Information about Ancillary Services in Healthcare

Origin of the Word
The word ‘ancillary’ comes from the Latin word, ancilla, that means maidservant.
Many doctors do not offer diagnostic tests or procedures in their clinics. They refer their patients to a facility where professionals skilled in the respective field conduct these tests or procedures, the results of which are provided to the doctors. The services that these facilities provide are called ancillary services. They are supplemental healthcare services provided by professionals other than doctors and surgeons. These service providers are an important part of the healthcare sector.

The different types of ancillary services include diagnostic, therapeutic, and custodial. Ancillary services can be provided in a medical office, an ambulatory service center, a freestanding diagnostic center, or a hospital. In a hospital, ancillary services can be provided in its different departments. These services can be provided in a private office outside the hospital if the professional has all the equipment and machines available. Ancillary services can also be provided in a freestanding facility like a laboratory or therapy clinic. The in-office ancillary services have led to faster diagnosis and treatment of patients, helped improve skillfulness in healthcare, and urged patients to act in accordance with their healthcare provider’s treatment recommendations.

There are rules for ancillary service providers in many places. They cover the skilled personnel performing the service, the equipment which is used, and the services that are required. Ancillary service providers are bound by the same rules and regulations as the primary providers. They must be able to maintain a satisfactory service performance according to the ARRA of 2009 or face severe punishments for the same. Described below are the various types of ancillary services in healthcare.
Diagnostic Services
Diagnostic ancillary services bring about timely, cost-efficient, and high-quality care. These services include x-ray services, ultrasounds, Doppler testing, clinical lab services, audiology, vision repair solutions, chiropractic services, dental services, radiology, radiation oncology, pulmonary testing services, and others.

A diagnostic service can be carried out only when the doctor has told the patient that he or she needs a specific test to be done. It is provided to help a physician know about a patient’s medical condition or health.

Diagnostic services are also useful when the patient is following up with the provider regularly for the particular medical condition to know how the treatment is going, based on the reports of the previous visits. For example, if a diabetic patient is making a follow-up visit, he will know how the medicines are working, based on the previous reports.
Therapeutic Services
Under the therapeutic ancillary services, services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychotherapy, cardiac rehabilitation services, transportation services, cosmetic services, nutrition education, and others are included.

A speech therapy is given to a patient with communication and swallowing disorders. The therapy improves the patient’s understanding and expression of language. The services provided by the therapist must be suggested by a physician and agreed by the insurance company.

Occupational therapy is a treatment given to develop, maintain, and normalize the daily activities of an individual. These therapists develop a plan of treatment to improve independence in everyday activities. They may recommend special equipment that would help the patient gain independence. Occupational therapists usually function with experts in physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, social work, and the community. These therapists start with the treatment after referring a physician and making sure that the insurance company has accepted it.

Professionals involved in physical therapy help improve mobility and treat injuries of patients. Injuries may include those of the knee, shoulder, or back. A physician has to suggest physical therapy to the patient and the insurance must agree with the service.

Psychotherapists are professionals who identify and resolve troubled thoughts, feelings, and behavior concerns of a patient to improve his well-being, and so that the patient can function well. This therapy is used to treat depression, anxiety, phobias, and abuse.

Cardiac rehabilitation services or cardiac rehab programs are those which help patients to recover from heart attacks, heart surgery, and others. These programs provide education and counseling services to improve the physical fitness of patients and reduce the risk of heart problems. They can be given only when a cardiologist tells a patient that he needs a session on cardiac rehabilitation and when the insurance company agrees with the service.

Cosmetic services involve surgeries which change the appearance of a person. They include facials, botox treatments, skin care advice, and others.

Transportation services are provided by hospitals to carry the patient from one hospital to another. They may also provide patients with transportation to their home or elsewhere.

In a hospital, a dietary assistant provides a menu to each patient from which one can select meals. Dietary education is given to people so that they receive proper nutrition. These assistants work with the medical staff to make sure that the patient’s nutritional needs are met on a daily basis, depending on his or her medical condition.
Custodial Services
Custodial services involve the care and support to a patient who is unable to perform daily work without external help. This non-medical care helps the patient to carry out activities such as bathing, eating, dressing, and others.

Custodial ancillary services focus on living accommodations, home health, or nursing home care.

Nursing homes that provide custodial care are also an example of ancillary services. Custodial care providers do not need specialized training.
Growth in the Sector
Ancillary services are growing very fast because they are cost-effective and the providers are delivering high-quality services. Moreover, they are a crucial part of healthcare. These services can be provided at a lower cost and they let the doctors access the information they require to diagnose and treat a patient’s health condition. Using ancillary services to provide more help to patients is a growing trend among physicians. According to Medscape’s 2013 Physician Compensation Report, physicians are thinking of ways to create greater revenue by introducing ancillary services to organizations.
The ancillary service sector is one of the fastest developing sectors of healthcare. It is a very important segment of the healthcare delivery system. With the expensive treatment procedures and medicine costs on the rise, ancillary service providers are a cost-saving alternative to outpatient hospital and physician services.

Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) are non-technical staff of a hospital, nursing home or a day care center. The CNAs, at times, work for patients in their homes too. They are also called orderlies, nurses aides, patient care technicians or home health aides. They provide basic nursing care under the direct supervision of Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses. In other words, they perform non-professional tasks and help the technical staff. Being a CNA can be considered as a stepping stone to make a career in the health care industry. To become a CNA, a course can be pursued at various universities, colleges and nursing schools.

