The month is coming to a close, as is the year, and so is a memorable decade. Using your dental insurance now is a bigger deal than ever. It’s time to use your dental benefits while you still can.

Your Insurance Benefits Will Likely Expire on December 31st

Most insurance plans correspond to the calendar year, which means you and your family only have a few more days to take advantage of your dental insurance coverage. Most plans offer majority or complete coverage for dental cleanings, which we recommend you schedule with us twice a year. By offering coverage, your provider encourages you to come to our South Houston dentists so we can examine your mouth. When we closely examine your mouth, we can also spot any developing problems in your teeth, as well as the earliest hints of other health problems, such as diabetes and even different cancers.

Additionally, dental insurance plans also typically offer coverage for any treatments that can prevent your oral health condition from worsening. For example, dentures and partials are essential for our patients who are missing their permanent teeth. They can help improve our patients’ facial structure, help them speak more clearly, and help them eat all the healthy foods they need to. This means that they are crucial to overall health, so it’s likely that your insurance plan will offer some coverage for them. Similarly, dental crowns, bridges, and fillings help protect and preserve teeth that have experienced severe decay. By protecting the damaged tooth or teeth, crowns, bridges, and fillings can help protect the remaining healthy teeth, so there is a good chance your dental insurance plan offers coverage for these procedures as well.

Get Your Money’s Worth in Dental Benefits

Because your benefits expire on the 31st, your remaining benefits will not roll over and be added to next year’s benefits. Most dental insurance plans require a premium and/or a deductible before your benefits kick in, and these out-of-pocket costs will go to waste if you don’t redeem your benefits.

Most of Centra Dental’s Services are Covered by Your Dental Insurance

We want our south Houston patients to use all of their Dental benefits so they can be exceptionally healthy. This is why we are in-network with several insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you have any outstanding treatment or dental check-up please book an appointment with us so we can schedule a visit with you before the end of the year.

Did you know that your dental insurance benefits reset each year? Most dental insurance plans last for the calendar year, meaning you will use all of your unused benefits after December 31, 2019. It’s also important to be aware that what is left of your benefits does not carry into the new year, so you will have to pay your insurance premium once again in order to gain access to new benefits. There is still some time left before your benefits expire, so here are just some of the services you should prioritize before the deadline.

Dental Services to Take Advantage of at Centra Dental in South Houston

Dental Cleanings

Most dental insurance plans offer some or complete coverage for two dental cleanings a year because they are the most important treatment you can get to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you haven’t received a cleaning in over six months, now is the perfect time. When you come in for your dental cleaning at Centra, we do a deep cleaning while carefully checking your teeth and gums. Many patients are surprised to find out that plenty of illnesses and diseases first show signs in the mouth, so we can catch the earliest symptoms and act accordingly.

Major Dental Treatments

Some treatments, such as dentures, partials, dental crowns, and dental bridges, may take at least two visits to complete. Now is the perfect time to get started on those treatments, especially if you have already met your deductible. A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay in treatments before your dental benefits kick in. Once it’s paid, your coverage will take care of a portion of your treatment costs. This is ideal for these bigger treatments you may have been holding off on.

Centra Dental in South Houston Wants You to Enjoy Your Benefits

Don’t let your insurance premium or deductible go to waste. If you would like to receive any of these treatments before December 31st, please book an appointment with us. We will gladly fit you in so you can have maximize your benefits and have a healthy smile to show for it.

When working, most people receive dental benefits through their employers but may forget about the premium that both employer and employee must pay in order to keep a dental insurance plan. This premium is paid upfront, so the money is completely wasted if you don’t visit the dentist enough throughout the year. If you don’t go to the dentist before the end of the year, then you will lose the chance to use your benefits.

How Do Your South Houston Dental Benefits Work?

There are different kinds of dental insurance plans, each with different benefits. "Benefits" is the term we use to refer to coverage for different dental treatments, meaning your insurance will pay a portion of your treatments. Which dental insurance plan and benefits you get depends on your employer. However, most plans will offer substantial coverage for your routine dental cleanings, which should take place every 6 months. Other benefits you may have include coverage for root canals, crowns or bridges, dentures, and more, but this will depend on the plan you buy.

Dental Benefits Will Expire by the End of the Year

Insurance providers set a deadline of December 31st of each year. If you do not use your benefits by then, there is no roll-over, so you are unable to save multiple treatments for the next year when your insurance and premium reset. On the other hand, there is still some time to take advantage of your benefits. If you or your family have any of the aforementioned treatments outstanding, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment with our South Houston dentists to get those treatments completed. We want to make sure you get your money’s worth and can take advantage of all the benefits you have so you can be as healthy as possible.

