All About HSAs: What They Are, How To Use Them, and More

2024-03-29T14:16:29+00:00March 29th, 2024|Dental Insurance, Dentist Office Monroe NC|

All About HSAs: What They Are, How To Use Them, and More

As healthcare costs continue to rise, managing expenses efficiently is more important than ever. Health savings accounts (HSAs) can go a long way in helping you navigate these challenges. That said, if you’re going to take control of your dental and overarching healthcare finances, you must understand how HSAs work and learn to maximize their benefits.

From tax advantages to flexible fund usage, HSAs provide a unique opportunity to save for current and future medical needs while enjoying significant tax perks. Adam Brown, DDS wants to explore the intricacies of these savings accounts, clarify their operation, and explain their advantages. Whether you’re entirely new to HSAs or hope to deepen your understanding, the information and advice below will help you make informed decisions and secure a healthier financial future.

Understanding HSAs

HSAs are a unique approach to managing healthcare expenses; they ultimately give you greater control and flexibility over your healthcare dollars. Let’s discuss the fundamental aspects of HSAs, shedding light on what they are and how they function within the broader landscape of healthcare finance:

Definition and Purpose

At its core, an HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account specifically earmarked for medical expenses. It’s designed to work with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), which typically features lower monthly premiums but higher deductibles than traditional health insurance plans. The primary purpose of an HSA is to empower individuals to save and pay for qualified medical expenses with pre-tax dollars, which reduces the financial strain of healthcare costs.

Eligibility Criteria

Not everyone can open and contribute to an HSA. You must be covered by an HDHP and cannot be enrolled in other health coverage that is not an HDHP, Medicare, or claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. Further, you cannot be enrolled in a general-purpose flexible spending account (FSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA); a limited-purpose FSA or HRA that only covers specific medical expenses should not disqualify you.

HSAs vs. Other Healthcare Accounts

It’s essential to distinguish HSAs from other healthcare accounts like FSAs and HRAs. Unlike FSAs, which are typically “use it or lose it” accounts with funds expiring at the year’s end, HSAs allow unused funds to roll over from year to year. HRAs are employer-funded accounts used to reimburse employees for eligible medical expenses.

At the same time, HSAs are owned and controlled by the individual, offering portability even if they change jobs or health plans. Understanding these foundational elements of HSAs lays the groundwork for comprehending their broader benefits and implications.

What Are the Perks of HSAs?

HSAs offer a wealth of benefits for individuals and families seeking to manage their healthcare expenses efficiently. In today’s healthcare landscape, it’s no surprise that these accounts are increasingly viewed as valuable financial tools.

Tax Advantages

One of the primary attractions of HSAs is their favorable tax treatment. Contributions made to an HSA are tax-deductible, meaning they can reduce your taxable income for the year they are made. Also, any interest or investment gains earned within the HSA are tax-free, so your savings can grow unencumbered by taxes. Withdrawals used for qualified medical expenses are also tax-free, yielding a triple tax advantage that few other financial instruments can match.

Potential for Accumulated Savings

Unlike other healthcare accounts that may limit the rollover of unused funds, HSAs allow for savings accumulation over time. Any funds left in the HSA at the end of the year roll over to the following year, and your healthcare dollars remain available for future medical needs. This feature makes HSAs particularly attractive for anyone anticipating ongoing or recurring healthcare expenses and those planning retirement healthcare costs.

Portability and Flexibility

HSAs offer unparalleled flexibility and portability compared to other healthcare accounts. Because HSAs are owned and controlled by the individual, rather than the employer, individuals can retain their HSA even if they change jobs or health insurance plans. Such flexibility equips you to take control of your healthcare finances and make decisions that align with your personal needs and preferences.

Incentive for Preventive Care

The tax advantages of HSAs provide a financial incentive for individuals to prioritize preventive care and wellness initiatives. Investing in preventive services (e.g., screenings, vaccinations, wellness programs) can dramatically boost your overall health while reducing your long-term healthcare costs. HSAs promote a proactive approach to healthcare management, ultimately contributing to improved health outcomes and financial well-being.

HSA and Dental Care

HSAs can play a significant role in managing dental expenses because they give individuals a tax-advantaged way to cover a range of dental services. They can be used to pay for a variety of dental services, including but not limited to:

  • Routine cleanings and exams
  • Fillings and restorations
  • Extractions
  • Root canals
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Dentures and implants

Orthodontic Treatments: In many cases, orthodontic treatments like braces or Invisalign are also eligible for reimbursement through an HSA. That said, it’s essential to check with your HSA provider and review IRS guidelines to confirm eligibility.

Preventive Care Emphasis: HSAs incentivize preventive dental care by allowing tax-free funds for routine check-ups, cleanings, and other preventive services. Investing in preventive care can help you maintain optimal oral health and potentially reduce the need for more extensive and costly treatments down the line.

Flexibility in Payment: HSA funds can cover out-of-pocket dental expenses not fully covered by insurance, deductibles, and co-payments. The flexibility lets you access essential dental care without experiencing undue financial strain.

Navigating HSA Contributions and Withdrawals

Effectively managing HSAs involves understanding the processes for making contributions and withdrawals. Below, we’ll talk about how to navigate these aspects of HSA management.


Let’s start with some practical tips for contributing to your HSA so that it maximizes your benefits:

Contribution Limits

The IRS sets annual contribution limits for HSAs, which can vary depending on whether the HSA is for an individual or a family. As of 2024, individuals can contribute up to $4,150 per year to an HSA, while families can contribute up to $8,300 per year. Individuals aged 55 or older are eligible for an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000.

Employer Contribution

Many employers offer HSA contributions as part of their benefits package. These contributions are often made through payroll deductions and may count toward the annual contribution limit. Maximizing employer contributions can help you accelerate your HSA savings.

Timing of Contributions

HSA contributions can be made at any time during the year, either as regular contributions through payroll deductions or as lump-sum contributions. Just remember that you must make contributions before the tax filing deadline (usually April 15 of the following year) to count for the current tax year.


