Our Blog

New Year, New Me!

January 2nd, 2019

There is no better time than the start of a New Year to celebrate you, our patients! It is our pleasure to serve each and every one of you. Whether you have been with us for many years or have just entered our dental family, we greatly appreciate your trust in us. Building solid relationships is so important to us and our friendships are truly treasured!

With each passing day, our goal is to improve our service in some way. This year, part of that improvement will incorporating a new co-partner and dentist into the practice: my beloved daughter, Abigail. I am looking forward to growing with her as she begins this new chapter in her life and I couldn’t be happier or more proud that she will be working side by side with me each day! I am excited to “coach” her in this new way when she joins us this June!

Some of my personal goals are to continue to concentrate each day on being the best person, friend, dentist, boss, father and Christian man that I can be. Setting goals are important in order to keep you true to your mission and purpose. I believe that writing them down is a must! It is so rewarding to see that you have reached a desired goal!

This past year, I am so grateful for my beautiful wife and awesome staff that have always had my back. Our holiday’s plans this year included my daughter’s wedding that was held on 12/28/18. Sharing this experience with family and friends was amazing and unforgettable!

When asked what I am most looking forward to in 2019, bringing my daughter into the practice tops my list! She will be such an asset to our team and our patients.

Family travels will take us to Hawaii during the summer. I am also looking forward to a pilgrimage. El Camino de Santiago aka The Way of St. James…

Of course with the start of a New Year, we have a wonderful promotion going on. New Year, New You, NEW SMILE! For the entire month of January, ALL NEW PATIENT EXAMS will include whitening trays and a 3D Cone Beam CT Scan FREE OF CHARGE! Come and experience dentistry like never before. We look forward to seeing you in our office soon!

- Dr. Henagan

Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity

December 5th, 2018

There’s nothing like the simple seasonal pleasures. What’s more enjoyable than a cup of hot apple cider on a blustery winter day, or a tall glass of ice water in the middle of a summer heatwave? Until, that is, tooth sensitivity makes that hot or cold treat no treat at all. If untimely tooth sensitivity is causing you problems, there are solutions we can offer!

Improving Brushing Technique

Careful brushing is a wonderful habit to get into, but sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Over-energetic brushing can actually damage our enamel. And underneath that enamel is dentin, a more porous substance which allows heat and cold to reach the more sensitive inner tooth.

But, please, don’t give up on brushing! Switching to a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can make a world of difference. Dr. Henagan can recommend the most effective and safest way to brush, as well as suggest toothpastes designed to fight tooth sensitivity. Until you recover, now is the time to avoid acidic and sugary foods and drinks (which can also bother sensitive teeth) and home tooth-whitening products as well.

Preventing Gum Disease

When gum disease progresses, the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth. This recession exposes part of the root area, which is much more sensitive to heat and cold.  Regular checkups and cleanings can keep gum disease from developing. Gum disease that is already present can be treated, and we can discuss whether more intensive care, such as a gum graft, is advisable to protect the root area.

Treating Injuries to the Tooth

If you have a cavity, a fracture, or another injury to the tooth or nerve, sensitivity is a good sign that you should call us right away. And, sensitivity is a symptom that can disappear when we restore the compromised tooth, whether it requires a new or replacement filling, a crown, or a root canal. If your teeth are more sensitive as a result of tooth grinding or other orthodontic problems, we can identify those issues as well.

No matter the reason for your tooth sensitivity, we want to work with you to find out the cause of the problem and to find a solution for it. Call our New Iberia, LA office if you notice any unpleasant or painful reactions to temperature, foods or even wind and air. Whether it’s advice on correcting your brushing style or treating tooth and gum conditions, we are here to help you.

Can I use mouthwash instead of flossing?

November 28th, 2018

While mouthwash goes a long way in improving your oral care, it is not a substitute for flossing. Mouthwashes and flossing provide different benefits that you should understand.

Mouthwash Benefits

Mouthwash comes in two categories. Some are considered cosmetic. This type of rinse provides temporary relief from bad breath and has a pleasant taste. These do not actually kill any bacteria.

Therapeutic mouthwashes provide the healthier benefits. These may contain different ingredients including fluoride or antimicrobial agents. This type is used to remove plaque buildup and reduce the potential for calculus formation. Therapeutic rinses can also help prevent cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. In addition, Dr. Henagan can prescribe special rinses to assist patients after periodontal surgery or other procedures.

Flossing Benefits

Flossing is what removes the plaque formation before it can harden and become calculus. While a rinse reduces buildup, only flossing will fully remove plaque, especially between teeth. The bristles on a toothbrush do not get between teeth completely. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus. When this builds below the gum line, gum disease can start.

Types of Floss

Floss is available in a thin string form or a tape. It can be waxed or unwaxed. If you find flossing difficult, you might want to try a different type of floss. You can buy bulk floss in containers or purchase the disposable type with a plastic handle attached. This style can be easier for many individuals to use. Interdental picks are available for bridgework or other situations where regular floss cannot be used.

If you have questions regarding the best mouthwash or floss, or need tips for easier flossing, please ask our New Iberia, LA team for advice. We will be glad to give you solutions to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Understanding Dental Insurance Terminology

November 21st, 2018

If you have a hard time understanding your dental insurance plan, particularly the treatments and services it covers, you’re not alone. That’s why Dr. Henagan and our team have put together a cheat sheet to help you through them.

It’s common for patients to get lost in the morass of the terms and phrases that surface when you’re dealing with a dental insurance plan. Knowing the commonly used terms can help speed up the process and enable you to get the most out of your coverage.

Common Terms

Annual Maximum: The most your policy will pay per year for care at Henagan Team Dentistry. It is often divided into cost per individual or per family.

Co-payment: Typically, a small amount the patient has to pay at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of it.

Covered Services: A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover fully under your contract.

Deductible: An amount you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will contribute for any treatments or procedures. The amount can vary according to your plan.

Diagnostic Services: A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance plans will cover before the deductible, which may mean services that occur during preventive appointments with Dr. Henagan, including X-rays or general screenings.

Exclusions: Dental services not covered under a dental benefit program.

In-Network: An insurance company will usually cover a larger portion of the cost of the care if you see an in-network provider for treatment.

Out-of-Network: If you visit someone who is not a part of your provider’s network, the insurance company may pay for a portion of the care, but you will be responsible for a significantly larger share out of your pocket.

Lifetime Maximum: The most that an insurance plan will pay toward care for an individual or family over the entire life of the patient(s).

Limitations: A list of all the procedures the insurance policy does not cover. Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure, or exclude some treatments altogether.

Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee:  A person who is eligible to receive benefits under an insurance plan.

Premium: The regular fee charged by third-party insurers and used to fund the dental plan.

Provider: Dr. Henagan or other oral-health specialist who provides treatment.

Waiting Period: A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments.

It’s essential to understand the various insurance options available to you. Knowing what your insurance covers can save you major costs in the future.

Dr. Henagan and our dental staff hope this list of terms will help you understand your dental insurance plan better. Be sure to review your plan and ask any questions you may have about your policy the next time you visit our New Iberia, LA office.

Office Hours:
  • Monday . . . . . . . 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Tuesday . . . . . . . 7:00am to 4:00pm
  • Wednesday . . . . 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Thursday . . . . . . 7:00am to 4:00pm
  • Friday . . . . . . . . . By appointment