What Dental Procedures Are Covered By Illinois Medicaid?

As one of the better states for dental in the country, Illinois Medicaid covers a range of dental procedures for kids and adults. However, the best way to know for sure is simply to ask your dentist (or your plan provider) about coverage. Smile League is here for you — we’ll do everything we can to help you get access to the dental care that you and yours need. Our Joliet family dental practice has plenty of experience with a wide range of insurance, Medicaid plan managers, and standard Illinois Medicaid. We even have some interest-free financing options for things that aren’t covered.

General Rules for What Procedures Are Covered

Medicaid in Illinois generally covers the majority of medically necessary dental procedures you would encounter. For example, if a child has dangerously crooked or twisted teeth, Medicaid might cover some orthodontic costs to correct that condition with braces. On the other hand, you probably would not see Medicaid covering most procedures that are considered cosmetic. Another child with only slightly crooked teeth probably would not have coverage for braces, for example. Tooth whitening would probably not be covered, nor would cosmetic prosthetics. Another thing to consider is the need for approval. Sometimes, your dentist might need to confirm approval of the procedure before doing it. There are some big exceptions — for example, don’t worry about pre-approval if you have a dental emergency.

Understanding Illinois Medicaid

Illinois Medicaid can be confusing, even if you have had it for a while. Some people avoid going to the dentist just because they’re not sure if they have coverage. Especially for kids, most of the things you need are covered. Others have different ways to pay that you can probably afford. Our team is here to help you — our Joliet neighbors — figure out how to get the care you need for you and your family. You’ll find a long list on our website of all the Medicaid versions our office handles. If you don’t want to read through it, that’s fine too. All we will need is your credentials, and we can confirm everything before we get started. You can even contact us to confirm coverage beforehand if you’re somewhere else in Chicagoland — or if you just don’t have time to stop by. The whole process should only take a few minutes, and then you’ll know.

Get Some Personal Advice

When it comes to dental procedures, we are talking about a very personal thing. This is your set of teeth, and any work you do should fit your personal needs. An appropriate procedure for someone else might not be the right one for you. If you’re ready to get started, please come by for a consultation. We’ll help you understand your options — both in terms of treatment and in terms of getting the most out of your Illinois Medicaid coverage.
The Evolution Of Dental Implants

The Evolution Of Dental Implants

Are you thinking of getting dental implants in Joliet? There’s a lot of history behind this procedure and it goes back farther than you might expect.

From the very first recorded implants to present-day surgery, we’ve come a long way. Smile League Dental is proud to be able to provide this procedure in a safe, friendly atmosphere with very little risk and very high success rates. Feel free to contact us or stop by our Joliet office to learn more or to schedule an implant consultation.

Just in case you’re wondering what a dental implant is, it’s a prosthetic tooth route that binds to your bone in order to replace a missing tooth. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how implants have changed over the years.

Antique Implants

It has, in fact, been more than just years since implants have been around. It has been millennia.

Some of the earliest dental implants we know about come from China. Chinese dentists some 4000 years ago used carved bamboo shunts as an implant material, securing them into the jaw bones of their patients. Ancient Egypt was also a center of early implant technology, except the Egyptians used precious metals, minerals, and materials such as ivory as a prosthetic.

There’s evidence in the Americas of dental implants, too. People here used carved shells as dental prosthetics.

Modern Implant Research

Some of these ancient methods must have worked based on archaeological evidence, but chances are that the success rate was not very high. The lack of infection control also probably made dental implants relatively dangerous. The goal of modern dental researchers was to make implants into the reliable, safe technology that they are today.

This did not happen overnight. Initial research focused mostly on precious metals, with little success. These metals did not fuse to the bone enough to become reliable permanent replacements for teeth.

Breakthroughs in modern dental prosthetics came around the 1930s, about the same time orthopedic surgeons were making strides in bone and joint repair. Unsurprisingly, the same materials that worked for other bones also helped teeth fuse to the jaw bone.

Into Contemporary Times

Early prosthetic alloys were not the most accessible options for most people. We have mid-20th century medicine and metallurgy to thank for the popularity of implants today. Most implants are now made of titanium, a material that was becoming widely available starting around the 1950s due to increased demand in the aerospace industry. A researcher discovered that it was an effective material in bone grafting, which led to its widespread use as a dental implant in the second half of the 20th century on through today.

Getting an Implant

Research has kept going, with new improvements on, alternatives to, and refinements to the solid foundation of titanium implant technology. In fact, this is one of the best times in history to get dental implants in Joliet, so feel free to schedule your appointment with Smile League Dental today by calling 815-782-6243.

The Relationship Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

The Relationship Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

It’s natural to feel uncomfortable or even a little scared of gum disease. This type of infection can have some embarrassing and painful symptoms.The best way to deal with gingivitis and periodontitis is to face the issue head-on and get the help you need as early as possible. Smile League has Joliet gum disease treatment in a relaxed, friendly, professional environment, so please reach out and schedule an appointment.For the rest of this article, we’re going to look at the research connecting gum disease to heart disease. We are also going to talk about some symptoms and preventive measures you can take.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease: Are They Related?

Did you ever think about how strange it is to have a different doctor for your mouth than you do for the rest of your body? All of these systems are connected in one way or another, and we are beginning to learn more about those connections.Recent research has suggested a stronger link between gum disease and heart disease. We’ve discovered the same type of bacteria in diseased hearts as we find in infected gums. There are also correlations between gum inflammation and some types of cardiovascular inflammation.The theory is that bacteria could enter the bloodstream through the gums. From there, it ends up forming reservoirs in other parts of the body.What does that mean for your heart health? The general consensus is that people at risk of heart disease, especially those with artificial valves, should make every effort possible to maintain good oral health.

Catching Gum Disease Early

To keep up with your oral health, you’ll want to pay close attention to any changes involving your teeth, gums, or mouth. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • Bad breath (not just after food or drink)
  • Bleeding when you floss
  • Changes in the appearance of your gums (different colors or puffy-looking gums)
  • Longer-looking teeth (receding gums)
  • Swollen or reddened gums
  • Bleeding or pain, especially without flossing
  • Loose teeth or teeth falling out

There’s no such thing as a minor symptom of gum disease, but some of these are obviously more serious than others. Please contact us if you have any of them — and preferably reach out before you start feeling pain or serious discomfort.

Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

Gum disease is typically a progressive problem that we control early through focused changes in habits. Sometimes, we recommend professional intervention. There are also some things that could prevent it (or prevent it from getting worse):

  • Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Getting professional cleanings
  • Having regular preventive dentist appointments
  • Getting deep cleanings
  • Taking certain types of antibiotics

Treatment really depends on your exact condition — we’ll have to take a look to see what we can do. Also, if you already come in a couple of times a year, you can be confident that your dentist is already keeping an eye out for any signs of gum disease.Hopefully, that provides a good summary of what we currently know about the link between gum disease and heart disease. For more questions or to make an appointment, feel free to reach out to our experienced family dentists in Joliet at any time.