It’s easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to sorting through an HSA, insurance, and other complex processes for medical care. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Qualified Medical Expenses

HSA withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified medical expenses. These expenses include a wide range of healthcare services, treatments, and supplies (as the IRS outlines). It’s essential to retain receipts and documentation to substantiate HSA withdrawals and confirm compliance with IRS guidelines.

Non-Medical Withdrawals

If HSA funds are withdrawn for non-qualified expenses before age 65, they are subject to income tax and a 20% penalty. Withdrawals for non-qualified expenses are taxed as ordinary income after age 65, but the penalty no longer applies.

Reimbursement Process

HSA withdrawals can be made by using a dedicated HSA debit card, checks, or online transfers. When using HSA funds to pay for qualified medical expenses, you can either pay directly from the HSA or reimburse yourself by withdrawing funds and retaining receipts for documentation.

Tips for Maximizing HSA Benefits

Successfully navigating HSAs is all about getting the most possible from what you put in. Consider these practical tips:

  • Prioritize preventive care. Invest in preventive services to maintain good health and reduce future healthcare costs. Connect with Adam Brown, DDS to schedule a checkup!
  • Maximize your contributions. Contribute the maximum allowed amount to your HSA each year to take full advantage of its tax benefits.
  • Use your HSA funds wisely. Spend HSA funds strategically on qualified medical expenses to minimize out-of-pocket costs.
  • Save receipts. Keep receipts and documentation for all HSA withdrawals to substantiate qualified medical expenses and guarantee compliance with IRS guidelines.
  • Explore your investment options. If your HSA offers investment options, consider investing HSA funds for potential growth over the long term.

Use these strategies to harness the full potential of your HSA and effectively manage your healthcare finances. Doing so can significantly impact your overall quality of life!

Common Pitfalls and Misconceptions

Navigating HSAs effectively requires you to be aware of some mistakes that can hinder your financial planning. Here are the five most critical points to consider:

  1. Failure to Maximize Contributions: Some individuals may contribute less than the maximum allowed amount to their HSAs, missing out on potential tax savings and long-term growth opportunities. It’s crucial to prioritize HSA contributions to leverage the benefits of tax-free savings.


  1. Misunderstanding Eligible Expenses: Not all healthcare expenses qualify for reimbursement through an HSA. You must familiarize yourself with the IRS guidelines on qualified medical expenses to avoid using HSA funds for ineligible purchases, which could result in tax penalties.


  1. Forgetting to Save Receipts: Documentation is essential for substantiating HSA withdrawals for qualified medical expenses. Failure to save receipts could make it challenging to prove expenses’ eligibility in case of an IRS audit.


  1. Confusion About HSA Investments: Some HSA providers offer investment options, allowing account holders to grow their funds over time. That said, navigating investment choices and understanding associated risks can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with investment principles.


  1. Overlooking Employer Contributions: Employers may offer contributions to employees’ HSAs as part of their benefits package. Failing to take advantage of employer contributions means missing out on valuable additional savings.


Leveraging your HSA can significantly ease the burden of rising healthcare costs. You can make informed decisions about your healthcare finances by understanding its intricacies, from eligibility criteria to qualified expenses.

Your HSA offers substantial tax advantages and flexibility, and it’s a valuable tool for managing dental care and other medical expenses. Make sure your oral and overall health are well taken care of by optimizing your HSA’s benefits with careful planning and strategic usage. Remember to contact Adam Brown, DDS to schedule an appointment and pave the way to a healthier, financially secure future!

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Dangerous Procedures: Why You Should Not Have Dental Work Done Outside of the US

2023-10-27T19:34:00+00:00October 27th, 2023|Dental Insurance|

Dental procedures can get expensive, even when you have a high-tiered insurance plan. And though most dental practices are willing to work with patients by offering payment plans and discounts, there is what seems to be a growing trend of people looking elsewhere for dental work in order to get it at a much lower cost. “Elsewhere” in this case means out of the country–particularly, in Mexico. Though it is true that a patient can get a number of dental procedures done for less money in Mexico, this is not a good idea.  

Why it is not a good idea to try and save cash by scheduling a dental procedure to be done in Mexico

Saving money is one thing; putting your health at risk (a rather high risk at that) is something more serious. So why do some people search outside of the country to get their dental procedures done? The truth is, it can be a lot less expensive to have any kind of dental work done in countries like Mexico, but after looking into the details it becomes clear that it’s simply not worth it. Not only is it a health risk, but there is also the chance that the particular procedure being performed will not be done correctly. This is not to say that Mexican dentists are derelict at their jobs, but rather that they do not adhere to the same rules and regulations that we are used to having here in the States.

The following are specific examples of why it is not a good idea to try and save cash by scheduling a dental procedure to be done in Mexico:

Low Standards of Sterilization

The American Journal of Infection Control, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, released a study in 2016 showcasing a series of test samples collected over a period of twenty years. These tests were taken from dentists in Mexico and showed that 10.2% of the cases studied failed the necessary rate of dental tool sterilization. This means that in just over 10% of the cases noted, the dentists simply ignored the tool sterilization cycle and failed to read the sterilization equipment’s pressure indicator dial and thermometer. 

Though 10.2% is not a massive number, when dealing with sterilizing tools and equipment, even a 1% failure is a big deal. Any dentist who has been properly trained knows that the manufacturer’s specifications must always be followed for each particular piece of equipment and tool used. Could you imagine having a piece of dental equipment used inside of your mouth right after it had been used on someone else–and with no sterilization done between uses?! No thank you.

The scientific study reveals that some of the necessary sterilization cycles that must be performed in order to maintain proper levels of health safety remain unknown to most dentists in Mexico. The United States, on the other hand, conducts regular extensive tests on every dental office in order to biologically monitor and conduct test sporing.

A Lack of Education

None of this is to say that dentists in Mexico are incapable of operating on the same level as American dentists, but rather that they are not required to do so. Take the level of required education for example.

In the United States, dental professionals must take hours of continued education (this is after they have obtained their degree in the field of dentistry) every two to three years in order to keep their license active. The logic behind this is to help dentists to keep up on their skills, as well as, for them to learn the newest technological information and techniques coming out of the present body of knowledge within the dental field.

