More reasons to frown about rent increases.

Dental care appears to be the most common sacrifice when cost of living rises, according to a  Zillow Real Estate Research by Aaron Terrazas, Senior Economist.

When rents rise faster than incomes, as they have in recent years, renters are forced to tighten their belts elsewhere.

Among the highest rent burdened households, 40 percent said they skimped on the dentist, compared to 26 percent of the lowest rent burden households. Dental care appears to get cut first, followed by routine check-ups and prescription medication.

Read the full report at:

Don’t despair. The American Dental Association offers a few options to help keep dental care available when problems arise:

* Assistance programs vary from state to state. Locate your state on this list and contact your state dental society to find out about care in your area.

*Another possible source of lower-cost dental care is a dental school clinic. Generally, dental costs in school clinics are reduced and may include only partial payment for professional services covering the cost of materials and equipment. Your state society should be able to tell you if there is a clinic in your area.

* Additionally, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for more than 7 million children up to age 19. CHIP covers U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants.

*  Oral Health America’s Tooth Wisdom offers for a list of the resources by state available to those over age 60  in need of dental care.

For more resources, visit the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors.

Be glad your dentist doesn’t use sharp rocks and beeswax during treatment.

By Alison Majikes/Special to

Twice-yearly dental checkups aren’t appointments that excite many, especially because of  the sights, sounds and shiny sharp instruments.

But imagine visiting a friendly neighborhood dentist 14,000 years ago when, during the Paleolithic era, when the most advanced tool he or she had was likely a sharp rock.

A human tooth specimen discovered from this era was found to be treated for a cavity.

And if the word “Paleolithic” sounds familiar to you, it probably is. You’ve most likely have heard of the “Paleo Diet,” also known as the caveman diet, whose followers (myself included) have been increasing in droves during the past several years. Though you might enjoy snacking on lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and nuts, seeds and healthy fats, be thankful you don’t have to follow in the footsteps of the hunter-gatherers in all aspects of their former lives. Dental visits might be a little more painful!

The journal “Scientific Reports” published the story earlier this month and according to an article on, archaeologists found the prehistoric pearly white (or off-white) at a dig site in Northern Italy in 1988. Tests on the tooth show that it hails from the Late Upper Paleolithic era, circa 13,820 to 14,160 years ago.

Stefano Benazzi, a paleoanthropologist from the University of Bologna, who co-authored the story told Discovery News that no one realized how much of a big deal the tooth was until 25 years later.

Researchers discovered a cavity in the tooth that contained “extensive enamel chipping” made before the death of the specimen at approximately 25 years.

The chips and the cavity suggest that people living during the Paleolithic era had “at least some knowledge of disease treatment,” according to the study’s abstract.

But this poor soul wasn’t alone.

There have been several other discoveries that prove humans in past eras tried to fix each other’s teeth. According to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2012, researchers discovered that in the Neolithic era, ancient humans used beeswax as a filling material on a cracked canine tooth from a human jaw found in a cave in Slovenia more than a century ago, according to LiveScience. Yikes.

Next time you family dentist visit arrives, count your lucky stars they’re not cracking open your tooth with a rock and filling it with beeswax!

To read the full article:

Did your parents pass on their dental anxiety? Do you?

By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

Children’s fear of the dentist might be a learned trait from their parents, according to a study done by Delta Dental.

The Delta Dental Plans Association survey shared some information on the participants and the results:

* Parents with children 12 and under: Nearly half (48 percent) of parents say they are nervous about going to the dentist, and roughly the same number (47 percent) of their children share the sentiment.

* While moms (55 percent) are more nervous than dads (40 percent) prior to their own dental appointment, they tend to have an easier time getting their kids to go to the dentist. Nineteen percent of moms say it’s one of the hardest things to do vs. 37 percent of dads.

The study also showed that 30% of children are fearful of going to the dentist. This is not all learned from parents. Other reasons children are nervous:  a painful visit, a lengthy appointment in the past, additional dental work on the horizon, or a dentist the child does not like.