Certified Nursing assistants are called ‘eyes and ears’ of the nursing staff as they carry out a wide range of tasks which, in turn, help in keeping hospitals and health care centers working at the optimum level. They inform the nurses about the vital information of patients from time to time. They are, more often than not, the primary caretakers of many hundreds of recovering, aging and terminal patients. Many times they forge an unending bond with the patients and their relatives, as they spend maximum time with the patients.

Responsibilities of a CNA

  • Personal Hygiene: To care for personal and oral hygiene of patients – which includes brushing teeth, bathing, changing, combing hair, shaving, nail care, etc. – is the primary work of a nursing assistant.
  • Toilet Needs: CNA has to take care of the toilet needs of patients. Bedpan has to be given to bed-ridden patients. Emptying the catheter bags and bed pans at periodic intervals is also a part of their duty. If patients need support, it is the duty of the CNA to help the patient visit the washroom.
  • Housekeeping: Housekeeping is also a part of the duties of a nursing assistant. They assist in tidying up the rooms, changing bed linen, etc.
  • Patients’ Records: They maintain the medical record of patients such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight, level of pain, etc., on a daily basis. The CNA also makes notes of treatments rendered to a patient from time to time.
  • Monitoring the Health of Patients: Making note of any changes in the health of a patient and informing the nurses-on-duty accordingly are also included among the duties of a CNA. In some hospitals and/or nursing homes, a report about the patient’s medical condition has to be submitted by the CNAs.
  • Dietary Care: A CNA has to assist the patient in walking and eating. They also help to set up the meal tray as per prescription. The CNA has to feed patients with nutritional supplements as prescribed. Making a note of the food and fluid intake is also important.
  • Wound Care: It is the CNA who is entrusted the job of cleaning wounds and dressing up the same.
  • Prevent Bed Sores: CNAs are instructed to reposition and turn bed-ridden patients regularly to prevent bed sores.
  • Assist in Surgery: Assisting the nurses in preparing the patient for surgery is an important part of their duty.
  • Equipment Care: Sterilize and clean the equipment immediately after usage. The cleanliness of nursing stations is also to be maintained.
  • Exercising the Patients: CNAs also help the patients exercise at regular intervals, as per prescription.
  • Transport Patients: CNAs transport the patients for medical investigations, surgeries, and therapy sessions to and from their beds.
  • Sample Collection: Collecting urine, stool and sputum samples for investigation is done by the CNA.
  • Laundry Storage: Storing the laundry in the right place is also a part of their duty.
    Change Dressing: Sometimes the CNA also has to change non-sterile dressing and give massages to the patients.
  • Assist in Equipment Usage: Assist in usage of various equipment like ventilators, etc.
  • Maintain Cleanliness: CNAs have to maintain cleanliness to prevent the spread of any kind of infection.
  • Emotional Support: Giving emotional support to patients and their relatives from time to time is an implied duty of an attending CNA.
  • Regulate Visitors: CNA’s are entrusted with the duty of regulating the number of visitors visiting the patient each day.
  • Help the Patient Socialize: If the patient is elderly, it is the duty of the CNA to take the patient on field trips and/or for group activities.

After completion of the certified nursing assistant course, a CNA can also work as psychiatric nursing assistant at a mental health facility. They work under the supervision of psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists and psychiatric nurses. The psychiatric nursing aides work with mentally impaired and emotionally distraught patients. Along with the above mentioned duties of a CNA, the psychiatric nursing assistants perform other duties.

Duties of a Psychiatric Nursing Aide

  • Socialize with patients.
  • Participate in educational and recreational activities with patients.
  • Accompany patients to the therapy sessions.
  • Note and record any behavioral pattern which might be of importance in treating patients and report it to higher authorities.

CNAs work with small children, disabled and handicapped patients and old people as well. The duties of a certified nursing assistant is emotionally draining, as the job requires to deal with patients who suffer from acute pain everyday. It takes a strong will, patience and compassion to be a nursing assistant.

Pediatric Dentist Salary

In recent years, of all the health scares faced by kids, tooth problems are one of the most aggravated forms. This is essentially due to improper or insufficient dental care. Kids are not as aware as the adults are, of the regimen that should necessarily be followed to ensure proper tooth care. Therefore, they tend to ignore it, giving way to tooth problems. This is when it becomes essential to use the advice and expertise of a pediatric dentist. Their core job is to diagnose the problem and suggest treatment measures to overcome it. It also includes providing tips on better dental care that will ensure that such problems are avoided in the future.

The salary relies on various factors such as education acquired, experience gained, number of working hours, and the location of work.

The following table shows the basic state-wise salaries of pediatric dentists. The salary range depends upon the location, size of the employer, volume of practice, your knowledge, and experience. These figures may also vary according to the individual’s education, qualification, and specialization. New York, so far, is the highest payer, with an average salary of around USD 215,000 – USD 250,000, while they are paid around USD 180,000 in Virginia, and around USD 170,000 – USD 180,000 in Wisconsin! Moreover, the career opportunities, too, in this field are excellent as there are many health care organizations and hospital job openings expected in the near future.

*All figures mentioned in this article are in US dollars, as per Indeed as of May 2014.