It’s a little different in Mexico. Dentists in Mexico are not required to go through a renewal process, nor are they mandated to keep up with industry standards. On the other hand, a dentist in America may have twenty years of experience, but that also means they are versed in the modern methods used in dentistry. A dentist in Mexico with twenty years of experience simply has the experience, but has most likely not received any continued education.

This is incredibly disconcerting because dental standards and regulations are constantly changing, so any dentist who is not following the continued updates in the field could be doing harm to patients.

A Lack of Qualification

Since general dentists in Mexico need only a dental license (no continued education required) to perform procedures, this means after four years of schooling, they are finished. They can then begin performing complicated procedures, such as root canals, tooth extractions, and dental implants even though they are not necessarily qualified to do so–any dentist worth his salt would agree that these high-level dental procedures require plenty of extra education and experience, to say the least.

In America, for instance, a prosthodontist has to take three additional years of schooling in order to be able to perform any sort of dental surgery. The same is true for an orthodontist, where it takes an additional three years to be able to administer Invisalign treatments.

In addition to a lack of qualification, dental professionals in Mexico tend to rush dental work. This is often advertised as a good quality, but in order for a patient to receive quality care, being rushed is not a good thing. The reality is that many dental procedures require more than one or two dental visits. The implication here is that if a dentist is rushing her work, certain protocols are being ignored.

One particularly dangerous procedure to have done in Mexico is dental implants. This takes specific equipment that is often not found in these dental offices, which keeps them from being able to offer same-day crowns, and often important steps within the implant process get skipped due to a lack of knowledge and experience.

No Chance of a Refund

Yet another negative aspect to having dental work done in Mexico is that, if your procedure goes awry, there is little-to-no chance you will receive a refund. You can’t even file a complaint; however, here in the States, if you do not end up getting a refund–which, if your dental work was not done correctly, you most likely would–you can file a complaint or leave a bad review, which no dental office wants to have attached to its practice.

The Language Barrier

Imagine having someone tinkering around with your teeth, in a country you are unfamiliar with–and they are speaking a language you do not understand. You have high hopes the dental work done will cost a lot less than it would in America, but there is a good chance it will be done incorrectly. And if it is, you most likely will not know until you return home. Who do you contact? If you do make contact with the dentist, what if he doesn’t speak the same language as you? Even if he does, what good will it do? Are you going to fly back to the same dental office and hope it’s done right this time?

Hopefully by now it is clear the problems that can occur when attempting to have a dental procedure done outside of the U.S. The lesson here is, when in doubt, talk with your dentist. As mentioned earlier, if it is a money issue, payment plans can be worked out. There is never a good reason to risk your health. If you need any sort of dental procedure done, from basic cleanings to dental implants, come visit us at Adam Brown, DDS as soon as possible.

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Finding an Experienced Dentist in Monroe, North Carolina

2020-07-16T16:55:10+00:00June 17th, 2019|Adam Brown DDS, Dental Crowns, Dental Insurance, Dental Trends, General, Oral Health, Teeth Whitening|

There are fewer things more stressful than finding a new health provider, much less finding an office and staff to trust you and your family’s smile with. Whether you’re searching for the right dentist to advise your oral health regimen, or are simply in the market for a new dentist, Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to equip you with the right knowledge to find an experienced dentist suited for your treatment needs.


Find an Experienced Dentist—Don’t Get Unnecessary Treatments

In need of a second opinion after getting a hefty price estimate for a procedure, you’re not sure you really need? Had a bad experience with a previous dentist and searching for a new practice to rebuild trust with? Waited so long for a dental visit that you’re just ready for a fresh start and motivation? No judgments and no worries! Finding an experienced dentist does not have to be an ordeal.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by your search for the right dentist. From Google searches, Yelp reviews, to scouring websites and seeking out word of mouth recommendations, there are many ways in which we try to find a great dentist. If you’ve moved recently or switched insurance companies, it can also be difficult to move on from a long-time dentist and find another that meets all of your expectations.

Where should you even start? We have laid out the most important considerations in your search for the right experienced dentist.


Question 1: What makes a good dental practice?

You have probably asked yourself this before. What makes a good dentist? Is it a staff of gentle hygienists? A dentist who spends time in the room with the patient? The cheapest treatment options around? Let’s discuss it!


Expectations should be met with every point of contact, including staff

Whether you are making your first call to inquire about services, scheduling an appointment, or entering the practice, the staff should be welcoming to patients. Practices that leave patients in the waiting room without greeting and without respect for patients’ time are red flags that the dental practice does not respect the time of their clients. A friendly, punctual staff ensures that the visit is great from start to finish.


Active listening

Between the hygienists and the dentist, you need a practice that listens to what you say. As the patient, you are the best advocate and knowledge base of your own health, and a good dental practice values that. By listening to your concerns and requests, and acting on what they hear, rather than talking over the patient or not spending and giving the time to the patient to speak their concerns, the patient will collaborate with the dental practice to ensure they are receiving the best treatment options.


Attempts to know the patient

In a larger practice, we do not expect our dentists to know the patient’s entire history, but no patient wants to feel like another file on the shelf. A dentist taking the time to know you can affect the level of care that the patient gets. Whether that’s making friendly conversation or taking a few minutes to read your chart, attempting to know the patient can make all the difference in your dental care.


Question 2: What are the warning signs of a bad dentist?

Fraudulent dentists certainly are not the norm, but more often than you would think, dishonest practices have impacted patients in their long-term trust in dentistry and their own oral health. The wrong dentist is more concerned with his pocketbook rather than the overall health of your mouth, meaning he may recommend and perform unnecessary treatments. Procedures that aren’t necessary can wreak havoc on your mouth and lead to further problems down the road.


Signs of Fraudulent Practice

  1. Urgency without explanation:

If your dentist identifies an issue that is not a dental emergency and tells you a procedure needs to be done immediately, you should start by asking why and for full disclosure on the procedure itself. If you are in a new dentist’s chair for a regular cleaning and suddenly you’re bombarded with procedures of a type you’ve never needed before, or that you did not enter the practice asking for help with, then it may be a red flag. When the dentist is vague on the reasoning for procedures, he may be pressuring you into going forward without understanding all of your options.