Centra Dental Accepts Many In-Network Insurance Plans

We want our south Houston patients to get the most out of their dental insurance so they can take the best care of their teeth. This is why we make sure we are in-network with several insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you have an outstanding treatment or dental check-up please book an appointment with us so we can see you before the end of the year.

Your dental insurance comes with benefits. These benefits are available in the form of coverage for a variety of dental procedures and treatments. However, it’s important to use your coverage before the end of the year, or else you and your family will lose it.

Dental Insurance Benefits For Your Family

Most insurance plans offer impressive coverage for procedures and treatments that are preventative in order to maintain proper dental health. These procedures typically include your dental cleanings, and your insurance covers two a year for everyone in your family. Your annual x-rays are most likely also covered as preventative care.

Other procedures, such as dental crowns, may also have substantial coverage with your insurance plan because they protect and strengthen a damaged tooth so that it doesn’t need to be extracted. Missing teeth can negatively impact your jaw and even your facial structure if not addressed in a timely manner.

Understand Your Dental Insurance Limitations

Most insurance companies may set a limit on how much they will pay out per year, per person. If you haven’t used their money’s worth of treatments by December 31, there is no rollover.

In addition to knowing your insurance’s limit, it’s also important to understand the deductible. With a deductible, your insurance will not offer coverage until you’ve spent the amount of your deductible. After it’s been paid, your coverage is good for the calendar year. Essentially, you’re paying a premium, so you must use your coverage benefits in order to get the most out of the money you have paid. 

Don’t Procrastinate on Treatments

We highly recommend that now that it’s December, you don’t avoid essential dental treatments. In doing so you not only waste money by having to deal with paying an all-new deductible to regain your benefits, but you also lose out on the opportunity to have your treatments at least partially paid for by your insurance. Not using your benefits before the end of the year also puts your overall dental health at risk by avoiding necessary treatments such as dental crowns, bridges, or root canals.

Centra Dental Accepts Different Insurances For Your Family Dental Needs

We want our south Houston patients to get the most out of their insurance so they can take the best care of their teeth. This is why we accept many in-network dental insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you and your family have any outstanding dental treatments, then please book an appointment with us so we can schedule a visit with you before the end of the year.

Both health and dental insurance can be really confusing. Dental insurance is absolutely helpful and essential, but we find that when our south Houston dentist’s patients don’t fully understand all that goes into their insurance plan, or just how helpful it can be, they end up struggling to make full use of their plans and the benefits that come with them.

Your Dental Insurance Comes With Benefits

When it comes to dental insurance, the insurance plan you use offers benefits by providing coverage of most dental procedures. Depending on your plan, your co-pay can be so low that it’s next to nothing.

For example, most dental insurance plans provide coverage for your dental cleaning, which should take place every six months, so you will want to take advantage of the fact that your plan is covering most of the bill. This serves as an incentive to get the preventative care you need to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy. Additionally, our dentists use your dental check-ups to determine if there are any underlying health issues that need to be addressed, as many illnesses show early signs in the mouth.

Your Dental Benefits Don’t Last Forever

Most insurance providers set a deadline for all dental benefits to expire on December 31st of each year. This means that your benefits will not roll over into the new year. Essentially, if you haven’t taken advantage of the benefits during the year, you’ll lose out on the opportunity for them. The good news, though, is that there is still some time to take advantage of your benefits, especially for outstanding treatments you have been procrastinating on.

Centra Dental Accepts Several Insurances For All Your Dental Needs

We want our south Houston patients to get the most out of their insurance so they can take the best care of their teeth. This is why we accept many in network insurance plans, such as Aetna, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Lincoln, United, and much more. If you have any outstanding treatment or dental check-up, please book an appointment with us so we can schedule a visit with you before the end of the year.

When Invisalign Clear Aligners first took off in the 2000’s, there was quite a bit of skepticism. How could lightweight plastic ever straighten someone’s teeth? However, it did not take long for Invisalign to pick up and for dentists all over the country to see how well Invisalign Clear Aligners work. Today, they are a viable alternative to metal Houston braces and are sought after by many South Houston teens.

How Does Invisalign Compare to Metal or Ceramic Houston Braces

Metal and Ceramic Braces

Metal braces have been the go-to method for correcting malocclusions for decades upon decades. Ceramic braces, although newer, work much in the same way that metal Houston braces do. When it comes to non-Invisalign braces treatments, metal and ceramic braces work by gluing either metal or ceramic brackets to the patient’s teeth and then running what is called an “archwire” across each of those brackets. This wire is then regularly adjusted with different levels of pressure, which helps gradually move the teeth in order to correct a malocclusion.

