Monday, October 22, 2012

Crowns or Veneers: What is the Difference?

Before After 1

You finally decided you need to visit someone who does Boston cosmetic dentistryand now you are going in for a new smile design. You may have heard your dentist using the terms veneers and crowns, but you probably don't know what they mean. This is a handy guide to the difference between the two. So you can understand what your dentist is talking about.
How they work

A crown is a cap usually made of porcelain or ceramic that is placed over the entire visible portion of the tooth. In order for this to work the dentist trims off a large amount of the enamel. The crown is then cemented directly to the dentin. The process is very involved and can require a number of visits. Typically the first visit consists of tooth reduction and preparation for bonding. On the second visit a crown, that has been manufactured specifically for you, is attached.
When they are used

Crowns are used when the patient has had a great deal of tooth damage, when restructuring is necessary, or if a root canal has occurred. Crowns are a good option because they are very strong and can take a lot of wear. They also can be used to make drastic changes in the shape of the tooth which is advantageous if the teeth are impeding the proper function of the mouth. Cosmetically, crowns make the teeth even and change their color, making them look much better.
How they work

Veneers are thin coverings for the front of the tooth. They are usually made of the same substance as crowns. To attach them, your dentist only needs to remove a small amount of enamel. This is generally better for the tooth, since more of the healthy structure is preserved, and for the patient, because there is less discomfort as well as less time and cost involved in the procedure.
When they are used

Unlike a crown, a veneer only covers the front of the tooth so any structural changes will be minimal. Changes to tooth coloration are also less drastic because most of the tooth is still intact behind the veneer. Although they are made of the same substance as crowns, veneers are slightly less durable because they are thinner. But when used correctly they produce the same even white teeth as crowns.

Now you know some of the basics of cosmetic dentistry. For more specific information you should consult your Boston dentists and get an expert opinion.

Image Credit: Dr. Alper, DMD, Cosmetic Dentist, on Flickr

Friday, October 5, 2012

Using a Senior Medical Alert System As Reinforcement in Post Hospitalization Care

Many times after a fall, a senior may be in the hospital for days, weeks, or even months while they work on recovering. Having round-the-clock care and medical attention is wonderful and vital to their recovery, but what happens when they are released from the hospital and it is time to go home? This can be just as much of a daunting time as it is a happy one, especially if there is very little or no money for home health care and most family members work full-time, so they are unable to stay with their loved one 24/7. In these situations, coming home can become a more frightening experience than a jubilant one. A medical alert system can be of great help in the post hospitalization efforts for a senior patient.
More than likely, it will be difficult to afford home health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a medical professional. It is also quite likely that family members and loved ones will be unable to be with the patient 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if someone is still there part of the time, what can help make the patient feel safe and give their loved ones peace of mind when the patient is all alone? A medical alert system can easily take on this task. With a medical alert system at home, the patient can press the medical alert button located right on their medical alert bracelet, necklace or pendant that will be on their body at all times. Immediately, the operators at the medical alert service will be on the speakerphone, ready to assess the situation and send the proper help. The service is also a lot more affordable than round-the-clock health care.
Home health care that is provided 7 days a week, 24 hours a day can cost several hundred thousand dollars a month depending on the required care. If the patient doesn't have health insurance, this means that it all comes out of pocket. There are not many people who have several hundred thousand dollars just lying around at the end of every month, so they have to look for alternatives for post hospitalization care. A medical alert system has become one of the most affordable and proven services used in addition to or in lieu of round-the-clock home health care.
All Around Peace of Mind
Even if there is someone in the house with the patient all of the time, a fall can occur in just a quick second. Imagine a situation where a senior is at home with a family member and they need a prescription from the pharmacy. Since the patient is homebound, they are unable to go to the pharmacy with their family member so they need to stay home. Even if the family member is gone for only 20 minutes, the patient could easily fall or encounter some other type of emergency. Does this mean that they should never be left alone again? That seems awfully unfair to the patient, and not allowing them to maintain some autonomy can greatly affect their state of mind and quality of life. With a medical alert system at home, family members do not have to worry about leaving the home. If something does occur in the short period of time they are gone, the patient can push the button on their medical alert bracelet, pendant or necklace and help will soon be on the way.
Affordability Factor
When a senior has a fall and ends up in the hospital, the bills associated with however long they need to stay there can be incredibly steep. After they leave the hospital, if they need more home care, it can easily bankrupt their family. No one wants this. While home health care can cost several hundred thousand dollars a month, a medical alert system only costs between $17.95-$24.95 a month. Now, it is important to note that a medical alert system cannot fully replace home health personnel or a family member taking regular care of the patient. It is, however, a great addition to any homebound situation for a senior recently out of the hospital. The cost is minimal and it can help the patient to be on their own more often then they need a medical professional or other person looking over them. This can help with all of the post hospitalization fees that they may now have.
Higher Probability of Accidents After Hospitalization
When a patient returns home from the hospital, they are typically not 100% well. They are simply well enough to go home. With a decreased level of health, accidents are more likely to happen. Even getting light-headed while coming down the stairs could lead to a disastrous fall. Knowing that after a hospital visit it may take a little while to feel back to normal, it is good practice to take all the necessary precautions to make sure the patient is taken care of at all times. Since it is near impossible for most people to afford round-the-clock care, a medical alert system can provide help in their absence. With a medical alert system to aide a patient following a lengthy hospital visit, there is a lesser probability that any accidents that may occur will result in a really scary situation with no one to help.
A medical alert system is never a replacement for a home health professional or other caretaker at home. However, it is a great way to provide post hospitalization care at a more affordable price and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Having a medical alert system after a hospital visit is an incredibly smart decision for anyone.