  1. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is:

Some dentists offer very discounted, or even free cleanings as a way to get patients in the door. Once in the chair, they may either hit you with fees that were never mentioned as part of the deal or as mentioned before, pressure you into procedures with intensity.

  1. Lack of Patient Education:

As we mentioned before, the sign of a great dentist is one who educates patients and ensures that decisions are made collectively between the patient and dentist. It is not good practice when dentists and hygienists are not willing to take time and explain the dental issues and recommended procedures to the patient. Even the act of not showing patients their x-rays can be a red flag. Your dentist should take the time to discuss what is shown in your x-rays, point out any lesions or unhealthy teeth, and talk through the treatment plan with the findings.


Question 3: How does dentistry become susceptible to fraud, and how can I determine if I am part of fraudulent dentistry?

We know that for the majority of dentists out there, it took years of hard work and building trust among their patients to make a successful dental practice. But, as in any profession, there are a small number of professionals out there who turn to taking shortcuts for financial gain. For the medical profession in general, medical diagnoses can be subjective. Because of this, we have a number of suggestions to improve patient advocacy.


Understand how your insurance works with the dental practice.

Beyond having a sense of your general dental coverage, you may not know how the dental practices interact before and after your dental visit. After scheduling your appointment, the staff at the dental practice will reach out to your dental insurance company to find out everything that is covered under your provider. So before you even enter the office, the experienced dentist will know everything that can be billed to you during your dental visit. Unfortunately, this can leave the patient vulnerable to receiving treatments that are more likely to be reimbursed by the insurance company, rather than what’s truly right for the teeth.


For example, a dentist may be choosing between a filling and a root canal for a patient. Taking the path with the root canal and crown is more lucrative for the dental practice. This is because it is common knowledge that root canals are easier to pass through an insurance company than a filling, and by receiving a root canal, you’re automatically approved for a crown. Root canals are easier to pass simply because the dentist can justify the root canal by claiming that the patient was in pain. The problem here is that the dentist may have just been able to perform a filling, which is a cheaper procedure and less invasive for the patient.


Now that there are some ways of identifying fraud, let’s talk about active ways to prevent getting in those situations in the first place.


  1. Choose your dentist based on referrals

Your insurance company may be telling you which dentists to see, but take time to do your own research. Seek out others with the same insurance and ask for a recommendation. Or, if you have a current dentist in the same area but you have switched insurance policies, ask your dentist for a recommendation, or ask for a recommendation from a local dentist society or health professional. Just because the insurance company covers a dentist does not make it a suitable referral. Plus, seeking out opinions from family, friends, and co-workers can give recommendations backed by real experiences.

  1. Consider going family-owned rather than corporate

Chain-dentistry practices drive patients through the door with heavy advertising and discounts, quick cleanings, free exams, and of course, hundreds or thousands of dollars in unnecessary dental work. Corporate dental chains can run on a quota-based model that can sometimes lead to practices working on the side of pushing unnecessary treatments.

  1. Ask for the appointment time

Generally, a new patient appointment should take around an hour and a half. If the office tells you that appointment should only last about a half hour, they may be trying to rush you through what should be a thorough cleaning and appointment, rather than give you the time you deserve as a patient. If you’re an established patient, appointment time can vary, but a cleaning should take at least 45 minutes. If it lasts only 15 minutes, it’s time to start asking questions.

  1. Always check your bill

In a true dental scam, a dentist might inflate claims or bill insurers for procedures that the patient didn’t receive. The best way to avoid this from happening is to ensure communication with your dentist, ask for an estimated price upfront (prior to sitting in the dental chair), and always checking your bill at checkout. According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, it is estimated that Americans lose about $68 billion dollars each year to healthcare fraud. Don’t be a victim of dental fraud; know the signs and do not be afraid to advocate for yourself as a patient.

  1. Check the market rate for common procedures.

There are common procedures you have had before that you know the price for, but when dental pain strikes, sometimes you are willing to pay anything for it to get fixed. It’s at these times when it is most important to ensure that you are being offered a fair, market-rate price, and not just being offered the most expensive procedure that your insurance may or may not cover.

  1. Seek other opinions.

If you have ever had a major dental procedure, it is likely that you might have sought out another opinion. One dentist may recommend that you need it, while another may not. This is totally normal, and encouraged, especially if you feel that any of the signs above are occurring.

  1. Feel out the culture of the office.

While how you feel as a patient is important, seeing how the experienced dentist treats the staff can also impact the care you receive. The best doctors are attentive to patients and staff. If you have a bad feeling with your interaction from the front desk to the dental chair, how can you trust your oral health to the practice? You should feel safe and welcome at the dentist from the moment you walk in the door. 


Find a dental provider who’s right for you and your family

Carolina’s Dental Choice is here to make you feel right at home, whether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident. Give us a call today if you’re in need of a welcoming, friendly face in the dental practice world at 704-289-9519.


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Tooth Extraction Explained at Carolina’s Dental Choice

2020-07-16T16:56:44+00:00April 17th, 2019|Dental Insurance, Dental Trends, Oral Health|

Our team at Carolina’s Dental Choice knows that the word “extraction” can cause anxiety and even fear in some people. Many of us have had this procedure done, sometimes multiple times, and the reason a tooth needs to be extracted varies from patient to patient.

What Is Dental Extraction?

A dental extraction (also called exondontia or informally, tooth pulling) is the removal of teeth from the socket (dental alveolus) in the alveolar bone. Extractions are performed for a wide range of reasons, but most commonly because a tooth is unrestorable due to decay, periodontal disease, or dental trauma.

Tooth decay is the softening of your tooth enamel and refers to the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth.

Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Traumatic dental injuries most often occur as a result of an accident or sports injury. The majority of these injuries are minor, such as chipped teeth. Occasionally though, a tooth will dislodge or even get knocked out completely.

Extraction Procedure

Typically, when undergoing a tooth extraction procedure, your dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic before the procedure.