State-wise Salary Range

Alabama $206,000
Alaska $153,000
Arizona $169,000
Arkansas $204,000
California $219,000
Colorado $182,000
Connecticut $236,000
Delaware $180,000
Florida $191,000
Georgia $233,000
Hawaii $128,000
Idaho $138,000
Illinois $232,000
Indiana $197,000
Iowa $200,000
Kansas $187,000
Kentucky $175,000
Louisiana $178,000
Maine $181,000
Maryland $210,000
Massachusetts $245,000
Michigan $208,000
Minnesota $179,000
Mississippi $212,000
Missouri $200,000
Montana $182,000
Nebraska $150,000
Nevada $159,000
New Hampshire $202,000
New Jersey $221,000
New Mexico $180,000
New York $248,000
North Carolina $195,000
North Dakota $182,000
Ohio $196,000
Oklahoma $188,000
Oregon $196,000
Pennsylvania $197,000
Rhode Island $188,000
South Carolina $199,000
South Dakota $155,000
Tennessee $188,000
Texas $198,000
Utah $160,000
Vermont $182,000
Virginia $182,000
Washington $208,000
West Virginia $193,000
Wisconsin $183,000
Wyoming $170,000

Job Responsibilities

  • A pediatric dentist is the head of the department and, therefore, apart from treating dental problems in children, he shoulders the responsibility of many other duties and tasks. Some of them are mentioned below.
  • The most important job is to carry out an overall checkup of the patient’s teeth and then try to identify the problems through diagnostic procedures and generating X-rays.
  • Sometimes, the patient’s teeth are fine and require just a cleanup. In such cases, the dentist’s job is to clean his/her teeth and suggest measures for maintaining good dental health.
  • Filling cavities, placing bridges and dentures, and pulling out damaged and irreparable teeth also form an important part of the job description.
  • Other responsibilities include preparing case documents and preserving medical records associated with patient history, treatment measures, etc., for future references.
  • They also need to work on tooth care developmental plans in order to render a good level of patient care.
  • Using specialized lab equipment and taking proper care by maintaining and repairing them, whenever necessary, is also a part of their responsibility.
  • If employed in a health care organization, then going out for kids’ dental checkup campaigns is also an important duty.
  • They also need to communicate and counsel the child and parents about any problem in an effective manner and inculcate the importance of regular tooth care in them.
  • Managing day-to-day appointments and looking after administrative work in the office is also a part of their daily routine.

Educational Requirements

Pediatric dentistry is a specialized branch, and therefore, it requires expert training on the subject. The first step is to successfully complete the Dental Admissions Test (DAT) and then seek admission in a dental school. Next, you need to complete a four-year program in general dentistry from a reputed college or university and earn a degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS). This is followed by pursuing continued education from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. This should be done to maintain the license of working as a pediatric dentist and also to keep yourself updated on the latest trends and advanced dental procedures. This field includes training and education on child psychology, craniofacial anomalies in children, child development, dealing and caring for children who need special care and attention, child-related pharmacology, and detailed study of oral diseases and problems in children. To obtain a license, it is absolutely necessary to pass the state board examination.

A job or career as a pediatric dentist is emotionally fulfilling and monetarily satisfying, but not an easy one. It requires a special understanding towards child psychology and a knack of dealing with children. So, if you are really interested and you think that you have what it takes, just follow your heart, because rest assured, you can develop a very promising career in this field.

Dental Insurance Plans With No Waiting Period

Dental insurance is indispensable since the cost of dental care is exorbitant. A plethora of alternatives are available to people desirous of maintaining good oral health. For a regular premium, the insurance company agrees to cover the cost of dental services. Although, people have the option of choosing either individual or group dental insurance, where the former works out very expensive. Hence, a majority are covered under their employer’s group dental insurance plan. Employers, again, have the option of providing coverage under one of the following dental plans:

  • Traditional Dental Insurance
  • Direct Reimbursement Plans
  • Managed Care Plans

For a long time, employers were providing indemnity or traditional dental insurance. Over time, most employers switched over to managed care plans, viz. Dental Health Maintenance Organization Insurance Plans (DHMO) and Dental Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO), since these plans were cost-effective. It would behoove the reader to note that direct reimbursement plans are the most expensive of the lot, although they provide a number of benefits that are not available to people covered under the other two plans. For instance, direct reimbursement dental insurance and no waiting period go hand in hand.

Dental Plans with No Waiting Period

Some dental plans provide coverage for routine care only and a major dental procedure is covered only after the insured individual has bought the coverage plan for certain time period. This period can be anywhere between 3 months to a year. Dental insurance companies invoke a waiting period, as a preventive measure, meant to discourage customers who will sign up for dental insurance, undergo a major dental procedure and then resign from the plan. This brings us to the importance of dental insurance with no waiting period, a couple of plans have been profiled below, for preventive, diagnostic, restorative, major and adjunctive services.

Direct Reimbursement Plans
Direct reimbursement plan is the most expensive dental insurance. No waiting period clause is an inherent feature of this plan on account of the very nature of coverage. The plan requires the insured to pay the dentist up-front for the services rendered. The coverage is typically employment-based and the insured/employee is expected to submit the bill to the employer and claim either a part, or the entire amount of money paid in lieu of the services rendered. In addition to the no waiting period clause, this is the only plan that covers even preexisting conditions. The insured is also allowed to visit any doctor of his/her choice and there is no pre-authorization requirement for any procedure. However, this plan is very expensive and employment based.

