Our Blog

Can Poor Oral Health Cause Alzheimer's Disease? 

May 1st, 2023

Numerous studies are pointing to the correlation of Periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.  

What Is Periodontal Disease? 

Periodontal disease is chronic inflammation of the gums and bone due to infection and inflammation. Harmful bacteria such as P. Gingivalis form as a result underneath the gums causing irreversible bone loss.  

Gingivitis is the precursor to periodontal disease and is reversible through good oral hygiene habits. It is important to keep up with your dental hygiene visits to catch it early. 

According to the CDC: 

  • 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. 
  • Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. 

So How May Periodontal Disease Contribute To Alzheimer’s? 

According to an article in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease published in 2023, the presence of harmful bacteria from Periodontal disease is associated with Alzheimer's Disease. 

Many of these bacteria can leave our gums and travel through our bloodstream to our brains. They can also cause the production of inflammation markers and amyloid proteins. 

These proteins may cause inflammation of brain cells which may contribute to brain cell death. This destruction of neurons could be the mechanism for memory loss in Alzheimer's. 

A study performed in 2022 by Tuft's University School of Dental Medicine found that a certain bacteria in periodontal disease, F. Nucleatum, may contribute to Alzheimer's. Dr. Jake Junkun Chen professor of periodontology stated, “In this study, our lab is the first to find that Fusobacterium nucleatum can generate systemic inflammation and even infiltrate nervous system tissues and exacerbate the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease."

Back in 2016, The University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry initiated a study that found the first correlation between oral bacteria and Alzheimer's disease. They studied the brain samples of dementia patients compared to those without dementia, and noticed a higher presence of the P. gingivalis bacteria in the brains of those with dementia.

Dr. Sim K. Singhrao, a Senior Research Fellow involved in this study stated: “We are working on the theory that when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria and/or their debris from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss. Thus, continued visits to dental hygiene professionals throughout one’s life may be more important than currently envisaged with inferences for health outside of the mouth only.”

Finding P. gingivalis and other strains of bacteria in our bloodstream may become a risk factor for developing dementia in the future.

Why Dental Implants May Be A Better Option Than Dentures or Bridges

April 19th, 2023

In the United States, 120 million people are missing at least one tooth. These numbers may increase in the next couple of decades.

If missing teeth are not addressed health conditions may arise. These include diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease, and certain oral cancers.

Dentures and bridges are the most common route to address failing and missing teeth. Implants, though more expensive, are becoming more commonplace. They also reveal higher success rates while providing better patient satisfaction rates.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an anchor or “screw” that dentists insert into the jaw bone that acts as the new root for your tooth. A crown is then secured on top.

What is a bridge?

Bridges replace missing teeth by “bridging” the empty pockets where missing teeth once were. Dentists shave down surrounding teeth and secure porcelain crowns over the gaps. There are removable bridges as well as fixed bridges. There are also bridges that can be secured with dental implants. 

What are dentures?

Dentures are completely removable appliances made for the patient after dentists remove all teeth. There are also partial dentures that can be placed over preserved teeth.

What makes dental implants a better option than these alternatives?

Let’s discuss the pros of dental implants compared to dentures and bridges.

  • Dental implants are the ONLY permanent solution, working successfully 96.8% of the time after ten years.

  • Dental implants may help prevent bone loss. After losing a tooth, the jaw bone in that area weakens. 

  • Dental implants do not damage surrounding teeth as in the case with bridges.

  • Dental implants feel more natural compared to dentures. According to a questionnaire study out of a group of 400 patients, 94% “reported a high degree of satisfaction with their dental implants 8-14 years after the treatment.”

  • Dental implants are more cosmetically appealing. Jaw bone loss may result in a “sunken-in” appearance. Dental implants can protect the structural integrity of your face.

  • Dental implants promote a better quality of life compared to dentures. Patients have reported that chewing and speaking abilities surpass those with dentures.

  • Dental implants may reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies that may arise with dentures. This is due to an inability to chew certain foods.

  • Dental implants promote healthier blood flow to gums. Dentures stifle blood flow which may promote further deterioration of the jaw.

Many of our patients have already tried bridges and dentures before they end up visiting our office.

Our goal is to educate our patients early before they realize all the issues that may come with bridges and dentures.