Invisalign Clear Aligner Treatment

Invisalign, on the other hand, doesn’t involve wires or brackets. Instead, the patient will have different sets of clear aligners, each with a slightly different shape. They will wear each set for a few weeks at a time as they go through each phase of alignment. It’s important to note that while metal braces work for any and all cases, no matter the complexity, Invisalign works best for milder cases.

Our South Houston Teens Love Invisalign

Many teenagers favor Invisalign because it’s barely noticeable when they smile or talk, which ensures the self-conscious teenager doesn’t draw any unwanted attention. Additionally, our teen-aged patients enjoy more flexibility with Invisalign, as clear aligners can be taken out at mealtimes, but they have to be worn for 22 hours a day. However, if they keep up a good oral hygiene routine, they can afford to skip them for some special occasions, like prom.

Invisalign at Centra Dental in South Houston

Invisalign is a highly favored orthodontic treatment these days. If you think your teen may be a candidate for Invisalign, please schedule a Houston braces consultation. Our skilled dentists will answer all of your questions regarding possible Invisalign treatment.

If you have a malocclusion, such as overcrowding or an overbite, then Houston braces may be the solution you need in order to have a healthy smile that you are confident with. While metal braces are the most common orthodontic appliance for correcting a bad bite, ceramic braces are a potential alternative for our adult patients.

Why Do Adults Pick Ceramic Braces Instead of Metal Braces?

The main reason why we see some of our patients choose ceramic braces as opposed to metal braces is that they are less noticeable on your teeth than traditional metal. Ceramic braces use tooth-colored or beige brackets for darker teeth, or white brackets for lighter teeth, and in some cases, clear brackets. This way they can easily blend in with the natural teeth. This offers a huge advantage for our adult patients who would rather experience a more subtle treatment.

How Do Ceramic Braces Compare to Metal Braces and Invisalign?

Quite often, if you are seeking a more subtle treatment, your first choice would be Invisalign Clear Aligners, but we typically recommend Invisalign to those who have very mild malocclusions. However, ceramic braces are a viable option for a variety of bad bites and are highly effective for many different cases, mild or not.

Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in that each individual ceramic bracket is cemented to each tooth, and are all bound together by a wire that runs across your entire dental arch. This wire is the key component that puts pressure on the teeth to move them to the correct position. Nowadays, you can even pick the color of the archwire and decide between silver, white, or frosted, which will blend into the teeth even better. If your particular case requires rubber bands, you can choose to get them in a color that also matches your teeth for a nearly invisible treatment.

We do have to warn you, however, that ceramic braces are durable now, but they aren't quite as durable as traditional metal braces, so if you participate in high-contact sports, then ceramic braces may not be ideal and instead, metal braces will be the better option in order to avoid costly repairs. Additionally, because ceramic braces are not as strong, treatment may take a little bit longer.

Come to Centra Dental For Affordable Adult Houston Braces

With so many options for braces these days, we recommend you book an appointment with us for a braces consultation. At this appointment, we will carefully evaluate your teeth and help you decide if ceramic braces are the right treatment plan for you. 

Houston braces are a good idea if you need to have a malocclusion corrected. A malocclusion is also known as a “bad bite” and the term is used to describe any and all orthodontic problems. While our braces correct crowded teeth and an open bite, they also correct underbites and overbites.


An underbite occurs when a patient’s lower teeth protrude outward and are positioned further out than the upper front teeth, similar to a bulldog’s teeth. Because of the abnormal alignment of the teeth, this can cause cosmetic problems as well as oral health problems.

What Problems Can an Underbite Cause?

Some underbites are quite minor, while others can be very severe, which means the severity of the problems associated with an underbite will vary from case to case.

A major challenge that can result from underbites is the difficulty of biting and chewing food because the jaws are not clasping around food like they should. Another problem, which can lead to great insecurity, is that an underbite makes it harder to speak properly. Untreated, there is a risk that a child with an underbite may have a tougher social life than their peers. The worst problem that can arise with an underbite is that the patient can experience pain in the mouth and the face due to their misaligned jaws. Left untreated, the pain can potentially worsen.


An overbite, sometimes called buck teeth, is extremely common in our orthodontic cases. This malocclusion occurs when a patient’s upper teeth and jaw protrude further outward than the bottom teeth and jaw. Some overlap is normal and is, in fact, healthy, as it protects your teeth from abnormal wear of the enamel, which protects against tooth decay.