Delta Dental offers some tips to help make children’s dental visits more comfortable:

  • Start taking your children to the dentist at a young age. Preferably six months of getting the first tooth—and no later than the first birthday.
  • Talk positively. If children ask questions before a visit to the dentist, avoid using words that could make them scared. Avoid saying the dentist won’t hurt them; try to assure them the dentist will check their smile and their teeth.
  • Children like to play games. Play dentist at home, have them open their mouth and count their teeth. Then, tell them to practice on their stuffed animals.
  • Call ahead and let your dentist know your child is nervous about an upcoming visit.

For more information, read:

Designed to inspire.

By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

Innovation is crucial at a dental practice, especially one specializing in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  Though expected to arrive in the form of equipment and instruments, in the case of Dr. Matthew J. Conquest’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office, innovation also comes to light in the interior design realm.

Decorative wall panels, made from carefully selected hardwood, have been conceived to inspire designers, architects and every single interior design lover.

These decorative products, FriendlyWall® and Mur Finium® wall panels, manufactured by Finium, are distributed in Canada, the United States and now in some European countries.

As a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial SurgeryDr. Matthew J. Conquest‘s expertise ranges from facial trauma to wisdom tooth removal.  His particular interests in dental implants, bone grafting/reconstruction, and corrective jaw surgery require unique vision and skill.

To incorporate unique vision into his practice design as well, he consulted with Benco Dental’s CenterPoint Design team.

Dental Designer Greg Marinelli suggested Finium FriendlyWall based on its high quality and ease of installation.
“When designing the waiting area of a new dental practice, I look to the finishes, proper lighting, and furniture to create a relaxed, anxiety-friendly atmosphere.  In Dr. Conquest’s new space I was inspired by the texture and warm tones of Finium’s Friendly Wood wall. This wood is a sustainable product, which means it is created from the by-product of cabinet makers; a great second life for this otherwise scrapped wood,” said Marinelli.

Recently, Finium showcased Dr. Conquest’s office on the homepage of their website:

Finium is recognized for its Wood + Innovation. In 1999, these key elements made Finium an important player in the North American industry of prefinished wood products.

This innovative and eco-responsible product can be installed within hours and will add value to a room. Learn more at:

If you have an interesting, beautiful, original, noteworthy practice design and want your chance in the spotlight, enter the 2016 Incisal Edge Design Contest:

Sponsored by Clarion Financial for the third year, the 2016 Incisal Edge Design Contest, aims to reward creativity and innovation. They’ve invited a blue ribbon panel of judges, who will select the top designs, and provide their thoughts on each.


Remember the game ‘Operation’?

By Kelsi Matylewicz/Benco Dental Social Media Intern

If you’re thinking of the battery-operated game that tests players’ hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills by asking them to remove small body organs, it is one and the same.

Well, The Dental Trade Alliance, through their Foundation, is introducing a web-based woman, who doesn’t beep, but helps you learn why dental care is so important.

The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation has developed Operation: Whole Body Health.  Their “DTA Foundation” model features a graphic representation of the effects of poor oral health on your overall health, with the help of a model.

When visiting, click on the various body parts and it will tell you the effects oral health has on that body part.

A little preview:

  • The tooth represents cancer. Research has shown that men with gum disease have a higher likelihood of developing cancer.
  • The bandage symbol represents the lungs: bacteria in the mouth can be aspirated into the lungs, causing respiratory disease such as pneumonia.
  • The heart represents a heart, one which will be hurting if oral health is not a priority. Inflammation and infection caused by oral bacteria might be linked to heart disease.
  • The purple kidney bean represents themselves. One study shows that “people with severe periodontal disease developed chronic kidney disease at four times the rate as those without diseased gums.”

Visit Operation:Whole Body Health to view the other body parts.

According to the HuffPost Healthy Living,

Francesco D’Aiuto, senior lecturer at the Eastman Dental Institute in London, chatted with The Guardian about what he refers to as the the “mouth-body connection,” or the idea that a healthy body is strongly correlated with good dental hygiene.

“The mouth is not disconnected from the rest of the body,” he explained. “People should not underestimate what the body senses when the mouth is neglected.”

To view more of his thoughts of the connection between mouth and body, read: