose in the first place. It is essential to seek out expert’s advice as you could either have dangerous gum disease or may need to stop grinding your teeth while sleeping. Whatever the case may be, you will not be able to solve this issue on your own. As far as the short-term solutions, avoid eating things that are not soft as it could loosen the teeth even more. Our priority as dentists is to try and save your teeth. The earlier we detect the problem, the better chance we have of formulating a plan of action. Sometimes, a tooth cannot be saved and then we have to start looking at alternatives such as implants, bridges, and dentures.
What would you recommend for patients with loose dentures?
If you have dentures, you probably already know that the lower denture is usually more problematic than the upper denture. Most patients will have to use adhesive to help with retention of the dentures. Sometimes, however, using adhesives is not enough and the dentures are still loose. The best advice I can give you is to do the same that I mentioned above – visit your dentist as soon as possible. Even though you may discover “life hacks” to help you prolong the useful age of your dentures, there is no long-term solution that you can invent. So, save yourself a lot of pain down the road and deal with this issue as soon as it arises. The earlier we see patients with this problem, the more options are available. The longer you wait, your bone will resorb, and you essentially lose bone which makes the dentures looser. It will cost more in the long run as you will need more surgery to build up the bone before being a candidate for implants. I typically recommend 2-4 implants to help stabilize the lower denture and four implants to stabilize the upper denture. With the upper denture, we are also able to remove the entire palatal area which helps patients taste and enjoy food again. Most patients are pleased with this affordable and effective treatment. It improves their quality of life almost immediately.
People from the United States often go to Mexico to get dental treatment. What is your opinion on the topic?
I do not think that going to Mexico is a good idea. It is true that you could get dental treatment for lower prices compared to the costs of doing the procedures in the United States, but that is just another short-term solution. If you want something to be done correctly, I would advise you not to go outside of this country. Consider the following analysis for example. First, you have to cover all the travel expenses to get to Mexico. Then, you will have to overcome the language barrier if you do not speak Spanish already. If you do get past these issues, just think about the fact that dentists in Mexico are not required to get Hepatitis B vaccination. Therefore, only about 20% of dentists in Mexico are vaccinated for Hepatitis B compared to virtually every dentist here. Not to mention that you may end up getting treated by a person who is nowhere near qualified to be a dentist and would never have passed the rigorous training in the USA. Water in Mexico is less sanitary, untreated, and have higher levels of human waste. Imagine this water will be used in your mouth exposing you to harmful disease. It seems a lot simpler to save money until you have enough capital to invest in some high-quality dental treatment designed by a certified professional with up-to-date knowledge of the topic in the United States.
Why are dentist procedures so expensive?
As someone who was educated to become a Doctor of Dental Surgery, I can tell you that you are paying a trained professional to use the knowledge that they gained through multiple years of expensive education. Also, dental equipment is unbelievably valuable. For example, one 3-D image x-ray machine can easily cost up to $80,000. Besides, we have to use medications, various surgical tools, and even pay high-quality labs to make dentures, crowns, bridges, and other dental work for our patients. Of course, I do recognize that a lot of insurance companies are still falling behind when it comes to covering the cost of dental procedures. I hope to see the charges go down in the future, but that is only possible if the entire healthcare industry reduces their price and the government stops trying to regulate this industry so much.
What are some options available to patients who cannot afford dental treatment?
You should check with your insurance company about the current deals that are available to you. For example, one office I align with and recommend is Tru-Value Denture and Dental Center in Mesa; they have things like senior, veteran and student discounts that make it possible to get a high-end procedure done. Their pricing is also very affordable, which allows patients to get the dental care they need. Tru-Value Denture and Dental Center also offers patient financing through Care Credit, which helps break payments down to monthly payments for patients. Also, you can check to see if you have or can start an HSA, a health savings account, which also helps out with health costs. Lastly, you can look into community-based dental clinics that offer reduced fees and even free services that will not involve any payment.