Free Dental Care in Connecticut

Healthy SmileIf you are experiencing a financial hardship or do not currently have dental insurance, this should not prevent you or your family from seeing a dentist and keeping up with your regular dental exams. Free dental clinics are a great resource for people experiencing hardships to see qualified dentists and dental professionals. Some organizations also offer a free or low cost dental referral service for people to keep up with dentist visits. In Connecticut, a few such events will be taking place in the next several weeks.

If you live in the Hartford area, the West Indian Foundation and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving are supporting the fourth annual Inner-City Dental Clinic. This free clinic operates on a first-come first-serve basis. Services provided will include routine exams, screenings, dental x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions and temporary dentures. The clinic will be operating from 8am to 8pm, May 19, 2012. You can also receive a free screening for blood pressure, vision, diabetes, HIV, and oral cancer. The Inner-City Dental Clinic will be held at Community Health Services, 500 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT.

Another upcoming free dental clinic is the fifth annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic to be held March 23-24, 2012. Dental exams, fillings, cleanings, extractions, temporary dentures, and root canals are included in the array of services provided. Patients will be seen on a first-come first-serve basis and doors open at 6am. If you have been putting off seeing a dentist for financial reasons, this is a good opportunity to get the healthcare you need. The CT Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic will be held on the campus of Western Connecticut State University at the O’Neill Center, 43 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury, CT. CT Mission of Mercy’s site also provides details for individuals seeking referrals for Connecticut dentists providing free or sliding-scale services from your local Community Health Center.

If you are concerned about your finances and the cost of dental care, remember you have options. Regular checkups with a dentist are a key factor in maintaining oral health, and prevention is far less expensive than corrective procedures. Whether you attend a free dental clinic or pick up the phone and call a family dentist for your next checkup, be proactive in taking the steps to keep your smile healthy.

How Regularly Visiting the Dentist can Keep Your Heart Healthy

You likely have heard a hundred times before how important it is to get into your dentist’s office twice a year. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly is one of the major keys in keeping your smile and healthy. But did you know that visiting your dentist may also keep you healthy in other ways? Two recent studied that were released by The American Heart Association showed that those who had their teeth cleaned at least once a year had fewer heart attacks or strokes. The patients who regularly visited the dentist saw a 24-percent decrease in cardiac arrest and a 13-percent decrease in stroke occurrences, reported Health Watch MD.

“While this study was just released, Dr. Sara Mobasseri says that the link between dental hygiene and heart health is not a new concept.”

“There has always been the observation that with poor dental hygiene, [people] are more at risk for heart disease,” she says. “It’s always been observational data, but we don’t have true, randomized research to tell us about the risk of poor hygiene and heart disease.”

If you have avoided visiting your dentist in the past out of dental anxiety would you have been more likely to schedule an appointment if you had known the statistics about the decrease in heart attack and stroke? While these observational studies are not completely concrete and they don’t offer all of the answers it is better to be safe than sorry and schedule a cleaning with your dentist today. You will definitely leave with a healthier smile and you may just leave with a healthier heart.

Dr. Mobasseri is a preventative cardiologist and when asked if she would be telling her patients to visit the dentist and brush and floss more often she wasn’t sure just yet.

“From a heart disease standpoint, I still think we need more data and research coming forward,” she says. “Right now it is very anecdotal and by experience that we are seeing these relationships.”

But brushing, flossing and visiting your CT dentist on a regular basis certainly isn’t going to hurt anything. You will have a healthier mouth that you will be proud to show off to those around you every time you smile. And perhaps you will have a healthier heart to show off next time you visit your cardiologist. So schedule an appointment with your dentist today and get on your way to a healthier you.

Regular Floss vs. Water Floss

Periodontal disease is a serious problem for many people, especially those who do not floss their teeth at least once a day. Since periodontal disease starts between the teeth, flossing is very important to your gum and tooth health, but the difficulty of flossing causes many people to skip this process entirely. For this reason, there need to be other methods of flossing that can be recommended to patients who have difficulty with flossing.

According to a study reported in Perio Reports, a study was completed at the University of Amsterdam that compared interdental devices among 104 non-dental students:

“To participate in the study, students had to have bleeding scores of at least 50% percent, with at least 5 teeth per quadrant and no advanced periodontal disease. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Johnson and Johnson waxed dental floss, Water Pik WaterFlosser with the standard jet tip and the Water Pik WaterFlosser with a new irrigator tip with three tufts of bristles around the opening.”

To see how effective the different devices were, bleeding was evaluated at baseline after 2 weeks and then 4 weeks. Not surprisingly all groups showed improvement:

  • Flossing – Reduction of 13%
  • Water Pik – Reduction of 20%
  • Water Pik (with special tip) – Reduction of 26%

However, after 4 weeks, the flossing group returned to its original levels, while the Water Piks maintained reductions in the 15% range. It is important to note that plaque scores did not show any difference at any point in time during the study.

This information is important to consider the next time you are visiting your Wallingford dentist. Since everyone’s oral health is a little different, speak with your dentist about what type of flossing is right for you. You may want to switch over to a water flossing system, seeing as they are significantly more effective than regular dental floss.