Common forms of local anesthesia are Novocaine and more popularly, Lidocaine, which is injected after the dentist numbs the area with an external numbing agent. Here are all the common forms of anesthesia:

  • Local Anesthesia—this is when medication is injected into the mouth to numb the area to be treated and block the nerves that transmit pain. This type of anesthesia is commonly used during fillings, treating gum disease, or preparing teeth for crowns.
  • Sedation—this method is usually administered by inhaling nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. It can also be administered orally in the form of a pill taken prior to the dental procedure. This form of anesthesia is commonly combined with a local anesthetic to help relieve anxiety and reduce pain.
  • General Anesthesia—this is the strongest form of anesthesia available for dental procedures and involves intravenous medications that produce a temporary loss of consciousness. General anesthesia is usually only used during oral surgery procedures.

You may have also heard of I.V. sedation and wondered if it were for you. Intravenous (I.V.) sedation has become more common and works well for those with fear of the dentist and dental procedures. It is also ideal for patients whose fear of dentistry has led to a large amounts of dental work needing to be completed.  I.V. Sedation is also used for outpatient procedures, like colonoscopies. Referred to as “twilight sleep,” you will wake with little or no memory of the procedure. Anesthesia is given via the I.V. and recovery requires someone take you to/from the procedure.

If the extraction involves an impacted tooth, the tooth may be broken into pieces before it is removed. An impacted tooth is a tooth that, for some reason, has been blocked from breaking through the gum. Sometimes a tooth may be only partially impacted, meaning it has started to break through.

Your dentist will perform x-rays and thorough examinations before this stage and will explain the procedure and any other possible options. Often, with impacted teeth, there are no symptoms and only an x-ray will discover it.

Another reason teeth are extracted, especially in youth and young adults, is to make room in the mouth before planning to straighten remaining teeth. Teeth may also be extracted if they are so poorly positioned that they cannot possibly be straightened. A less common reason to extract a tooth is as a cheaper alternative to filling or placing a crown on a decayed tooth.

If you or your child has a condition where a tooth extraction might be called for, please call Carolina’s Dental Choice at (704) 289-9519 to schedule an appointment.

The number of Americans missing at least one tooth is more than 120 million, so it’s not at all unusual to be missing one or more teeth for a variety of reasons, including those listed above.

What’s the deal with Wisdom Teeth?

One of the most common procedures is the removal of the “wisdom teeth.” What is this procedure and why do these teeth often need to be removed and what are the benefits? According to

Wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more wisdom teeth — the four permanent adult teeth located at the back corners of your mouth on the top and bottom.

If a wisdom tooth doesn’t have room to grow (impacted wisdom tooth), resulting in pain, infection, or other dental problems, you’ll likely need to have it pulled. Wisdom tooth extraction may be done by a dentist or an oral surgeon.

For many, the first use of dental anesthesia is during extraction of wisdom teeth (the four hindmost molars that come in during young adulthood), which can cause issues including moving other teeth around.

To prevent potential future problems, some dentists and oral surgeons recommend wisdom tooth extraction even if impacted teeth aren’t currently causing problems.

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to appear (erupt) in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally — just as their other molars did — and cause no problems.

Many people develop impacted wisdom teeth — teeth that don’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may erupt only partially or not at all.

An impacted wisdom tooth may:

  • Grow at an angle toward the next tooth (second molar)
  • Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
  • Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone
  • Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone

Problems with impacted wisdom teeth. You’ll likely need your impacted wisdom tooth pulled if it results in problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Trapping food and debris behind the wisdom tooth
  • Infection or gum disease (periodontal disease)
  • Tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • Damage to a nearby tooth or surrounding bone
  • Development of a fluid-filled sac (cyst)

Preventing future dental problems. Dental specialists disagree about the value of extracting impacted wisdom teeth that aren’t causing problems (asymptomatic), because it is difficult to predict future problems with impacted wisdom teeth. However, here’s the rationale for preventive extraction:

  • Symptom-free wisdom teeth could still harbor disease.
  • If there isn’t enough space for the tooth to erupt, it’s often hard to get to it and clean it properly.
  • Serious complications with wisdom teeth happen less often in younger adults.
  • Older adults may experience difficulty with surgery and complications after surgery.

What to expect after a Dental Extraction

Immediately after an extraction, be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions. You may receive a prescription for a mild pain killer or antibiotic, but in most cases, over-the-counter medications will manage pain. Do not eat solid foods or smoke for 48 hours. Stick with soft foods like yogurt, soups, mashed potatoes, and smoothies (avoided fruit seeds). The soft tissue takes about 3-4 weeks to heal.

Keep an eye out for any signs of acute bleeding, pain, or swelling. This could indicate an infection.

Beware of Dry Socket

Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that sometimes happens after you have a permanent adult tooth extracted. Dry socket is when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed.

Normally, a blood clot forms at the site of a tooth extraction. This blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The clot also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and for the development of soft tissue over the clot.

Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face. The socket becomes inflamed and may fill with food debris, adding to the pain. If you develop dry socket, the pain usually begins one to three days after your tooth is removed.

Dry socket is the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as the removal of third molars (wisdom teeth). Over-the-counter medications alone won’t be enough to treat dry socket pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon can offer treatments to relieve your pain.

Signs and symptoms of dry socket may include:

  • Severe pain within a few days after a tooth extraction
  • Partial or total loss of the blood clot at the tooth extraction site, which you may notice as an empty-looking (dry) socket
  • Visible bone in the socket
  • Pain that radiates from the socket to your ear, eye, temple, or neck on the same side of your face as the extraction
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth

When to see a doctor. A certain degree of pain and discomfort is normal after a tooth extraction. However, you should be able to manage normal pain with the pain reliever prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon, and the pain should lessen with time.

If you develop new or worsening pain in the days after your tooth extraction, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Expected Costs

The cost of a dental extraction can vary depending on your dentist’s fees and the scope of work. In some instances, extractions (such as wisdom teeth that are impacted) may need to be handled by a dental surgeon under anesthesia.

According to Member Benefits, who tracks the cost of dental work throughout the country, the cost of dental extraction (per tooth) can range from $75-$300 for a non-surgical extraction, and upwards of $650 for a single surgical extraction.  Additional costs could include x-rays and exam fees.

