Amid the economic downturn, limitations on medical financing and an increase in stress-related dental problems mean that for many patients, smile-correction procedures seem out of the question. Los Angeles cosmetic dentist Dr. Alex Farnoosh explains how stress damages teeth and why financing flexibility is becoming the top factor in patients’ choice of surgeon.
Beverly Hills, California (December 2008) – Recent gyrations in the financial markets may have investors clenching their teeth, but they aren’t the only people whose economic stress has a damaging impact on their teeth and their health. Dr. Alex Farnoosh, founder of The Total Smile (www.thetotalsmile.com), and a Los Angeles cosmetic dentist who has practiced in the area for over 25 years, says financial stresses can create dental problems while also generating a sharp rise in demand for more flexible financing options.
Increasing financial pressures are adding to the numbers of Americans suffering from major financial-related stress. The American Academy of Periodontology reports that financial stress and patients scaling back on dental maintenance visits may create an increase in periodontal gum disease, which may lead to even more serious health problems. Recent studies have found that gum infection may contribute to the development of heart disease, increase the risk of stroke, increase the risk of premature births in women, and further compromise the health of people living with diabetes and respiratory disease.
As Dr. Farnoosh explains, stress damages dental health, with the result that more cosmetic dentistry patients in Los Angeles require more extensive corrective procedures such as dental implants or gum grafting. “When money is tight, people may not pay enough attention to their dental health, and stress may lead to grinding of the teeth or other dental concerns,” says Dr. Farnoosh. “At the same time, for people who need more extensive dental work, tightened credit qualifications mean that many people don’t have access to traditional medical financing. As a result, many patients cannot undergo the procedures they need unless they find a doctor who offers accessible payment plans.”
Currently, at least one in four Americans is experiencing major financial-related stress. For many patients, this means that a Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist like Dr. Farnoosh who offers financing options such as CareCredit® is particularly popular because he is able to perform dental work immediately without the patient worrying about added financial pressures. Reasonable payment options are still available, such as multi-month payment plans, no interest financing, and complementary consultations for new patients. The procedures that these flexible payment options finance help alleviate serious stress-related health risks ranging from periodontal disease to damaging issues such as coronary heart problems, which have been tied to poor dental health.
“Stress damages dental structures quickly, and severely,” Dr. Farnoosh explains. “The damage starts when chemical triggers block your immune function and deplete your teeth and supporting bones of calcium and other necessities in order to maintain blood mineral levels.”
The result can be tooth infections that damage the body as a whole, with particularly detrimental impact to important areas like the coronary arteries of the heart. Even low stress levels can damage the body by encouraging unhealthy eating and poor oral care, which both contribute to mouth sores and gum disease, and encourage teeth and their support bones to decay. Nail-biting and tooth-grinding wear out protective enamel and supporting jaw tissues, also multiplying the risk of infection.
“Add to all this the fact that people under stress consume far more energy drinks and other foods high in processed carbohydrates, and you have the makings for a vicious cycle,” Dr. Farnoosh observes. Treatment stops that cycle, but when the stress is financially based, scheduling treatment can be a difficult decision. At the end of the day, though, most people recognize that their health needs to come first. This is why Dr. Farnoosh is currently seeing an increase in patients at his Los Angeles cosmetic dentist practice, despite the economic downturn.
“Right now, financial accessibility is key,” Dr. Farnoosh explains. “Flexible providers like my practice are seeing higher numbers of patients because people want to correct damage to their look and their health, and they can’t afford to let financial stress reverse all the positive effects of their treatment. It’s as simple as that.”
Dr. Alex Farnoosh offers cosmetic dentistry procedures for Beverly Hills and Los Angeles residents. Request a consultation with Dr. Farnoosh or call his office at 310-657-0503 to find out more about his procedures and flexible financing options.