Dr. Gates DDS at Custom Dental of McKinney states,  “Many patients come to me only seeking interest in dentures because they’re the most economical decision. I always want to set realistic expectations with dentures so I tell them the best a denture will ever be is a wooden peg.”

“The best a denture will ever be is a wooden peg.” - Dr. Bryce Gates DDS

Regardless of their success, dental implants may not be for everyone. Here are some things to consider when it comes to dental implants:

  • They are more expensive and insurance may not cover them.

  • It is a more extensive surgical procedure that may take six months to a year.

  • Dental implants may be contraindicated in certain disorders such as certain clotting disorders, bone disease, cancers, uncontrolled diabetes, and if you are a heavy smoker.

There are still risks such as implant failure or bleeding complications though these are minimal.

In conclusion, it is best to discuss your specific situation with our doctors here at Custom Dental. We are always here to guide you to the decision that is best for your health and that best aligns with your individual needs.

Pictures: https://www.offislanddental.com/service/dental-bridge-vs-dentures/






What is the Average Cost of a Dental Implant?

March 8th, 2023

The average cost for an entire dental implant procedure could be $1,500 to $6,500 depending on where you live and your specific situation. 

In this post, we are going to dive into why this range is so widespread. 

When it comes to dental implants, the most common question we get from our patients is how much does a dental implant costs?  Scheduling a consultation appointment is the best way to give you the most accurate estimate. 

The dental implant or the “Tooth Root” (pictured below) can be between $1,000 to $3,000. However, the implant is only one part of the procedure. 

Other costs include the abutment usually costing about $300 to $500, and the crown usually costing about $1,000 to $2,000.  Our dentists may need to extract some teeth. Teeth extractions cost about $100 to $500 per extraction. 

Depending on the strength and density of your jaw, bone graft may also be needed to ensure stability for the implant. Bone grafting usually costs $400 to $600. 

According to Delta Dental the average cost for a dental implant procedure for McKinney residents is $5,142 to $6,195. 

If you don't live in McKinney, click here to find out how much dental implants cost in your area. 

Here our approximate fees at Custom Dental in McKinney: 

Tooth Extraction: $288 

Bone Graft: $488 

Implant: $2015 

Abutment: $480 

Crown: $1,388 

Total= Approximately $4,659 for a dental implant procedure at Custom Dental of McKinney. 

With our Custom Dental Savings Plan applied (our In House Savings Plan): %20 Off All Fees 

Tooth Extraction: $230.40 

Bone Graft: $390.40 


Abutment: $384 

Crown: $1,110.4 

Total=$3,727.20 for a Dental Implant Procedure at Custom Dental of McKinney with our Savings Plan. 


Dental implants are the best replacement for failing and missing teeth with a 96% success rate in a span of ten years. Implants are expensive but life changing and we want to make sure that as many patients as possible are able to afford them. 

We offer financing options through Care Credit and Proceed Finance. Third financing parties can turn an overwhelming number into small monthly payments. Click here to learn more about our third party payment plans and apply today. 

Dentists must follow a system and analyze your healing. Here is what that process looks like at Custom Dental in McKinney: 

  • 1. First Appointment: Exam, Consultation, and X-Rays- Our dental assistants will take you to our 3D Imaging Panorama machine. We will assess for infection, the quality of your bone, if it is strong enough to hold a dental implant and if there are any abscesses or teeth that must be removed. 

  • 2. Second Appointment: Implant Placement- Our doctors will place the implant into your jaw bone at the exact depth needed for ultimate success. Then a temporary crown will be placed on top so you will not be leaving our practice without a tooth. The next appointment will usually be in 3-6 months depending on how much healing time you need for the implant to integrate into your bone. 

  • 3. Third Appointment: Abutment Placement- Now that your gum and bone has healed we can screw the abutment into your implant to make it permanent. 

  • 4. Final Appointment: Permanent Crown Placement- We will remove your temporary crown and place the permanent crown on top. 

Your implant is now complete and you have a beautiful new smile to show off to the world. 