If you have dental insurance, it will take a bite (no pun intended) out of your bill. Depending on your policy, it may cover up to 50% of the cost. At Carolina’s Dental Choice, we work with a variety of Dental Insurers, as well as, Medicaid. Our staff will help you understand the costs involved and file the insurance paperwork for you. If you don’t have insurance, we offer an In-House Dental Savings Plan that allows patients to receive treatment at a discounted price.

Carolina’s Dental Choice also welcomes new patients. Whether you have just moved to the Monroe/Charlotte area, are transferring your care from another practice, need to establish care with a dentist, or find yourself suddenly in need of dental service, we look forward to partnering with you for the benefit of your oral health.

As we’ve explored, the reasons for a dental extraction are varied. There is no need to be in pain or discomfort, or even embarrassment, if you feel you need help with dental issues. Our staff is ready to help you find solutions for your dental needs.

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Our Commitment to Ethics at Carolina’s Dental Choice

2020-07-16T16:57:05+00:00March 25th, 2019|Dental Insurance, Dental Trends, Dentist Office Monroe NC, testimonial|

At Carolina’s Dental Choice we are strongly committed to the ethical treatment of both our staff and patients. These ethics we work and live by are the cornerstone of our business—and they are much more than a mantra to us. Our commitment to ethics can be seen each day you are in our office, and it is our hope that you are encouraged and comforted by our desire to maintain an honest and professional experience.

The American Dental Association outlines a few desired tenets to ethics for all dental offices in the U.S., and we here at Carolina’s Dental Choice follow five important principles when it comes to caring for our employees and patients:

  1. Patient Autonomy (self-governance)
  2. Nonmaleficence (do no harm)
  3. Beneficence (do good)
  4. Justice (fairness)
  5. Veracity (truthfulness)

Of course these sound wonderful, but exactly how we use them to interact with you on a daily basis is a little more detailed. Let’s take a closer look at each principle to see just how we use it.


Patient Autonomy

According to the ADA’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct document, every dentist has a duty to be truthful with patients. The document states,

“This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to be honest and trustworthy in their dealings with people. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include respecting the position of trust inherent in the dentist-patient relationship, communicating truthfully and without deception, and maintaining intellectual integrity.”

To us, this doesn’t just mean we are to keep your dental records private. This also means we will keep you in the know when it comes to what is happening with your oral health. It also means you can trust us not to try and manipulate you into having procedures done that are not actually needed. Patient autonomy is the first step in building a trusting relationship.


The ADA’s code of ethics also discusses the importance of nonmaleficence:

 “This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to protect the patient from harm. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include keeping knowledge and skills current, knowing one’s own limitations and when to refer to a specialist or other professional, and knowing when and under what circumstances delegation of patient care to auxiliaries is appropriate.”

You never have to worry about receiving anything but top-of-the-line, professional care at Carolina’s Dental Choice. We continually work according to the notion that if we are not completely sold on an idea, we will discuss with a fellow professional to gain clarity. This means that if we are not 100% confident of a particular procedure with a particular patient, we will not proceed. We want to best for you, and sometimes that means taking the extra time to have a conversation.


The American Dental Association sees benefice as

 “…the concept that professionals have a duty to act for the benefit of others. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligation is service to the patient and the public-at-large. The most important aspect of this obligation is the competent and timely delivery of dental care within the bounds of clinical circumstances presented by the patient, with due consideration being given to the needs, desires and values of the patient. The same ethical considerations apply whether the dentist engages in fee-for-service, managed care or some other practice arrangement…”

Just ask any of our current patients and they will tell you Carolina’s Dental Choice is always working on behalf of the customer. Since our very first day in office, one of our primary goals has been to always operate for the benefit of others. This is continually our commitment you.


Though life may not be fair, Carolina’s Dental Choice is determined to treat everyone equally, as stated by the ADA’s fourth principle:

“This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to be fair in their dealings with patients, colleagues and society. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include dealing with people justly and delivering dental care without prejudice. In its broadest sense, this principle expresses the concept that the dental profession should actively seek allies throughout society on specific activities that will help improve access to care for all.”

We do not discriminate or judge at CDC. We see each patient as unique and deserving of the same professional treatment we give everyone.


Lastly, the ADA sees veracity as this:

“This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to be honest and trustworthy in their dealings with people. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include respecting the position of trust inherent in the dentist-patient relationship, communicating truthfully and without deception, and maintaining intellectual integrity.”

We will never share your information with others or every give you reason not to trust us. We aim to create relationships with our customers, and a relationship built on honesty is always the best policy.

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Gifts to Make Them Smile | Holiday Gift Guide

2020-07-16T16:58:42+00:00December 15th, 2018|Dental Insurance, Dental Trends, Teeth Whitening|

stocking stuffer santa dentistPerhaps when you were younger, Santa stuffed your Christmas stocking full of chocolate coins and peppermint twists — and a new toothbrush to remind you not to let all that candy rot your teeth. Santa’s always been a smart guy.

Whether Dasher, and Dancer, and Donner and friends will deliver dental care to your door this holiday season, Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to help you give the gift of dental health this year. We’ve put together a list that includes something for everyone.


Do you have a co-worker that likes to travel or travels a lot for work? Consider travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and other small packables (like shampoos) and put them together in an attractive travel bag. Tuck in a small first-aid kit, sewing kit, shower cap, earplugs and other travel must-haves or comfort items. Travel items are also great for anyone planning a get-away. Combine the above items with a travel journal, pen, or guide book.

Got a college kid? Put together a semester’s worth of dental supplies including a toothbrush in their favorite or school colors, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, sugar-free gum, breath mints, single use travel brushes for those late nights in the library in a reusable tote.

And if you’ve got a sports fan, use the same idea but customize it for the team. You can find a Carolina Panthers toothbrush and partner it with a black, blue and silver toothbrush holder or rinse cup. Or consider a Charlotte Hornets toothbrush with a purple or teal hand towel.

Kids can benefit from the same kind of package featuring their favorite characters like Spider-ManHello KittyStar Wars, and The Secret Life of Pets.

