NY Endodontics & Implantology

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today

Root Canals, Then and Now!

Root Canals: BC
To this day we still don’t know how long root canal therapy has been around. The first traces of root canal therapy can be dated back to second or third century B.C. when a human skull was discovered in a desert in Israel, and a bronze wire was found inside that scientists believe was used to treat an infected canal. The wire was located at the site of the infection, which is the exact spot that would be targeted during modern day root canal therapy. The archaeologists who discovered the remains believe that the procedure was performed by the Romans, who are said to have invented dentures and crowns.

More Advancements: AD
Evidence shows that from the first century A.D. until the 1600s, the treatment for root canals included the draining of the pulp chambers to relieve pain, and then covering them with a protective coating made from either gold foil or asbestos. Around 1838, the first official root canal instrument was constructed. It was made to allow easier access to the pulp that is located within the root of the tooth. A few years later, around 1847, a safer material known as “gutta percha” was created to use as a filling once the root canal was cleaned out. Both of these materials are still used today by Endodontists.

20th Century Technology:
When we entered the 20th century, dental technology advanced. Anesthetics and x-rays were instituted into dental practices, which made treating an infected root canal easier and safer. These technological advancements have allowed for alternative treatments to pulling teeth. Root canal therapy has advanced so much that it is now a nearly painless procedure! For more information on root canal treatments, call our office at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011 and schedule your appointment today.

What’s the Difference Between a Dentist and an Endodontist?

whatsthedifference-blog

 

While all endodontists are dentists, less than three percent of dentists are endodontists. Just like a doctor in any other field, endodontists are specialists because they’ve completed additional training beyond dental school. Their additional training focuses on diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canal treatment and other procedures relating to the interior of the tooth. In many cases, a diseased tooth can be saved with endodontic treatment.

#1 Endodontists Have Advanced Education
To become specialists, endodontists have two to three years of additional education in an advanced specialty program in endodontics after completing four years of dental school. They focus on studying diseases of the dental pulp and how to treat them.

#2 Endodontists Have Specialized Expertise
By limiting their practice to endodontics, endodontists focus exclusively on treatments of the dental pulp. They complete an average of 25 root canal treatments a week, while general dentists typically do two. They are skilled specialists in finding the cause of oral and facial pain that has been difficult to diagnosis.

#3 Endodontists Are Experts in Pain Management
Endodontists use specialized techniques to ensure patients are thoroughly comfortable during their treatments. They are experts in administering numbing medications, like Fentanyl and Versed. These medications are excellent choices for patients that may be anxious or dental phobic.

#4 Endodontists Use Cutting-Edge Technologies
Endodontists have materials and equipment designed to make your treatment more comfortable and successful. Digital radiographs and 3-D imaging allow endodontists to take detailed pictures of tiny tooth anatomy to better see the root canals and any related infections.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, you have injured your tooth, your tooth is sensitive to hot or cold, and/or there is swelling around the teeth, gums or your face, you should make an appointment to see an endodontist. Call us today at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011 .

Trivia: Root Canal Edition

 

It is no secret that root canal therapy saves your natural teeth! By extracting the infected pulp inside the tooth, endodontists can rescue your teeth. What exactly is dental pulp though? It is a lot more important than you might think, so keep reading for some pulp trivia!

Fact #1
Pulp is the living part of the tooth. It is made of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue that feed the tooth vital nutrients for it to stay alive and healthy.

Fact #2
Dental pulp is your tooth’s alarm system. When something is going wrong with your teeth, such as trauma or decay, the pulp experiences pressure and sensitivity changes that you perceive as pain.

Fact #3
The pulp is responsible for dentin formation. Dentin is the tissue layer beneath the enamel that protects the pulp. Due to the translucency of enamel, dentin is visible through it and gives the tooth its color. Pulp contains cells called odontoblasts that initiate dentin creation.

Fact #4
The tooth can survive without pulp, but not infected pulp. Pulp is a crucial part of tooth development, but once a tooth has fully matured, it can get nutrients from surrounding tissue and the pulp is no longer necessary. However, infected tissue will cause major damage. It is the decaying pulp that makes root canal therapy necessary to save teeth that suffer pulp trauma.

Fact#5
Blood vessels and nerves in pulp are connected to gum tissue in the jaw. The apical foramen is a hole at the apex, or tip, of the tooth’s root. Blood vessels and nerves run from the jaw through the apical foramen and become part of the pulp once they enter the tooth.