9 Secrets Dental Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know

February 24th, 2020


  1. Who really makes the decisions about the quality of care you receive?

Unlike medical insurance, which started being offered in 1850 by the Franklin Health Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Dental Insurance is a fairly recent phenomenon. Dental insurance was first introduced in California in 1954, and quickly rose in popularity. By the 1970’s, these plans were widely available and usually provided a maximum annual coverage of about $1000 (which is still about the maximum today). The first plans didn’t distinguish between in-network and out-of-network providers. They simply established usual and customary rates for the area, and would pay (typically) 100% of preventative care, 80% of minor dental work (such as fillings) and 50 percent of major work (like crowns, bridges, etc).

Today with the advent of PPO the dental insurance landscape has drastically changed and this is how.  Dental insurance companies are owned by stockholders, equity firms and investment bankers for the purpose of making money.  Unlike medical insurance companies that can run into unlimited liabilities with large claims dental insurance has a cap on the coverage.  We will cover this in number 6 but as a matter of fact annual maximums have hardly changed since 1970. In 1970 the cost of an average new car was $3,542.  The average price today is $33,560. If dental insurance would have kept up with their annual maximums, today they would cover up to $10,000 a year.  Do you see the problem?

Bottom line dental insurance is a very lucrative business.  If they want to make more, the company owners decide to reduce their coverage by limiting the coverage on care you can receive without considering the consequences to you.  It’s not your health they are worrying about.  It’s about how to recover from recent Affordable Care Act losses and their bottom line.

PPO dental insurance plans peaked in 2011 with 65% market share but have been losing ground ever since. As they continue to lower and lower payouts, dentists are dropping out of the networks because they are uncomfortable with the care dictated by the insurance companies and are unable to run a business on the reduced fees. Don’t be surprised if one day the closest dentist in your PPO coverage is in the next state.

It is not uncommon to have dental insurance companies altar the dentist’s treatment plan.  The question becomes “How many years have insurance executives in fancy boardrooms spend in dental school?  What are their qualifications to decide your care?”

  1. Preventive care is controlled by insurance companies and can sometimes be detrimental to your health.

Although experts agree that routine dental exams and regular cleanings may help prevent the incidence of higher-cost treatments such as periodontal surgery, root canals, extractions and fillings and early detection and prevention can minimize your need for more serious dental treatment, insurance companies continue to reduce coverage on those services.  First, they restrict the number of visits you may need to control gum disease.  Some people who have the genetics and lifestyle that contribute to gum disease need to be monitored more closely.  Regardless, insurance companies will only cover a fixed number of visits for gum therapy.  Some limit the visits to as few as one covered appointment per year and restrict some test and x-rays necessary to monitor your progress to once every 5 years. Gum disease has been found to have a correlation with heart attacks and even early onset of Alzheimers.  Can you imagine if you were a cancer survivor or a patient with acute high blood pressure having such restrictions?

Although with the new digital x-rays patients get 1/20th the radiation from an x-ray, insurance coverage refuse to pay for many x-rays that are necessary for the dentist to monitor your dental health.  If something goes undetected until it causes pain, inconvenience or even loss of teeth it doesn’t really matter to the insurance company.  Remember they will only cost them a maximum of $1,000 per year.

I have had patients come into the office with an abscessed tooth two weeks after their 6-month re-care visit.  The reason this happened was insurance companies would not cover adequate x-rays to detect the situation earlier and the patient decided they knew best.

  1. Best care options are frequently denied.

Many times when your dentist is designing a care plan for you, you and he might like to consider optimal care that would include treatments that the insurance company refuses to cover.  Your choice is to do what is best and the insurance company pays nothing or except the care that is covered at 50% or less and live with the inconvenience of coping with less than optimal solutions. I have patients who live with a piece of plastic in their mouths, catching food, causing mouth odor and promoting more dental disease because that was all the insurance company would cover.

  1. Hidden costs with insurance with deductibles.

In 1970 dental insurance companies typically covered 100% of preventive services (with less restrictions than today) and 80 % of all other work with a $50 deductible on and of the 80% covered services.  Today many insurance companies have deductibles as high as $200 but let’s assume it is $50. They may say your preventive is covered at 100% but in the small print it says you must pay the deductible first.  So if a cleaning and x-rays comes to $200, you will pay $50. They will cover a 100% of $150, the remainder after the deductible.  That would be the same as covering your preventative at 75%.  That’s pretty sneaky in my books.