Dental insurance for a year would make a wonderful gift for someone who might need an extra hand with expenses in the short-term, a student, or someone waiting for benefits with a new employer. Many options can be found online with different levels of coverage, so check carefully before signing up. In North Carolina, options include: Blue Cross Blue Shield NCAflacHumana, and United Health Care. Low-income children in North Carolina who do not qualify for Medicaid may be able to obtain health and dental insurance through the North Carolina Health Choice Health Insurance Program for Children.


Do you have a small child on your list who has not yet lost their first tooth? Sew up a customized Tooth Fairy Pillow with a little pocket in it for the tooth (and later the money)!

teeth cookie cutters dentistNot crafty? No worries! The artists of Etsy have you covered. There is a wide selection of dental-themed gifts available, sure to initiate grins from lots on your list like personalized tooth ornaments, tooth-shaped earrings and charms, tooth-shaped soap, wall art, and even a Tooth Fairy wand (should she need a hand during busy season). Meanwhile, Shutterfly can help you put together a customized mug or calendar or mousepad featuring photos of all your family members’ smiles.

If you’re a baker, there are tooth-shaped cookie cutters perfect for whipping up a batch of cookies for your dental office or dental student.


So many times we focus on giving things, but things may not be what a person actually needs. Instead hands-on help would be most appreciated! Whether that person is elderly, has mobility issues, or is a new parent, consider being present as a present.

Make a “gift card” for a homemade dinner once a month throughout the year. Whether you invite the recipient over — which also provides social support — or take a casserole over to their house, you’re giving more than just food.

Offer to drive. Making it to appointments can be a hassle without transportation. Talk about coordinating so that you can give your lunch hour to help someone get to the doctor, dentist, or even just run errands.

Lend a hand. Little things like taking out the trash each week, raking leaves, mopping the floor, or walking the dog are great ways to help someone mark a chore off the list. Maybe you have a skill that could be useful like repairing a porch railing, painting the bathroom, or organizing, but always make the effort to learn what kind of help a person needs.


Books are a great gift and there are many available with a take on teeth. For the beginning reader, “I Lost My Tooth” by Mo Willems features an ensemble cast of squirrels and “The Tooth Fairy” with Peppa Pig both help explain the process of losing and regrowing teeth. Adult readers with an interest in non-fiction will find the “The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth: And Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine” by Thomas Morris a fascinating jaunt through the things we’ve done to the human body in what’s described as a “wryly humorous collection of stories about bizarre medical treatments and cases offers a unique portrait of a bygone era in all its jaw-dropping weirdness.” And keeping with the science theme, “Evolution’s Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins” by paleoanthropologist Peter Ungar studies human evolution and climate change through the records stored in fossilized teeth.

Surprise your family with a vacation to Baltimore, Maryland! The world’s first dental school was founded there in 1840 by Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris. The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery (which later merged with the University of Maryland) taught generations of dentists. You can visit the National Museum of Dentistry located on the campus and explore dozens of exhibits featuring some of the objects from their 40,000-piece collection.

Vintage dental tools can make for a wonderful (if not quite unusual) conversation starter. Forceps, pelicans and toothkeys were commonplace in by-gone dental offices and some were made by blacksmiths. Many pelicans, aptly named for their shape, are made of silver and have hallmarks from a variety of countries, including England and France. Old dental chairs and equipment can be found at local antique shops and online as well as old dental advertising for products or services. In the early days, the local barber doubled as the neighborhood dentist!


Rhythm is Love (Ylang Ylang + Mint) Organic Toothpaste, made in France, is a collaboration between dental and artistic professionals. Uniquely flavored with ylang ylang, yuzu, and mint, the toothpaaste is sure to add a flavor and flair to anyone’s brushing routine.lebon mint toothpaste designer

Twice Early Bird and Twilight Toothpaste is a morning and night duo lights. The Early Bird formula is wintergreen and peppermint, and the Twilight blend combines lavender and mint for a relaxing finish to a long day.

The Burst Sonic Toothbrush is a powerful electric toothbrush with charcoal bristles that sonically vibrate 66,000 times in two minutes to get teeth super clean. It also features a quadpacer that will gently buzz every 30 seconds to ensure that every area of the mouth gets equal attention.

Minimalist, metallic and cool, the electric toothbrushes from Quip were one of the first approved by the American Dental Association. Compact and lightweight, the design looks and works great. Quip brushes suction cup to surfaces like mirrors or counter tops and are shower safe! 

Cocofloss bills itself as freshening, whitening, and soothing this colorful alternative to traditional floss adds a colorful and fun twist to the flossing routine. The 9-piece Floss Fanatic Set is available in a variety of flavors including coco, vanilla, mint, strawberry, and orange.

An electronic UV toothbrush sanitizer from Pursonic protects your toothbrush from germs and bacteria floating around and uses ozone and photo catalyst technology to kill germs and bacteria left behind.

Steripod makes an easy to use toothbrush protector great for home or travel as well as a razor protector and tongue scraper. The protective pods are designed to prevent cross-contamination like beard whiskers in toothbrush bristles.

Dental care can be part of a luxurious self care routine with a whitening treatment followed by a massage, manicure, and facial. Carolinas Dental Choice offers Opalescence whitening products to brighten your smile!


Giving something sweet to eat seems like a holiday tradition. If you’re shopping for someone with braces or orthodontic work, avoid these foods in order to protect their teeth: popcorn, nuts, hard candy, caramel, pretzels, and peanut brittle. Foods that are good for teeth are whole grains, fruits, lean meats, and vegetables. Sugar-free gum and candies are great options. And get creative when putting together a basket of goodies. Don’t forget treats for all family members! Pick up some dental chews for Fido or tartar cleaning snacks for Fluffy too.

If you’re looking for another way to recognize a caregiver such as a dental professional or nurse, think about things that will help them care for themselves. Massages, pedicures, manicures, a trip to the salt cave, compression socks, aromatherapy treatments, and meal delivery kits are great ways to support those whose job is to focus on others.


For the person who has everything, consider making a donation to a dental organization such as Operation SmileDental Lifeline, the American Dental Association initiative Give Kids a Smile, or America’s Dentists Care Foundation’s Missions of Mercy. Helping others guarantees a smile. You can also ask your dental practice how they are involved with the community and support their individual efforts.