Dental Discount Plans
Dental discount plans are preferred to direct reimbursement plans since they are not employment based and are cost-effective, thus allowing the members to save as much as 60 percent on procedures like cleanings, fillings, braces and checkups. Since dental discount plans are not employment based, they are a good alternative to dental insurance for seniors. A person can become a member by paying a nominal membership fee. Being a part of a group confers collective bargaining power on the members, thus allowing them to receive substantial discounts. Hence, these plans are a cheaper alternative to dental insurance. No waiting period clause is also an important feature of dental discount plans that ensures instantaneous coverage for various procedures. Immediate coverage can be attributed to the fact that dental discount plans are different from dental insurance.

Note.: It would always be advisable to read the dental insurance offer document carefully. Conditions do apply and it is mandatory for one to understand the terms and conditions thoroughly. Ensure that you have understood the policy’s waiting period. Negligence in such cases may turn out disastrous for the insurer.

Waiting Period for Dental Insurance Plans

Traditional plans and managed care plans have a waiting period clause. As mentioned earlier, managed care plans are popular group dental insurance plans, since they are the cheapest. While opting for dental insurance, no waiting period clause is one of the most important features that one should focus on, in addition to the preexisting condition excluding period. Although, group plans can help in case of preexisting conditions, people may have to contend with the following waiting period requirement in case of traditional and managed care plans:

Dental insurance plans for individuals does not require a waiting period for preventive procedures, like cleaning. Some companies consider topical fluoride treatment for children, under the age 16 and space maintainers for children under age 12, as preventive oral care, while others term these as basic or restorative. Again, diagnostic procedures like oral exams and radiographic benefits do not have a waiting period. However, restorative services, like fillings, adjunctive services, complex and major services, viz. oral surgery with general anesthesia and emergency treatment, have a predetermined waiting period of 12 months. Missing tooth clause, in the insurance contract, ensures that the insurance company does not pay for dental bridge work before the waiting period elapses. Again, the cost of dentures is not covered by the insurance company for a certain length of time since most companies consider these as major services.

As far as group dental plans are concerned, there is no waiting period for preventive services while there is a short 6-month initial waiting period for basic or restorative services. For major services, the size of the group and the waiting period are inversely proportional. Some insurance companies waive the waiting period requirement even for major services, if the group size is over 10. People, who can afford the premium, can opt for the expensive direct reimbursement plan while others may be better off with dental discount plans.

What to Look for While Finding a Pediatric Dentist

Regular dental check-ups are an integral aspect of oral health care for children. When most of the adults cringe at the thought of visiting a dentist, what can you say about children. There’s no denying the fact that most children dread even the thought of going to the dental clinic. However, one way to make them feel better is to take them to an experienced, kid-friendly dentist. At times, people wonder what’s the harm in taking the child to their family dentist.

The fact that pediatric dentists provide oral health care only to infants and children should explain it. Pediatric dentists undergo two to three years of specialty training, after they receive a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from a dental school. To be able to practice, they need to take the written and clinical examination by the National Board Dental Examinations for state licensure. An experienced pediatric dentist has everything fine-tuned to the needs of the children, and is well-aware of the approach that he/she should follow while dealing with infants, and children of different age groups.

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Given the fear and uneasiness that a visit to a dental clinic usually arouses in the minds of children, it becomes extremely essential to find a dentist who is gentle and compassionate. Right from the ambiance of the dental clinic to the tone of the dentist’s voice, and the behavior of the staff; everything has to be such that the child and the parents feel extremely comfortable. It is always preferable to find a pediatric dentist, as the specialized training of pediatric dentists includes the study of child development and psychology.

Even better would be to find pediatric dentists who keep themselves updated with the latest procedures, techniques, and technology available in dentistry by attending educational classes or seminars. This enables them to provide the children with the best oral health care right from infancy through teenage years.

Finding a Pediatric Dentist
First of all, you have the task of finding dental clinics in your area. Pediatric dentists may work in medical centers, dental schools, or private dental clinics. Here’s what you could do.

➞ You could ask your friends and family members for recommendations.

➞ There’s always the option of consulting your child’s pediatrician.

➞ You could also find the location of dental clinics through the Internet.

How to Choose a Pediatric Dentist
Here are some pointers on what to look for while finding a pediatric dentist.

➞ It would be a good idea to find a dentist who is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, or American Academy of Pediatrics.

➞ The pediatric dentist search tool of AAPD could help you locate the dental clinics in your area.

The most important task is to find a pediatric dentist who will make the dental experience for your child as comfortable as possible. Don’t take a hasty decision, as you need to find a dentist your child can see from childhood through his/her teenage years. Here are the things that you should keep in your mind.

➞ Don’t hesitate in scheduling a consultation with the dentist. Though a crowded dental clinic might imply that the dentist is good at his/her job, but his/her busy schedule must not make the task of getting appointments a difficult one for you. Do ask about the dental emergency hours.

➞ Look around to make an assessment about the ambiance. Is the clinic child-friendly? Do you see child-sized furniture in the waiting area? If the dental clinic has a play area, it certainly is a good sign.

