Insurance not a factor in determining dental treatment

Dear Editor:

As a dental hygienist in Ahwatukee, I enjoy meeting and providing quality dental hygiene services to all my patients. I work with two meticulous, conscientious, conservative-minded dentists. The letter to the editor on Oct. 28 (“Frustrated with dentists,” AFN) from Faye Verska, raised a few points I wish to respond to: X-rays requirements, types of dental cleanings and insurance.

Dental X-rays are a diagnostic tool used to determine overall oral health. The American Dental Association (ADA) and Food and Drug Association (FDA) guidelines state the following for an adult patient: a new patient should have “individualized radiographic exam consisting of posterior bitewings with panoramic exam or posterior bitewings with selected periapical images. A full mouth intraoral radiographic exam is preferred when a patient has clinical evidence of generalized dental disease or a history of extensive dental treatment.” A recare patient should have “posterior bitewing exam at 24-36 month intervals.”

These guidelines would explain the 18 to 20 X-rays Verska experienced as a new patient, and her recare X-rays as an existing patient for seven years. Unfortunately, in order to capture each tooth within the images, multiple views are required. Often new dentists will accept a copy of the X-rays from a previous dentist to avoid repeating the X-rays. The amount of radiation from a single X-ray is minimal. Each X-ray is .5 millirem (mrem); therefore, 18 X-rays would equal 9mrem. This is the same amount of radiation a person would absorb from flying cross country, three times, one-way. X-rays should not be taken without reason; however, without X-rays, a dentist cannot see between the teeth, examine the bone or view the roots of the teeth.

The ADA recommends a professional cleaning and exam twice a year. During the exam, gum measurements are taken to determine the space between the gum and the tooth. If the measurement is deeper than normal, it indicates gum disease may be present. The X-rays aid to identify the destruction of bone, and the gum measurements determine the extent of the disease. Periodontal scaling and root planning is often called “deep cleaning” and is done when a patient shows signs of gum disease. “Deep cleaning” procedures are generally done in quadrants or half the mouth per visit. This treatment involves cleaning the bacteria and calculus below the gumline. Unfortunately, there are many factors that cause gum disease, including oral hygiene, genetics, and/or age. Therefore, a person may not show signs of the disease until later in life.

Dental insurance is a benefit some people are fortunate to possess. However, insurance is not a factor in determining options for dental treatment. As a dental professional, my responsibility is to inform our patient of all treatment options regardless of insurance coverage. In these economic times, we all have budget priorities; but, I worry about those who elect to wait on treatment that directly impacts their oral and overall health. My goal is to provide total patient care, not to treat patients based on their dental insurance, but to allow each patient to benefit from the insurance they have. I hope this provides readers with some information regarding those often asked questions Verska brought to attention in her letter of frustration.

Sandy Fussner, RDH

Dental Hygienist, BellaVista DentalCare Group


Family values?

Dear Editor:

Liberals loathe the shibboleth – family values – which to them is code word for conservatism and pro-God, pro-life religious faith and tradition.

But now the Peoria police and The Arizona Republic have usurped “family values” as a euphemism to obscure radical Islamic, pseudo-religious, immoral, felonious activity – i.e.: honor killing!

“What in the wide, wide world of sports is goin’ on here,” to quote Slim Pickens.

So, if you’re of the Islamic faith, you can attempt to murder, or murder (as in the Buffalo, N.Y., decapitation) your wife or daughter without consequences now in the United States.

Are we Americans going to allow the Balkanization of our laws, moral values and cultural standards by allowing these barbaric, inhumane cultural traditions and medieval malevolence to trump the American culture for the sake of diversity?

Alan Tindale



A community thanks!

Dear Editor:

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it really takes a community to make a difference. The people and the businesses of the Ahwatukee Foothills community are always willing to support events.

Our business community members are willing to give not only of their time, but their talents, resources and volunteer hours to make a difference in our community.