Everyone at Carolinas Dental Choice wishes you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. Are your regular cleanings scheduled for 2019?


reindeer teeth gift guide


Did you know?

Reindeer only have front teeth on their bottom jaws! Reindeer have what’s called a dental plate or pad, which is a somewhat like an extra strong gum. Their premolar and molar teeth are made for grinding grass, hay, moss and lichen, and are very similar to those of other grass-eating animals such as cows and horses. Reindeer have 34 teeth total, compared to 32 teeth in people.

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Opioids in Dentistry: What You Should Know

2020-07-16T16:59:31+00:00August 28th, 2018|Dental Insurance, Dental Trends, General|

Have you ever been afraid of going to the dentist? Whether your fear is based on prior bad experiences or the potential for pain, you’re not alone.

However, many dental patients express a different fear regarding dental pain: potential addiction to prescribed pain treatments. Opioids are a type of narcotic pain medication often prescribed after major dental procedures. Opioids work by reducing pain signals to the brain. They are very effective in treating pain; however, they also carry a risk of addiction.

Opioid abuse and overdose has been an increasing epidemic across all ages, genders, and classes in the United States. A stunning national statistic reveals that although the U.S. represents 5 percent of the world’s population, it consumes 80 percent of the global opioid supply. According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), from 1999 to 2016, more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid-related overdose.

Fear of opioids or opioid addiction creates a tricky situation for patients who might be wondering, “How is my dentist going to make sure I am not experiencing pain or suffering, while also avoiding addiction to the pain medications prescribed after dental procedures?’ At Carolinas Dental Choice we make sure to work with you to safely manage your pain.

What are opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. At first, opioids produce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. After repeated and prolonged use, the brain develops a tolerance towards its effects and begins to crave the pleasure-inducing effects, despite becoming less susceptible to the actual pain relief of the drugs. 

How addiction to opioids starts

Opioids are very effective in treating pain, especially when someone is in high pain and needs immediate relief. Often, and unfortunately, addiction may be an unforeseen result of a legitimate need for pain treatment. Opioids like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone are highly addictive and lead to physical dependencies.

Opioids are prescribed for short-term pain management and aid in treating severe pain. Opioids used over a longer period become less effective, which may drive the urge to take higher doses in order to achieve the same effect as when the medication was first started.

What does addiction to opiates look like?

• Using drugs past the prescription or initial pain treatment
• Becoming tolerant and needing the drug more often
• Having withdrawals from the drug
• Strong desire or urge to use the drug
• Continuing use despite financial, legal, or social problems

Once the opioid is stopped, withdrawal symptoms can include muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold-flashes, and more. To lessen the chances of withdrawal take any prescription as directed and plan to taper down doses. Your doctor can help you create a plan to safely reduce your medication use while managing your pain.

Opiates at the Dentist: What’s the problem?

Dentists are the second highest prescribers of opioids in the U.S. Over the past few years however, opioid prescriptions from dentists have been in decline. On average, dentists prescribe three days worth of opioids to their patients, aiming to only administer the lowest-potency opioids for short periods of time for conditions associated with severe pain.

Procedures and conditions that call for opioid prescriptions can range depending on the patient’s pain tolerance and preference, but most commonly include:

• Wisdom teeth surgery
• Tooth/Molar extraction
• Dental infections
• Surgical trauma

The American Dental Association announced new policies to combat the opioid epidemic in March 2018, which include continued education in prescribing opioids and other controlled substances, and statutory limitations on opioid dosage and duration of no more than 7 days for acute pain.

Manage pain responsibly

There is a no one-size-fits-all for treatment, so talking to your dentist to determine what course of action is best for you is a great place to start. At Carolinas Dental Choice we encourage you to update your dentist on your health history, share what medications you might be taking, and disclose if you or someone in your close family are in recovery or have struggled with addiction in the past.

We want to have a conversation with you to answer these questions:

• What is the goal of this prescription?
• At what time and when should I take these?
• How long should I take these drugs?
• Are there risks from this medication?
• What do I do with any extra medication?

Dentists and patients alike need to be on the same page about the perception of pain for these dental procedures, as well as what realistic expectations are for their pain treatment. The goal of pain management is exactly that — management not magic. Often patients may expect to feel absolutely no pain after procedure and anxiety about pain can actually contribute to feeling it. Experiencing a little bit of pain is okay. It will help you keep track of whether something actually hurts and needs treatment or you are continuing to take a medication out of habit. Only treat your pain to the point that it is manageable and does not interfere with your quality of life.

How to treat dental pain without opioids

Opioids are not usually dentists’ first choice to send home with patients. The alternatives to opiates include familiar medications. Over-the-counter pills can be just as effective for controlling pain, and safer, as they are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).

In a recent study by The Journal of the American Dental Association, the most effective pain relief with the fewest side effects is 400 milligrams of ibuprofen with 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen. They also found that this combination is more effective than any other opioid or opioid-containing drugs. Most patients can find pain relief with a combination of Tylenol and ibuprofen, or even aspirin, which are easily accessible and inexpensive.

Patients should keep in mind that unlike opiates, the over-the-counter drug combinations may not work as instantly to relieve pain—but, when used correctly and consistently, these NSAIDs will relieve pain as effectively. At Carolina’s Dental Choice we recommend other pain relief measures such as hot or cold compresses, topical numbing gel, and comforting things such as taking a shower or bath, meditating, or distracting oneself with a favorite activity.

Most people associate major dental procedures with some lingering pain, sensitivity, and discomfort. But if you’re experiencing excessive pain post-dental procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your dentist may recommend an additional evaluation, or develop an alternative pain management plan suited for you.

Struggling with an addiction? Get help. 

Various treatment options and resources are available to help people with addiction. Your primary care doctor, dentist, or any other health professional can help assess the situation and recommend treatment options.

Other useful resources centralized in NC include:

The Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina

Carolina Healthcare System #ThisisSober Campaign

North Carolina Council of Community Programs – Treatment Services Guide

Recovery Communities of North Carolina

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