What Problems Can an Overbite Cause?

An overbite can easily cause certain speech impediments, much like other malocclusions. Overbites have also been known to cause chewing difficulties, and many patients with overbites regularly deal with biting their tongues or cheeks a lot by accident. Lastly, an overbite can cause damage to the gums and other teeth because of the improper bite pattern. The severity of these problems depends on how severe the overbite is, but thankfully they are an easy fix with braces. 

Affordable Houston Braces at Centra Dental in South Houston

These are both very common reasons for needing orthodontic braces, not only for cosmetic purposes, but also to help our patients achieve their best dental health and a confident smile. If you or your child have an overbite or an underbite, please book an appointment with our South Houston dentist so that we can complete a consultation and help you decide on an affordable treatment plan. 

You’re about to complete your Houston braces treatment, so you must be super excited to show off your new, beautiful smile after wearing braces for the last couple of years! However, a common misconception is that once the braces are off, that’s it and no more work needs to be done. The truth is, once your braces are off, you still have to wear retainers for a number of reasons.

Your Teeth Can Still Shift After Braces

As adults, your teeth will have a habit of trying to shift back to the malocclusion you experienced prior to braces. This is because the wires and brackets are off and no longer holding your teeth in place. For kids who wear our Houston braces, as they grow, so do their jaws, which means their teeth will tend to shift as well. We have had some patients question why they had to undergo braces treatment just for their teeth to shift again, but as long as you wear your retainers, your teeth will remain properly aligned.

Our South Houston dentist often recommends our patients wear their retainers day and night for about a year, but how long you wear them will also depend on your particular case. You should take your retainers off when you eat and brush your teeth, but it’s imperative that you wear them at all other times. This will ensure that as your teeth settle into the soft tissues in your mouth and their new position along your jaw, they won’t become easily misaligned again.

Wearing Your Retainers Protects Your Investment In Houston Braces

Another reason to wear your retainers after completing your braces treatment is so that you can protect your investment. As we age, our teeth will naturally try to shift, but constantly wearing retainers for a year, and then transitioning to wearing them on most nights will make a big difference in the longevity of your beautifully aligned smile. If you are really responsible with your retainers, you may get to enjoy beautiful, straight teeth for the rest of your life.

Retainers After Houston Braces at Centra Dental

As you come close to the end of your treatment, our South Houston dentists will take impressions of your now-straight teeth so that we can fully customize your retainers to your new smile. If you have just received your retainers but feel like they don't fit well, resulting in a lot of discomfort, please contact us so we can make adjustments to ensure you're comfortable wearing them.

Good oral hygiene means coming to your dental cleanings with us twice a year, brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, and flossing every night. With your braces though, you have to take extra special care of your teeth and be strict on yourself when it comes to your dental hygiene routine.

Do Thorough Oral Rinses

Special oral rinses are very effective at helping wash away food particles that may have been left on your brackets. Our South Houston dentists recommend you complete mouth rinses after each meal, right before you brush your teeth. We also recommend you use a fluoridated mouthwash before bed, after you’ve finished brushing your teeth. This will encourage stronger, healthier teeth while you undergo your Houston braces treatment.

Brush Your Teeth More Often

Following regular oral rinses, it’s important to brush your teeth more often when you are undergoing Houston braces treatment because the surfaces of your teeth are no longer fully exposed. This is because of the metal or ceramic brackets that are fused to your teeth in order to hold the metal wire in place. Our South Houston dentists recommend that rather than brushing twice daily, you brush after each meal you eat. This will help ensure no food particles get stuck in between your brackets, which is great preventative care for avoiding cavities.

Our South Houston family dentists recommend you carry a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste with you so that you can always have a toothbrush handy. This way you can be sure to brush as often as necessary.

Floss More Carefully

Flossing is rather hard to do when your teeth are misaligned, but it’s also hard to do while you wear braces. However, it is an absolute MUST. Nowadays there are several different kinds of floss, and many of them are dental braces-friendly, so they are easy to use as well as effective. If you have a hard time though, our family dentists will gladly teach you how to floss properly.

Visit Our South Houston Office For Your Dental Check-Up

Much like how your dental cleanings are important when you don't have braces, they are even more important during your orthodontic treatment. We recommend you come in for a cleaning every 6 months for optimal health. If you are wearing Houston braces, please book your appointment today so that we can check on your progress, ensure your mouth and teeth are healthy, and complete a deep cleaning. 

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