  1. Correcting pre-existing conditions are frequently not covered.

Although dental insurance companies claim to cover major reconstructive dental care like removable partial dentures, dentures, bridges and implants to replace missing teeth.  Be aware of the small clause “pre-existing conditions”.  What this means is if a tooth was missing prior to you being covered the insurance company will NOT pay claims on replacing them. I have had many patients disappointed because they had dreams and aspirations that dental insurance companies would help them finally restore their confidence and a healthy smile, only to find out they had not read the “pre-existing condition” clause.

  1. Waiting periods can jeopardize your health.

Many insurance companies have waiting periods before they will cover certain dental procedures.  This creates an inconvenience minimally or can actually be detrimental to your health if you are encouraged to wait until your care is covered.  I have had a patient wait to get a root canal until her insurance would cover the care.  Ultimately she ended up in the hospital with a life threatening infection and experienced a stroke from the accompanying high fevers.  Waiting periods promote health risks and bigger problems.

  1. Many dental insurance companies create a paperwork barrier to processing your claim.

Supposedly lost coverage requests and Insurance claim denials are a standard operating procedure with most dental insurance companies. It is called “stall as long as you can”.  There are only two things that can happen with that game.  The dentist gives up on collecting the money he earned and cuts his losses.  Or the insurance company gets to keep his earned money a little longer to invest it somewhere else.  When a claim is denied or ignored, it is not uncommon for a dental employee to be left on-hold for over 30 minutes.  If a dental office has 16 unpaid claims you can see the dentist will have to hire someone full time to do nothing but listen to elevator music while trying to recover the money the office has already worked for. Some dental offices have a policy that if they don’t get paid by the insurance company within 60 days you will pay and join them in the fight to get your insurance benefit back.  How well do you like elevator music?

  1. Braces are rarely covered or slightly covered.

Although experts know that crooked teeth not only cause psychological and social problems, crooked teeth promote dental disease.  It just makes sense when teeth are bunched up and growing in different directions that it is difficult if not impossible to keep them clean.  Food trapped between crooked teeth causes tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.  Many insurance companies dodge the correction of crooked teeth with the pre-existing conditions clause.  Those companies that do cover that correction sometimes pay benefits as low as 20% of the fees, leaving you with the rest.  You will be disappointed if you depend on your dental insurance to straighten your smile.

  1. Cosmetic care is never covered.

In today’s competitive world, jobs, opportunities and even romance can be affected by your smile and how you feel about it.  Insurance companies don’t care.  If you have multiple cavities on front teeth the solution they will pay for is white fillings.  Although white fillings are not bad even the best white fillings microscopically look like sandpaper as compared to tooth enamel.  So imagine what happens when you eat cherry pie or have a glass of red wine.  Yep you’ve got it.  White fillings turn a light shade of pink.  This might work during breast cancer awareness week but for the other 51 weeks it is not so cool.  Also I have seen white filling catch food between the teeth causing tooth decay on adjacent teeth.

I can’t count the times insurance companies have declined to pay for more comprehensive and aesthetic porcelain crowns because they want their customers to experience the consequences of bubble gum and bailing wire dentistry with white filling alternatives.

I had patients who have let insurance companies influence their decision on accepting large white fillings up front come back later regretting their decision. Many of them decided to pay out of pocket to do it right in the first place.  Although they are much happier today they paid a heavy price.  They paid the deductible and co-pay for the fillings and then for the full coverage porcelain crowns.  Plus they had to go through an extra dental procedure.

Solution:  You may want to join others who are reaping the benefits of the Custom Dental VIP Savings Plan.  It is not a dental insurance plan however it does give you 2 FREE COMPLETE exams, ALL NECESSARY x-rays and 2 FREE Cleanings per year and a savings of thousands of dollars on other services. And the BEST News is:

NO yearly Maximums

NO deductibles

NO claim forms

NO pre-authoriztion requirements

NO health questions

NO one will be denied coverage

No waiting periods (immediate eligibility)

FREE consultations


All of this for 62 cents a day. With the Custom Dental VIP Savings Plan Investment bankers and equity firms will no longer determine your care. Finally, you and your dentist are in control.

To find out more about the Custom Dental VIP Savings Plan call (469)535-2111.