➞ Children get bored easily, and you need something to keep them engaged. They will certainly feel good if they can watch cartoons on television, or have toys, coloring books, games, pillows, blankets, etc., to play with. The needs of the children of all ages should be addressed.

➞ Take a look at the dental equipment to see whether the equipment is appropriate for children.

➞ You must closely observe how the dentist interacts with your child, and how your child responds. Is he/she able to deal with a child who is crying or scared?

➞ It’s not just the dentist, even the staff should come across as friendly, and make your child feel comfortable. They should be able to put you and your child at ease.

➞ Does the dentist listen patiently to your queries? Does he/she understand and address your concerns immediately? These are questions you need to ask yourself.

➞ He/she should build up trust, and prepare the child before any procedure by telling him/her what should be expected. This way the child will not feel scared during the dental procedure.

➞ For any dentist to be able to encourage the children to follow an oral hygiene regimen, he/she should be able to establish a bond with children. The dentist should talk to children in an age-appropriate manner, telling them information on ways to care for their teeth in as simple and gentle a manner as possible.

➞ He/she should give demonstrations on the right way to brush and floss teeth. His/her job also includes telling the children how food and drinks affect their teeth.

➞ Besides assessing the condition of the teeth, and resolving dental issues, pediatric dentists also need to educate the parents of newborns on caring for baby teeth, and what to expect when the permanent teeth develop.

➞ They should also address the issues like bruxism (teeth grinding), thumb sucking, etc., besides providing preventive dental care and treatment for such dental problems.

Their most important task is educating children about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. A good dentist is concerned about the overall health and well-being of the child, and should ask the parents about the child’s medical history and other relevant questions. He/she should also be willing to address the concerns of parents.

On a concluding note, finding a good pediatric dentist is very important. So, do keep the aforementioned aspects in mind while looking for a pediatric dentist for your child. Though most dental associations recommend a dental check-up every six months, only a dentist can tell you how often you need to take your child to the clinic. While pediatric dentists can inform you if your child’s tooth development is taking place properly, or tell you about the dental problems that need to be fixed, parents also need to ensure that they contribute their bit by encouraging children to follow the suggested oral care regimen religiously.

Finding Cheap Dental Insurance for College Students

The concept of dental and medial or health insurance is interrelated, but is not synonymous. It means that, not all expenditures related to the dental health are covered under the health or medical expenditures. Hence, people need to take good dental insurance policies in order to get a proper coverage for all dental health related expenditures. The high cost of dental health care has promoted students to hunt for inexpensive dental insurance that has a low and affordable premium.

About Dental Insurance
As the name itself suggests, dental insurance provides coverage to the oral and dental health of the insured. A coverage means that the insured person will be provided reimbursement and compensation for expenditures that have been incurred as a result of dental health treatments. It must be noted that compensation is not provided for some expenditures such as braces, cosmetic correction, etc. Basically, if the expenditure occurs as a result of a preventive measure (cleaning and filling), or the procedure is as a result of a medical condition (such as root canal or tooth extraction), or is a first aid procedure (after an accident), then the insurance company reimburses the entire sum of money.

There are many medical insurance policies that partially cover some of the dental care expenditures. People who have such coverage take up a supplemental dental insurance policy. Others who do not have any medical policy covering dental care, take up Full Coverage Dental Insurance Plans. Many families take up a group or family policy. Alternatively, individual plans can also be availed, which have a comprehensive coverage.

Affordable Dental Insurance for College Students
Now, from the transaction point of view, there are two basic classifications of dental insurance―indemnity plans and managed-care plans. Indemnity plans are where you will have to pay the expenditure right out of your pocket, and the insurance company remits the compensation at a later date. In the second plan, the student can visit a particular chain of dental clinics where treatment is provided free of cost. That is, the cost is directly remitted to the clinic by the company. As a student, the best choice to have is managed policy, since it caters to periodic monthly expenditure of dental consultancy.

Before purchasing a policy, you will have consider the extent of the coverage. If the coverage is comprehensive enough, then you will need to just have a supplement to it with a small dental insurance policy. One of the best is the one that covers only the periodic dental checkups and all expenditures that occur in case of emergencies. Many such policies do not cover the expenditures arising out of preexisting conditions, or they also do not cover the expenditures that arise out of cosmetic procedures. This dental insurance plan is cheaper and has a more affordable premium. The positive point is that, periodic cleaning and prevention procedures would not cost a lot. The drawback is that, complicated dental procedures are not covered.

Before taking up any dental insurance policy, check a couple of things such as the dental care clinics with whom the company has a tie-up with, and the number of free checkups and procedures that can be availed per year.

Dry Mouth During Pregnancy

Pregnant young woman with nausea

Pregnancy comes with a lot of discomfort; dryness of the mouth, also referred to as “cotton mouth”, can be one of them. Keep reading, as I improvise on the symptoms, causes, effects, and remedies.

Pregnancy, with the inexplicable joy of gifting you with a newborn child, also bombards you with quite a few health issues, and a lot of dos and don’ts. You may face discomfort during pregnancy, due to the hormonal fluctuations brought about by the metabolic activities. Some of the signs of discomfort include, increased weakness, heartburn, urgency to urinate frequently, vomiting, and backache. Beside all these usual symptoms, you may also face a very common symptom; dryness in the mouth.

