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    The Dentist is in ... The Dentist is in ... Document Transcript

    • Issue 1: 2010 A PUBLICATION FOR TRIC ARE DENTAL PROGRAM ENROLLEESThe Dentist is in …Tobacco Products and Your Oral HealthCAPT Robert H. Mitton, USN, DDS, MPH, MBA environment is healthier for those around you. Additionally,Chief, Dental Care Branch quitting tobacco products can have a positive effect on yourTRICARE Management Activity budget: a pack-a-day habit adds up to hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket costs per year.C igarettes and other tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and cigars, can be very hazardousto you and your oral health. Smoking is the number one Tips to Help You Quitpreventable cause of premature death in the United States, The ADA offers these tips to help quit cigarettes and otherand many studies show that individuals who use tobacco tobacco products:products have an increased risk of conditions associatedwith poor oral health, including: • Set a date to quit and stick to it. Choose a “low stress” time to quit.• Oral cancer • Enlist the support of your family, friends and co-workers.• Periodontal disease • Ask your dentist or physician about nicotine replacement• Tooth decay and tooth erosion therapy when you decide to quit. Using these medicines• Delayed healing after tooth extraction or other oral surgery can double your chances of quitting for good.• Diminished sense of taste and smell • Remove tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia from your home, office and car.• Irritated gum tissue • Seek tobacco-free environments to curb your temptations.• Stained teeth and tongue • Exercise. It may make you feel better about yourself and• Bad breath your decision to quit smoking.Smoking may be responsible for almost 75 percent of • When you crave tobacco, exercise the four Ds:periodontal (gum) diseases among adults, according to the • Delay: Craving will pass in 5–10 minutes.American Dental Association (ADA). Tobacco products • Drink water: It will help to wash the toxins from your body.damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of boneand soft tissue to your teeth, which can result in receding • Do something else: Distract yourself by being active.gums and even tooth loss. A receding gum line exposes • Deep breathing: Deeply inhaling and exhaling can helptooth roots and increases your risk of developing sensitivity you relax.to hot and cold temperatures, in addition to tooth decay. • Anticipate problems and have a realistic plan to dealSmokers are also poor candidates for certain dental with challenges.procedures, such as implants.Quitting the use of tobacco products is important for both Kicking the habit is one of the most important lifestyle changesyour oral and overall health. You will lower your chances you can make to enhance quality of life for yourself and yourof having a heart attack, stroke or cancer, and a smoke-free family members. To help combat smoking, TRICARE and the continued on page 2
    • The Dentist is in ...continued from page 1Department of Defense recently launched the Quit Tobacco– Additional information on quitting is also available atMake Everyone Proud campaign. Campaign resources can www.smokefree.gov or on the TRICARE Web site athelp educate you about the dangers of tobacco products and www.tricare.mil/tobaccofree. nthe benefits of quitting. For more information, visit thecampaign Web site at www.UCanQuit2.org.Orthodontics in the OCONUS Service AreaI f you live outside the continental United States (OCONUS), the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) has your familycovered for orthodontic services. Orthodontics are offered by United Concordia Companies, Inc. (United Concordia) to process the orthodontic claim for payment.for children up to age 21 (or age 23 if enrolled full time in Out-of-Pocket Costsa college or university) and for spouses and National Guard You are responsible for 50 percent of the dentist’s charge orand Reserve members1 up to, but not including, 23 years the TDP allowance (whichever is lower), subject to a lifetimeof age. Coverage is effective until the end of the month maximum payment of $1,500 per member for orthodontics.in which the member reaches the applicable age limit, For command-sponsored enrollees, the Government will payregardless if the treatment has been completed. any difference between the remaining 50 percent and the1. National Guard and Reserve members are encouraged to consult $1,500 lifetime maximum, as well as any difference between with their commanders before receiving orthodontic care to ensure compliance with service policies, as orthodontic appliances could the provider’s charge and United Concordia’s allowance. After affect dental readiness. If advised to remove the orthodontic the lifetime maximum is reached and the Government has appliances, the removal charges are not covered by the TDP. paid its portion, you will be responsible for any additional orthodontic charges or services.Accessing Care in Non-Remote LocationsIf you live in a non-remote location, you should first Claims Submissionsdetermine service availability at your military overseas In overseas communities, you may be required to pay up frontdental treatment facility (ODTF). If you need to seek and file a claim with United Concordia for reimbursement.orthodontic care from a civilian host nation provider,you must obtain a Non-Availability and Referral Form After your initial orthodontic evaluation, please send the(NARF) from your ODTF or TRICARE Area Office following information to United Concordia:(TAO). You should then select an orthodontist from the • Provider’s billHost Nation Provider Directory. This directory includesa list of providers that have been verified by TRICARE • TDP OCONUS claim formas having met