A very special thank you to all of our businesses who contributed on Oct. 24 to the Live SMART Expo. Listed below are our businesses and sponsors who made a difference!

Adam Carry Photography

Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce

Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA

Ahwatukee Foothills News

Aji Spa at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort

All Brand Computer Services

American Cancer Society

Ameriprise Financial Services

A-Peeling Faces Skin Care & Massage Therapy

Arbonne International

Arizona Laser & Skin

Arizona’s Vision

AZ Allergy & Asthma Specialists

AZ-Tech Radiology

Beach Bling

Bear 2 Protection

BeeKeeper Candle Company

Bella Vista Dental

Big Brothers Productions

Chris’ Water & Ice

Crafter LSE

Culligan Water


D & Q Treats, Inc.

Edward Jones Investments

Empire West Title Agency

Energy Design & Consulting

Esau Williams

Expressions of Thanks

Farmer’s Insurance - Greg Geryack

Fit 2 a T LLC

Foothills Family Chiropractic

Heritage Makers (Scrapbooking)

It Works Ultimate Wrap

Jamba Juice

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Kate & Co. Events

Kettle Corn

Kyrene Early Learning Centers

Leather Medic

Lifestyles Apparel

Mail & More

Market America/Transitions Lifestyle

Marketing Matters

Max Crumm

MidFirst Bank

Mile Auto Repair

Nationwide Insurance/Kendree Agency

Norma’s Fine Oriental Rug Cleaning

Papa Johns

Phoenix Holistic Health Center

Postal Annex

Premier Designs Jewelry

RP Ryan Insurance Inc.

Ruffino Italian Cuisine

RWK Electric

Safety First Security Doors

Safeway (Chandler Blvd. and Foothills)

Salt River Project (SRP)

Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating

Shannon Allen Photography

Shellie E. Creations

Simply Skin by Parrish

Sky Renewable Energy

smart fortwo smart center Chandler

Smart Saver

South Mountain Community College


Sun Devil Auto

The Art Company

TLC Pediatrics PLLC

Tri-Lite Builders

Vinago Jewelry

Wax Hand Expressions

Wiggles and Wags K-9 Training

WOW Green

Yashi Fine Foods

Y-Knot Party Rentals

A very big thank you to Howard and Tammy Teeter of Wiggles and Wags Dog Training for coordinating over 200 volunteer hours for the Saturday expo. Girl Scouts Troop 2163, Holly Dickens, Eileen Hawkins, Ashley Eastman, Jessica Ebert, Gaye Clark, Bernie Reeves, Vera Graves, Paula Shippy, Dory Hansen, Alice Melgoza, Pacioni Family, Van Tress Family, Swink Family, Lori Wells, Sharon Salvati, Bob & Terri Bauer, Del Teille, Tami Horne, Patty Durant, Carola Tamarkin, Stephanie Fierro, Donna Turner, Dawna Gasgoine, Nina Teeter, George Kimble and the many others who were behind the scenes making the event happen.

Our performers and guest speakers were Ahwatukee Children’s Theater, LA Boxing, Minus Four Band, YELP, Phoenix Holistic Health, All Brand Computer Services, Edward Jones, Max Crumm and Chris Wagner – Darn Good Deals, Jane Stimmel – Covey’s Habits of Highly Effective People.

Thanks to the committee: Betty Teille, chairperson, Howard and Tammy Teeter, Mark Deitchman, George Massar, Karen Starbowski, Holly O’Brien, Gayle Palms, Nancy Dudenhoefer, Nicole Gay, Jason Wojciechowski, Alain Bertout, Jackie VanTress, Paulette Pacioni, Mike Wells and Terri Kimble

And, most of all, thank you to St. John Bosco and their staff for all of their support and use of the facility.

As you can see by the extensive list, Ahwatukee Foothills’ support and generosity make this the best place to live and work!

Very sincerely,

Betty Teille, Chairperson

Edward Jones

Terri Kimble

Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce


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