It is not unusual to experience increased thirst and a parched mouth during pregnancy, while a few expecting women also face the problem of excess saliva secretion. In fact, thirst and dry mouth are the most frequently raised complaints pertaining to oral health, after conception. So, is there any relation between dry mouth and pregnancy? Or is dry mouth a normal sign?

Symptoms
The symptoms of a dry mouth, when one is pregnant, are no different from the normal, otherwise symptoms of a dry mouth. You obviously know your mouth is dry when there is no saliva being produced to keep your mouth wet. Apart from this obvious symptom, you may face several other symptoms of mouth dryness. Stickiness in the mouth, chapped dry lips, cracked sore lips or lip corners, parched throat, red, raw tongue, etc., are all signs of a dry mouth. When your mouth runs dry, you have difficulty in chewing and swallowing food, and talking. Dizziness and headache may follow as other symptoms of a cotton mouth.

Causes
The saliva of the mouth contains 98 percent water. It reduces rough friction in the mouth due to dryness. Absence of saliva can be one of the major reasons of having a dry mouth. It can occur due to many reasons. Dehydration ranks first in the list of those reasons. Lack of water (dehydration) can be the root, and is the basic cause of mouth dryness.

So, how does dehydration take its toll on a pregnant woman?
A woman might consume the same amount of water during pregnancy, that she used to consume before. If it did not dehydrate her then, why is she struck with it now? This is because, during pregnancy, the fetus extracts additional water, along with the food nutrition. Hence, the amount of water being consumed does not prove sufficient for the mother and the child. Dehydration can also occur due to the metabolic change or medication.

Another cause of dry mouth is underlying diabetes, which results in increased urination and thirst. Such diabetic symptoms lead to excess loss of water from the body. Thus, diabetic women are at a higher risk of developing dry mouth during gestation, than other healthy women. Pregnant women who go through these dry mouth and anxiety problems, should mention their medical conditions to their gynecologist.

Effects
It is pretty obvious how uncomfortable a dry mouth can make you feel.

  • Dehydration leads to overheating of the expectant mother’s body. Pregnancy gives it more scope. Rise in temperature in the mother’s body can leave the baby with the same experience.
  • The occurrence of dehydration in the first trimester may lead to NTD (neutral tube defects).
  • In the later stages, it may cause labor complications, cesarean delivery, premature delivery, uterus contraction or constricted umbilical cord.
  • Dehydration may not excrete the waste of the body of the baby and the mother properly.
  • This can cause a strain on the baby’s kidneys and liver, and is also not good for the mother.
  • Dehydration can lead to miscarriage.
  • It also makes you feel nauseated.
  • It decreases the volume of blood and causes fatigue in pregnant women.
  • Dry mouth increases bacteria build up, which also leads to cavities, tartar, bad breath and tooth decay.

Remedies
Although, dry mouth during pregnancy is not a complication for healthy women, those who have a medical history of gestational diabetes or any type of diabetes, need medical attention. The doctor may perform urine tests, blood tests and other diagnostic methods to detect diabetes. After confirmation, the concerned physician will recommend medications and lifestyle changes to bring the blood sugar level to normal range. Or in other words, with the treatment of diabetes, the symptoms of dry mouth and extreme thirst will be reduced.

In general, there is no particular treatment for dry mouth. After all, it is actually a symptom, not a disease. Nevertheless, there are certain self-care tips and home remedies that can be practiced to combat this discomforting condition. An effectual remedy to get relief from frequent incidences of very dry mouth, is drinking lots of water to make up for the water loss, and also to meet the requirements of the body. In order to stimulate production of saliva in the mouth, consider chewing sugarless gum or sucking on hard candies. As saliva moistens the mouth, you will get some relief.

Recommendations

  • Drink a lot of water. At least 2 – 3 liters everyday.
  • Consume wet foods like gravies, soups, curries, etc. Avoid dry food items.
  • Do not use mouthwashes that have alcohol present in them, because alcohol dehydrates the body.
  • Avoid salty, spicy and sugary food.
  • Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee and aerated drinks).
  • Have fruits that are high in water content. Fresh juices would also be helpful.
  • Try using artificial saliva that is available in sprays, tablets, rinses, gels, swabs, etc. However, most of these are available only if prescribed by a doctor.

In case dry mouth is accompanied with bad breath, seek advice from your concerned gynecologist regarding safe bad breath products that you can use. Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial to minimize the risk of dental problems for you, and other health conditions for your baby. With proper remedies, this discomfort can be dealt with effectively, without causing medical complications.

Tips to Control Diabetes Naturally

Diabetes, it stays for life once it is diagnosed. You might be too robust a person, but the self-discipline and tenaciousness this disease requires, and that too over a lifetime, can tax you to the limit. Howbeit, had it not been these advancements and improvements in the comprehension of the causes, complexities, and cure of diabetes, physicians would have to helplessly stand by their patients overpowered by the intricacies this disease enfolds within. But, there is much more to it. Diabetes, which occurs due to lack of insulin, leads to metabolic abnormalities, thus, increasing the ketone bodies within the blood, mostly in places which lack insulin severely. Now, since your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, it is incapable of turning sugars into the energy required by it. As a result, the sugars that stay in your blood make your kidneys work harder than normal, leading to frequent urination, which is the most common symptom of diabetes.