specific quality criteria. You can access the • Initial NARF (for the initial orthodontic exam andHost Nation Provider Directory on the TDP Web site at diagnostic services)www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com/tdptws/enrollees/ • Final NARF (The orthodontic treatment plan must behnp/hnp_search.jsp. submitted for payment with the final NARF, showing approval of the treatment before the treatment is started.)Accessing Care in Remote LocationsIf you live in a remote location without access to a military For More InformationODTF, you will be required to have a NARF issued for all For more details about orthodontic services, refer to yourorthodontic services. You will need to select an orthodontist TRICARE Dental Program Benefit Booklet or visit the TDPfrom the Host Nation Provider Directory. Web site at www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com. You canOnce your orthodontist provides you with a treatment plan, also call the TDP OCONUS customer service departmentcontact your TAO to have the treatment approved and the 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, at 1-888-418-0466.second, or final, NARF issued. The final NARF is required Regardless of where you live, you can e-mail questions to oconus@ucci.com. n2 Issue 1: 2010
    • The TRICARE Dental Program Can Help You Finda DentistF inding a dentist who meets your needs can be challenging, but the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) makes it easywith access to a network of more than 64,000 participating on “Information for Enrollees,” then “Find a Dentist” under the “Quick Links” tab. You can search for a dentist by last name, specialty, city, county or ZIP code. The online directorydentists. As a TDP enrollee residing in the United States, is updated weekly and indicates if the dentist is acceptingyou have the flexibility to seek care from any civilian dentist. new patients.However, when you select a TDP-participating dentist, you • Call United Concordia at 1-800-866-8499—A TDPcan reduce your out-of-pocket expenses and ease claims customer service representative will assist you withfiling burdens. information regarding a dentist’s participation status,Participating dentists sign a contractual agreement with specialty and office location.United Concordia Companies, Inc. (United Concordia) to • Contact your local Beneficiary Counseling andfollow TDP rules for providing care and accepting payments. Assistance Coordinator (BCAC)—An online BCACSome of the advantages of using a participating dentist include: directory can be found at www.tricare.mil/bcacdcao.• Saving money—Participating dentists accept United Concordia’s allowance for covered services as payment For more information about participating dentists, please visit in full and charge you only the applicable cost-share. the TDP Web site at www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com. n With a nonparticipating dentist, you may need to pay the difference between United Concordia’s allowance and the dentist’s charge.• Saving time—Participating dentists complete your claim form at no extra charge and submit it to United Concordia on your behalf. If you see a nonparticipating dentist, you may need to submit your own claim.• Peace of mind—Participating dentists are subject to United Concordia’s quality assurance programs and agree to routine verification of their credentials.• Dental readiness documentation—Participating dentists complete the Department of Defense Active Duty/Reserve Forces Dental Examination form (DD Form 2813) for National Guard and Reserve members at no additional cost.How Do I Know if My Dentist Isa TDP-Participating Dentist?Be sure to ask your dentist if he or she participates in TDP,rather than if he or she accepts TDP or United Concordia.Most dentists (participating and nonparticipating) will acceptpayment from United Concordia; however, that does notmean that a dentist is part of the TDP network.Locating a Participating DentistYou can locate a TDP-participating dentist in any of thefollowing ways:• Use the “Find a Dentist” tool online —Simply visit the TDP Web site at www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com and clickIssue 1: 2010 3
    • Brushing and Flossing Techniques for Maximum BenefitC hoosing the right toothbrush and using proper brushing techniques will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you • Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gumline.brush your teeth with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste Rinse your toothbrush after each use, and store it in antwice a day—or more if recommended by your dentist—and upright position. Keep brushes separated and in an openfloss (or use another interdental cleaner) once a day. holder or area to prevent cross-contamination. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months, orUse the following techniques to ensure effective brushing: when the brush begins to show wear.• Begin by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle There are several important factors to consider when buying against your gums. Use short gentle strokes and a sweeping a toothbrush. Look for a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of movement, away from the gums, to clean the outside and Acceptance, which tells you that the toothbrush was evaluated inside surfaces of the teeth, as well as the chewing or for safety and effectiveness. In general, opt for soft bristles, “horizontal” surfaces. unless your dentist recommends otherwise. Both manual and• Finish by brushing your tongue. electric toothbrushes are effective, so make sure you choose a brush that fits your mouth and is comfortable to use. VisitRepeat these steps for each tooth to ensure proper flossing: www.ada.org/ada/seal/toothbrushes.asp to get more brushing tips and a list of ADA-approved toothbrushes. n• Wrap most of an 18-inch piece of floss around your middle finger, and wrap the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand, holding the floss tightly between For more information about proper brushing and flossing your thumbs and forefingers. techniques, along with other TDP and oral health topics,• Hold the floss tightly against the tooth, and carefully guide you can check out the new “Videos” section of the TDP the floss between teeth. Web site at www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com.