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Health Q&A

Posted October 17, 2012 in Advice Column, Grimes

Q: How do I choose what health insurance to sign up for?

A: For many people, the months of November and December are open enrollment time.  This means you may choose to change your health insurance option either through work or if you are on Medicare, your Medicare D plan.  Choosing the correct health insurance plan is very important. Once you choose a plan you will have to stay with it, in most cases, until open enrollment time the following year. This process can be very confusing and overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.

The first thing to consider is how much the premium will be. The premium is the portion that you will be responsible for paying to carry the insurance for you and your family. This amount can vary greatly and usually depends on how high of a deductible and co-pays you will pay at the doctor’s office and pharmacy. Lower premiums will usually have higher deductibles and co-pays. The deductible is the dollar amount you must pay before your insurance starts to pay for any of your health care. The co-pay is the portion that you pay when you visit the doctor’s office and pharmacy. With Medicare D, you will want to see if there is “doughnut hole” with your plan. This is when you will be responsible for a larger portion of your total prescription costs. It is important to choose a plan that will allow you to stay with your pharmacy of choice. Hy-Vee will have Medicare D representative from United Health Care during October and November to help with any questions you may have on any Medicare D plans. Please call the pharmacy for dates and times.

Answer provided by Hy-Vee Drugstore, 1541 S.E. Third St., Suite 100, 986-4527.

Q: Should I get a flu shot?

A: This is the time of year to consider protecting yourself from influenza or “flu.” It is a viral infection that causes symptoms which can be very unpleasant. Common complaints include fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Symptoms can also worsen with other chronic conditions, possibly leading to hospitalization due to these complications.  The flu shot is a way to help reduce the possibility of getting influenza before we start seeing influenza strains in our area.

Scientists at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and World Health Organization pick strains they believe through studies of worldwide occurrences that may become the offending viruses. This includes H1N1 from the outbreak in fall 2009. Occasionally there will be strains that cause illness not covered by the flu shot, but these are impossible to predict. People who should get the vaccine include everyone; however, some people would be considered higher risk including older than 65, pregnancy, other chronic conditions (asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease) or persons caring for others with chronic illness. If you have any questions regarding which preparation is right for you, feel free to contact your provider. Information is also readily available at the CDC’s website,

Information provided by Grimes Family Physicians, 101 S.E. Destination Drive, 986-4524.

Q: How is a CEREC crown different from a traditional one?

A: No more impressions. The traditional crown involves the use of unpleasant, silicon impressions. The CEREC crown impression simply involves the use of a 3D measuring camera called the Omnicam that captures the information that it needs. This information replaces the use of impressions.

 No temporaries. The CEREC crown is milled out of a solid ceramic block in just a few minutes. It is then ready to placed immediately.This eliminates the need for temporary crowns.It also means that you need only one appointment. And you don’t have to wait for days on end until the ceramic crown is finished by an outside lab.

    No long waiting period. Traditionally, a patient would come in for an appointment for an hour to hour and a half and have the tooth prepared, impressions and leave with a temporary in place. He or she would then return a week or two later for the permanent crown. The CEREC crown can be placed immediately after the tooth is prepared, thus needing only one appointment. Finally, you benefit from a tooth restoration which has demonstrated durability time and time again.

If you have any further questions about CEREC, you may contact our office at any time. And always remember, keep smiling.

Information provided by Grove & Platt Dental Associates, PLC, 1541 S. Third St., Suite 300, 986-4001 and American Dental Association.

Q: How can I get relief from back pain?

A: Back pain is often precipitated by weakening of the core muscles. These muscles, which include the abdominals as well as the muscles in the back, hips and pelvis, control the body while the arms and legs are moving and working. When one or more of the core muscles are weak, the group no longer works in harmony and our backs can feel the effects.

We often think that going to the gym or doing “ab” work at home is going to help. In fact, it may do just the opposite. Bad form or incorrect exercises can worsen back pain, making you more susceptible to other injuries; so learning the correct way to train the core muscles with proper technique is important. Physical therapy can help isolate the weak musculature and train the muscles to work in sequence to support and protect your body. Known as core stabilization, it keeps your spine and body stable, helping you stay balanced when you move. Core stability benefits everyone, and may be effective for various health conditions, including back pain. If you would like more information on how to build a strong core, please contact our clinic directly at 515-986-5190 and schedule a complimentary injury evaluation.

Information provided by Meghan Mueller, PT, DPT, Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, 1451 Gateway Circle, Suite 500, 986-5190.

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