It is because diabetes can increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes that it’s time you learn how to control the same. Naturally, diabetes can be regulated with the help of an uncomplicated lifestyle. The following natural cures for diabetes have had many people feel that their diabetes has been cured, and that they have bettered their lifestyle, thus, preventing the onset of diabetes. You too can do it, provided you take account of the following tips to cure diabetes naturally.

Note that, diabetes is of two types – Diabetes 1 which is a genetic defect, and can be cured only with the help of medication prescribed by a medical specialist, and Diabetes 2 which can be cured by keeping track of your diet and lifestyle. In order to naturally control the ailment, here are the three most important tips you need to keep in mind.

Bitter is Better
Research claims, anything that is bitter in excess is an excellent cure for diabetes. For example, a bitter melon is a known remedy for lowering your sugar levels. Grind a bitter melon everyday, strain the juice, and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. Another method of consuming the bitter melon (which is really bitter) is to boil it and then eat it daily. On the other hand, neem leaves are equally bitter that make up for an excellent cure for diabetes. Fry them or crush them and take out the juice – neem leaves are beneficial either way. One of the most adapted methods of consuming neem leaves so that they do not taste too bitter is the preservation of these leaves till they dry, and then crush them into fine powder. You can mix a tablespoon of the powder in warm water, and drink everyday.

Healthy Diet is Right
You know, unless your immune system isn’t strong enough, fighting or controlling diabetes is an impossible deal. Hence, in a bid to control diabetes in the utmost natural manner, watch what you eat. To start with, carbohydrates and starch are a big no-no. Fats are of two types: good fats and bad fats. While bad fats such as potato chips, burgers, pizzas, etc., are saturated fats and are harmful for your body, good fats such as foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids provide you with all the good fats, and should be consumed in bulk. What’s more, anything that grows under the soil such as potato, and other vegetables that are root-type, should be consumed in little amounts. Eat raw vegetables, forget about sweets and junk, and most importantly, give up smoking. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Last but not the least, include foods rich in chromium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc in the diet, for they not only help control blood sugar levels, but also help the body’s cells response to insulin.

Working Out will Work It Out
Exercising, particularly walking and swimming, makes muscles absorb glucose for energy which ultimately causes blood sugar levels to slump down, thereby, treating diabetes naturally. However, too often, in many diabetic patients, exercising tends to have opposite effects, wherein, rather than lowering blood glucose levels, it increases them, posing immense harm. As a result, it is always recommended you consult your physician and find out the type of exercise that works in the favor of your health, and that isn’t harmful in any way. Till date, walking, brisk walking in particular, is one of the best exercises that works in favor of controlling diabetes in the utmost natural way. Not only does it control diabetes, it also helps in reducing body weight. While type 2 diabetes is attributed by reduced sensitivity to insulin in the body, exercising improves the efficiency of production of insulin in the body. Many patients, who were once overweight, acquired this method of controlling diabetes in the natural way, and eventually, not only lost ounces, but also stopped experiencing diabetes symptoms.

Finding yourself drowning more and more into this disease for life can be hard to deal with. Time and again, you might just feel like giving up. At one point of time, it may disgust you to watch out on eating low-carb foods, staying away from your favorite sweets and desserts, and most importantly, a deteriorated sense of well-being. But then, there’s only one way of dealing with this situation, and that is to just do everything it takes to shove away the negative effects that diabetes has on your body, and embrace all the positive effects that work in favor of your health, and that will keep you hanging onto this lifestyle. Learning how to control diabetes naturally does make a difference in leading a healthy life. The ones having suffered from those traumatic days will be able to tell you better.

Pre Diabetic Diet

Normal fasting blood sugar ranges between 70 and 100 mg/dl in adults. As far as this range is maintained, there is no restriction in the daily diet of a person. But if the blood sugar is measured above or below the normal value, then it may be a matter of concern. According to the American Diabetes Association, if the fasting blood glucose level lies within a range of 100 to 125 mg/dl, and if the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) reading lies within a range of 140 to 199 mg/dl, it is termed as pre diabetes. Any value above this is considered as established diabetes. If you are diagnosed with pre diabetic conditions then you have a chance to convert this condition into normal. You just have to concentrate on the diet and some exercises to get over pre diabetic conditions.

A healthy diet can keep you away from lots of diseases and switching to a healthy diet is always considered as the best way to overcome any disease. If you have been detected with pre diabetic condition, then you need to bring it to its normal value. So, we are here to give you few of our diet recommendations for pre diabetic condition which will help you to get back to your normal blood sugar level.

Pre Diabetic Diet Guidelines

Pre diabetic condition can be easily overcome by following a proper diet plan. You just have to concentrate on healthy food and maintain a proper diet to avoid diabetes. By this and few exercise routine you can get back to your normal blood sugar level. Following are some of the tips to get yourself out of pre diabetes.

Vegetables in Pre Diabetic Conditions
When you are in a pre diabetic condition you need to have lots and lots of vegetables which are rich in fibers and are nutritious. Following is a pre diabetic food list which can help you to plan a menu for yourself.

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Green and fresh beans
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Okra

Fruits in Pre Diabetic Conditions
Fruits are also very helpful in curing pre diabetic condition. Both fresh fruits and dry fruits are good for a pre diabetes diet. Fruit juices of the below given fruits can also help you if they do not have added sugar in it.