• When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a “C” shape around the side of the tooth.Tips to Reduce Tooth SensitivityI f you find yourself wincing in pain with every sip of hot coffee or bite of ice cream, you might have sensitive teeth.Tooth sensitivity occurs when an underlying layer of your According to the American Dental Association, one of the most effective ways to help reduce tooth sensitivity is to use desensitizing toothpaste, which helps block sensationsteeth is exposed because of receding gum tissue, worn-down from the nerves of the teeth. Keep in mind that it will taketooth enamel or cracked teeth. When this layer is exposed, regular use of desensitizing toothpaste to notice a decreaseit allows hot, cold or sweet food to reach the nerve in your in sensitivity. You can take these additional steps to helptooth, which causes the pain you feel. Some of the factors prevent tooth sensitivity:that may lead to tooth sensitivity include: • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush• Gum disease • Avoid highly acidic foods and drinks• Plaque build-up • Avoid teeth grinding• Tooth decay near the gum line • Visit your dentist for regular cleanings every six months• Brushing too hard or incorrectly• Teeth grinding If none of these steps are effective, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss other in-office techniques,• Tooth whitening products such as applying fluoride gel or bonding sealants. n• Toothpaste with baking soda and peroxide• Acidic foods and drinks4 Issue 1: 2010
    • Understanding Dental Anesthesia OptionsD ental anesthesia can reduce discomfort during dental treatment. The following are options to make you feelmore comfortable and help alleviate any discomfort associated TRICARE Coverage for General Anesthesia General anesthesia is covered under the TRICARE Dentalwith your dental care. Program (TDP) or, under certain circumstances, by the TRICARE medical benefit. With coverage under the dentalLocal Anesthesia benefit, you have a 40 percent cost-share for general anesthesia. TDP does not cover the facility fee.Local anesthesia comes in two forms: topical (a cream orgel applied to a body surface) or injectable (given through In July 2007, the TRICARE medical benefit began coveringan injection). Topical anesthesia is applied to oral tissue to general anesthesia services for dental treatment providedprevent pain on the surface of the mouth. Your dentist may to beneficiaries with developmental, mental or physicaluse a topical anesthetic to numb an area in your mouth in disabilities, along with children age 5 and under. Under thispreparation for injecting a local anesthetic. Topical anesthetics benefit, reimbursement for general anesthesia is based oncan also be used to soothe painful mouth sores such as canker your TRICARE program (e.g., TRICARE Prime, TRICAREsores. Injectable local anesthesia prevents discomfort in Standard). To limit out-of-pocket costs, you should contactspecific areas of your mouth during treatment by blocking your TRICARE regional contractor for benefit informationnerve sensation and numbing mouth tissues. This type of before seeking these services.anesthesia is commonly used for most dental procedures. Using your medical benefit for these services will not count against your $1,200 annual maximum benefit for TDP.General Anesthesia Discussing treatment options with your dentist should helpIn order to relieve discomfort and anxiety associated with you make informed decisions on which coverage to choose.complex treatments, dentists may use general anesthesia. Visit TDP’s Web site at www.TRICAREdentalprogram.comGeneral anesthesia causes temporary loss of consciousness or contact your regional contractor using the informationand is recommended in certain procedures for children or provided below, for further information. nothers who may have difficulty controlling their movementduring dental treatment. TRICARE North Region TRICARE South Region TRICARE West Region Health Net Federal Services, LLC Humana Military Healthcare Services, Inc. TriWest Healthcare Alliance Corp. www.healthnetfederalservices.com www.humana-military.com www.triwest.com 1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273) 1-800-444-5445 1-888-TRIWEST (1-888-874-9378)Latex Allergies and Your Dental CareB oth synthetic and natural latex are common ingredients in many medical and dental supplies, including masks,syringes, rubber dams and gloves. Frequent exposure to much more serious. An affected individual can even react to the powder from latex examination gloves. You can prevent reactions by avoiding latex and otherproducts containing latex can increase your risk for developing allergy triggers. If you have a latex sensitivity or allergy,a latex sensitivity or allergy. Additionally, people who are make sure to inform your dentist, along with your otherprone to allergies, have undergone numerous surgeries or health care providers. You should also check to be sure thathave certain medical conditions may be more likely to have your dentist and doctors make a note of these conditionsor develop latex sensitivity or allergies. in your medical records. If you have a latex sensitivity orTalk to your dentist if you think you have a latex sensitivity allergy, call your dentist’s office at least 24 hours beforeor allergy. Latex sensitivity is not uncommon and can result your scheduled appointment so that the office staff has timein mild congestion or a rash or swelling where your skin to take necessary precautions. Also, remind your dentist and/comes in contact with latex. A true latex allergy is rarer and or dental hygienist about your sensitivity or allergy before the examination begins. nIssue 1: 2010 5
