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10 months ago

Regular dental checkups: Important at any age

Very few U.S. retirees have dental insurance today. Without coverage from traditional Medicare, and with private dental insurance typically costing too much to be feasible, most seniors are stuck paying full out-of-pocket prices every time they visit a dentist. While there's no one simple solution to affordable dental care there are a variety of options that can help cut your costs.

Dental Discounts - one way you may be able to trim your dental care cost is by simply asking your dentist for a senior discount, especially if you're paying up front. Out-of-pocket payers save the dentist office the cost and hassle of filing an insurance claim, so asking for a small 10 to 20 percent discount is not unreasonable.

Another cost-effective way to reduce your dental expenses is to join a dental discount network. How this works is you pay an annual membership fee - roughly $80 to $200 a year - in exchange for 15 to 50 percent discounts on service and treatments from participating dentists. To find a network, go to (or call 800-400-8789) where you can search for plans and participating dentists by zip code, as well as get a breakdown of the discounts offered.

Brighter (866-893-1694), which launched in May in all states except Florida, Montana and Vermont, is another discounted dental service to check out. It gives subscribers access to a network of 25,000 dentists offering 20 to 60 percent discounts on cleanings, crowns, implants, root canals and other procedures. You can sign up for a free one-month plan or opt for the premium plan, which costs $79 per year for individuals and families.

Low-Cost Care - Another way to get dental care at a lower price is at a dental school clinic. Almost every dental school in the U.S. offers affordable care provided by dental students who are overseen by experienced, qualified teachers. You can expect to pay as little as a third of what a traditional dentist would charge and still receive excellent, well-supervised care.

And for low-cost teeth cleanings, check with local colleges that offer dental hygiene programs. For training purposes, many programs provide teeth cleanings by their students for a fraction of what you'd pay at a dentists office. To locate dental schools or dental hygiene programs in your area visit

Low Income Care - If you're strapped for cash there are other resources that provide dental care to seniors at a reduced rate or for free. Here's where to look:

Health centers: Federally-funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), there are thousands of health centers around the U.S., many of which provide discounted or free dental care to people based on financial need. To find a center near you visit or call 877-464-4772.

Local services - There are a few states, as well as some local programs or clinics that offer discounted dental care to those with limited means. To find out what may be available in your area, check with your state dental director (see for contact information), or your state or local dental society (see

To learn more or to apply for care in your state, visit or call 888-471-6334.

2 years ago

Using Reiki for Relaxing Dentistry

Using Reiki for Relaxing Dentistry

by: Dr. Pirjo Friedman D.D.S.

The reason that many people are afraid to see a dentist probably arises from the vision they have of dentistry as it was practiced a century ago, when equipment was basic and anesthetic was scarce. Lets face it, dentistry hurt!

Today, everything about dentistry has changed for the better. But the best improvement is our use of Reiki to relax patients who are uneasy in the dental chair!

Reiki is a technique for stress reduction and relaxation that lets you tap into an unlimited supply of life force energy. Since ancient times, the knowledge that an unseen energy, connected directly to the quality of health, flows through all living things has been part of the wisdom of many cultures. The existence of this energy has now been verified by scientific experiments.

As a Reiki Master, I use Reiki as a natural way to relax my patients and calm their feelings of anxiety.

Patients tell me that Reiki gives them a sense of peace and well-being that makes their dental visit a more pleasant experience than they ever expected. Some say they actually feel much better after the dental treatment than they did before they came in!

Once, I treated an eleven-year-old girl who had been in a car accident and was severely traumatized. She had gone through a lot of painful medical treatments and among other injuries, she had a broken front tooth and needed a root canal but I could not do anything as she was totally overcome by fear. After doing a Reiki treatment and relaxing the girl, I was able to finish the root canal in one session! The calming effect of Reiki allowed her to receive the treatment she needed.

With another patient, I happened to be thinking of laughter while I was doing Reiki on her. The patient, who had been nervous about having dental work done, said, Its weird. Ive been in a bad mood all day and now I feel like dancing.

I do Reiki for some of the other practitioners in my building who do extractions or surgeries. Sometimes their patients same day dentures Springfield come to me before their appointment just to get relaxed. In general, Reiki not only gets them through the appointment, it also promotes healing. Because the stress of surgery or an extraction is detrimental to healing, your body does not have sufficient energy left to heal itself. Reiki makes a difference!

Now all of my staff and associates have studied Reiki and my hygienist has become a Reiki Master herself! I urge anyone who is afraid of the dentist to call meyoull see, Im not frightening at all!

Pirjo Friedman D.D.S., practices at her clinic at 94 Cumberland Street in the Yorkville area of Toronto. See for more information.

About The Author

Dr. Pirjo Friedman, D.D.S., was born in Finland and now practices in the Yorkville area of Toronto, Canada. She is a believer in natural therapies and the most modern dental techniquesused in her practice every day. She believes a patient should be able to relax during dental work. She is a past President of the North Toronto Dental Society and President of the Women Entrepreneurs of Canada.

She can be contacted at

For more information, see:

This article was posted on March 08, 2005

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