  • Apple
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lime
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Dried Apricots
  • Purines
  • Pears

Sea Food and Meat in Pre Diabetic Conditions
You can have sea food and meat when you are suffering from pre diabetic conditions but you need to restrict the daily intake to a weekly basis and have to choose the options from the below given list.

  • Sea food may include fish such as sardines, tilapia, tuna, haddock, cod, halibut, catfish herring, etc. It can also include shellfish.
  • Poultry product may have egg, chicken, turkey, duck, etc. but all without skin.
  • Other meat may have beef, pork and lamb but they should be fat-free.

Grains and Legumes in Pre Diabetic Conditions
Concentrate more on whole grains than on processed grains. Following list may help you with pre diabetic conditions.

  • Grain bread, such as buckwheat bread, oat bran bread, multi-grain bread etc.
  • Other product may include oat bran cereal, muesli, wild rice, brown rice, whole barley, buckwheat, whole wheat spaghetti, etc.
  • Legumes may include kidney or pinto beans, soybeans, garbanzo beans, split peas etc.

There are a number of diabetic foods to avoid from a normal diet. The food products which contain a high amount of cholesterol and fats should be avoided at this stage. You should avoid fried and oily things. Concentrate more on nutrients than on the taste of the food product. Avoid having desserts like ice creams, sweets, pudding, etc. at least till you achieve a normal blood sugar level. There are many pre diabetic recipes through which you can get better taste in a healthy way.

Apart from all these things, you should also include some exercises in your daily routine, which will help you to stay fit and will keep you away from pre diabetic condition. So, prepare a menu out of the pre diabetic diet guidelines given in this article and have a proper diet to avoid diabetes. Follow it daily and very soon you will observe your blood sugar coming back to its normal value.

How to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is a disorder which can develop in diabetic individuals over time. It is characterized by nerve damage, that can occur in a particular area of the body or all throughout the body. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, around 60 to 70 percent of the diabetic population develops neuropathy at some point in time. The incidence of diabetic neuropathy is higher in individuals who suffer from diabetes for more than 25 years. Diabetics who have high blood fat level, high blood pressure, poor control over their blood sugar level, and are overweight, are also prone to develop neuropathy.

  • Factors Resulting in Diabetic Neuropathy
  • High blood sugar level
  • Long duration of diabetes
  • Low insulin levels
  • High content of fat in blood
  • Nerve inflammation
  • Hereditary factors
  • Damage to blood vessels that supply blood to nerves
  • Lifestyle factors like alcohol consumption and smoking

Diabetes makes the life of an individual quite difficult. Developing another disorder along with it further increases the difficulty of such individuals. To avoid this, diabetic patients must adopt a few things to minimize the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy in the long run.

Tips to Prevent Diabetic Neuropathy

Learn about It
Diabetic patients run the risk of developing this disorder. Therefore, it is necessary for them to learn how this disorder can affect their lives, the symptoms associated with it, and what can be done to prevent it. Having the knowledge of these things will help them in identifying neuropathy, and taking necessary steps to prevent it too.

Detect Diabetes Early
Diabetes is a precursor of diabetic neuropathy. Early detection of diabetes in an individual will help in early control of blood sugar levels, which in turn will reduce the chances of developing neuropathy in the body. The disorder generally occurs after several years of diabetes. Taking control of it at an early stage is the best way to deal with both the conditions.

Control Blood Sugar Level
Individuals with very high blood glucose levels are more prone to develop neuropathy. Therefore, keeping a stringent check on sugar levels of the blood is very essential. Blood sugar levels must be maintained within the normal range to remain healthy, without being worried of developing another complication.

Control Weight
Being overweight is also a risk factor for developing neuropathy in diabetic individuals. Exercising helps in reducing excess weight, promoting nerve cell regeneration, and maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Foot Inspection
Diabetic neuropathy is common in the feet. It results in loss of sensation in the area, due to which a small cut, blister or an injury may remain unnoticed. Regular foot inspection aims to find whether such instances indicating neuropathy are occurring in a diabetic person. Besides regular inspection, annual foot inspection by the diabetes team must also form a part of the routine.

Wear Comfortable Footwear
People with diabetes, specially high-risk individuals, must wear comfortable footwear. It must not be too tight or too loose for the feet. Leather and canvas are good options for the feet as they are flexible in nature. Walking shoes are also a comfortable option for a diabetic person’s feet.

Follow a Daily Care Routine for the Feet
The feet must be taken care of, to decrease the chances of developing neuropathy in the feet. They must be washed regularly with lukewarm water, and a moisturizer must be applied to prevent dryness and cracking. Toe nails must be cut regularly to avoid ingrown nails.

Regulate Life Pattern
Diabetics must regulate their life pattern by getting up early and going to bed at the right time. By doing so, they not only maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also improve glycometabolism, which is good for the prevention of this disorder.

Maintain a Balanced Diet
A proper diet plan is essential to maintain a steady blood sugar level. Foods rich in salt, sugar and saturated fats must be avoided, and ones with high fiber, vitamins and minerals must be included in the diet. Getting a proper diet chart prepared by a dietitian will be helpful in following a diet that is capable of maintaining normal levels of blood glucose.

Diabetic neuropathy is a serious complication associated with diabetes. Therefore, diabetics must take special care of themselves to prevent it from occurring. Apart from following what is mentioned above, consult a physician who can recommend better ways of preventing this chronic disorder in diabetic individuals.