    • Kids’ TRICARE Crossword Puzzle! Across Dental Health Fun Page 1. Good dental health keeps your smile sparkly and _____. 2. Visit your _____ twice a year. It’s important to take care of your smile every 3. Swish with _____ to rinse your teeth. day by brushing and flossing your teeth and 6. Brush your teeth every _____ before bedtime. eating healthy foods. Read these fun facts about the history of toothbrushes, and then try the 7. Use a toothpaste with _____. crossword puzzle to learn more about keeping your teeth healthy! Down Did you know that people have been using tools 1. Brush your tongue for fresh _____. to clean their teeth for nearly 5,000 years?1 3. Brush carefully in the back of your mouth to clean Today’s toothbrushes have nylon bristles, but your _____. until 1938, toothbrushes used bristles made 4. Eating foods with _____ can cause cavities. from boar’s hair.2 5. Choose a healthy snack like a piece of _____. The first toothbrush with nylon bristles was called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.2 7. _____ between your teeth once a day. n 1. http://www.ada.org/ada/seal/toothbrushes.asp 2. http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/tooth.html6 Issue 1: 2010
    • “Month of the Military Child” Prize GiveawaySponsored by United ConcordiaU nited Concordia Companies, Inc. is proud to once again recognize and support the “Month of the Military Child”in April by sponsoring a Web-based random drawing. Children Winners will be selected for children ages 0-4, ages 5-9, ages 10-14 and ages 15-17 in the following regions: • TRICARE North Regionof active duty and National Guard and Reserve sponsors whoare enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) are eligible • TRICARE South Regionfor this drawing. Entries must be submitted by a parent or legal • TRICARE West Regionguardian. Entries submitted by individuals other than the parent • TRICARE Eurasia-Africaor legal guardian will not be accepted. • TRICARE Latin America and CanadaTo enter, simply visit www.TRICAREdentalprogram.comand complete a contest entry form between 8 a.m. April 1, • TRICARE Pacific2010, and midnight April 28, 2010, Eastern Time. Entries Remember ...will be accepted via online submission only. Winners willbe selected at random. Only one entry per child is permitted. Mailed or faxed entries will not be considered. The entry deadline is midnight April 28,Prizes will be awarded to military children of varying 2010, Eastern Time, and only parents or legal guardians mayages. Within each age category, prizes will be awarded for enter their children.First Place: $300 All Services Exchange gift certificate;Second Place: $150 All Services Exchange gift certificate; Winners will be announced on the TDP Web site on May 27,and Third Place: $50 All Services Exchange gift certificate. 2010. Best of luck to all who enter! nIssue 1: 2010 7
    • n Generous coverage n Superior dental health careUnited ConcordiaTRICARE Dental Program n Decisions are healthP.O. Box 69426 driven, not insuranceHarrisburg, PA 17106-9426 driven n High satisfaction with care n Low out-of-pocket costs n Easy accessDental Care During PregnancyD uring pregnancy, your body will go through many changes, some of which will impact your oral health. When youare pregnant, your body’s hormone levels rise considerably, TRICARE Has You Covered In 2008, TRICARE introduced an enhanced Maternity Dental Benefit through United Concordia Companies, Inc.and a higher level of progesterone in your system can lead The enhanced benefit authorizes an additional cleaning atto gingivitis. This condition, which is especially common no cost for all pregnant TRICARE Dental Program (TDP)during the second to eighth months of pregnancy, may cause enrollees. TDP coverage typically allows for two cleaningred, puffy or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush. procedures in a consecutive 12-month period. If you are anIn extreme cases, poor oral health can lead to periodontal expectant mother, you are eligible for a third cleaning duringdisease, which has been linked to increased risks of premature the 12-month period.delivery and low birth weight babies, according to the AmericanDental Association (ADA).1 Healthy Eating for a Healthy BabyBrushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste In addition to extra cleanings and proper dental hygiene, it(look for those that have the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance) and is important for you to protect your health and that of yourflossing (or using other interdental cleaners) are both important unborn child by eating a balanced diet. This will help yousteps for maintaining good oral health during your pregnancy. provide the right amounts of nutrients to nourish both youAlong with your regular dental check-ups, you should contact and your child.your dentist if you experience any changes in your mouth What you eat during pregnancy also affects the developmentduring pregnancy. Additionally, your dentist may recommend of your child’s teeth. His or her teeth will begin to developmore frequent cleanings beginning in your second trimester between the third and sixth month of pregnancy, so it is essential NE334BET02100DEor early third trimester to help you avoid problems. that you receive sufficient amounts of nutrients, including calcium, protein, phosphorous and vitamins A, C and D. n 1. http://www.ada.org/public/topics/pregnancy_faq.asp8 Issue 1: 2010