Fact #6
Diseased gum tissue can cause pulp to become infected as well. Blood vessels and nerves connect the gum to the pulp. Therefore, the diseased gum tissue can enter the pulp and begin to infect it. Conversely, infected pulp can also spread and cause potential gum disease. This connection is very important to be aware of, because if one goes wrong, the other should get checked as well.

With all the functions of dental pulp in mind, it’s no wonder root canal therapy is such an important procedure! Call us today to schedule a consultation if you’re having tooth pain and considering root canal therapy.

What the Fluoride?

whattheflouride-blog

 

Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011 !

Everyday Dental Habits that will save your Natural Teeth

 

Daily Habits That'll Save Your Natural Teeth

 

Oral health is not just about how your smile looks, but how you take care of it! You may often overlook the importance of your oral health, but it is essential for a healthy lifestyle, as well as preventing any future dental related problems. By taking small, but significant, steps to care for the health of your teeth now, you can also prevent the price of costly visits to the dentist later. Take a moment to read up on our suggestions for excellent habits that will save your natural teeth:

1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth!

Brushing at night is essential to ridding your teeth of the germs and plaque that have accumulated during the day. If brushing is neglected, then the damaging bacteria will have a higher chance of causing tooth decay. Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day to keep that bacteria at bay.

2. Tongues out!

Believe it or not, plaque also builds up on your tongue. Therefore, you should always remember to brush that as well. This plaque could cause potential problems, in addition to creating a foul mouth odor, better known as bad breath. This odor can lead to insecurities that can easily be brushed away.

3. Floss, floss, floss

Brushing is essential, but flossing is crucial in ridding your mouth of that pesky bacteria. Flossing should be done once a day (typically at night) to remove the leftover particles of food and bacteria that are permeated between the teeth. Flossing not only gets rid of waste, but it also stimulates your gums and helps reduce inflammation.

4. Use a therapeutic mouthwash

According to the ADA, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis, and reduce the speed that tarter develops. An added bonus of incorporating a mouthwash into your daily routine is that it helps remove food particles from your mouth. However, this is NOT a substitute for flossing or brushing.

5. Healthy you, healthy smile

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient and tasty, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth and oral hygiene. Eating fresh, crunchy produce that contains healthy fiber, such as apples and celery, is a better choice when it comes to snacking.

Be sure to incorporate these 5 healthy habits into your daily routine to ensure optimal oral health! Give us a call at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011 to learn more about how you can improve your oral hygiene and the benefits that come with it.

3 Benefits of Dental Implants

3 Benefits of Dental Implants

Missing teeth? You may be trying to decide what replacement procedure is best for you; dental implants, dentures or maybe even another option. When it comes to choosing, we always recommend dental implants. Dental Implants are a permanent solution to a lost tooth (or teeth) and have many benefits over some of your other options. To help make your decision a little bit easier, we’ve created a list of the top three benefits of dental implants!

1. Dental Implants Act Like Natural Teeth!

One of the most well-known benefits of dental implants is that they look and act just like your natural teeth. When properly placed, dental implants are nearly impossible to detect. Unlike dentures, which are removable and can cause discomfort to the wearer, dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw and provide no discomfort.

When dental implants are implanted to your jawbone, they provide the utmost of stability. This means that you can continue to eat your favorite foods, speak normally, and enjoy your improved self-esteem!

2. Improves Your Oral Health

Losing a tooth can have a big effect on the overall health of your mouth. When a tooth is lost, your gums begin to recede, which then causes the teeth to begin to shift, ultimately weakening your jaw bone which causes major problems for the rest of your remaining teeth. Dental implants provide stability to the jaw and prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting.

3. Reliability

Due to the permanent nature of dental implants, when properly taken care of, the implants can last a lifetime! Luckily, taking care of your implant is simple. Simply treat the implant as you would your other teeth, with the help of proper brushing and flossing.

Taking action to replace your missing tooth sooner rather than later will result in less headaches in the future. If you are considering dental implants as a dental procedure, give our office a call to schedule your consultation at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011!

3 Reasons to Have a Root Canal

3 Reasons to Have a Root Canal

Many people consider root canals as a last resort when dealing with tooth sensitivity of any kind. Why so? It’s important to remember that root canals do not cause pain; they relieve it. Thus, we compiled a short list of reasons as to why a root canal is just what you need to alleviate your pain, while still preserving your natural teeth!

1. Deep Decay: When you develop deep decay in your tooth, it’s time for a root canal! Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify a minor decay in the tooth, therefore they usually lead to a deeper one, increasing the pain, sensitivity, and possible infection. When the enamel and the pulp of the tooth is damaged, the best way to prevent any further discomfort is a root canal!

2. Cracked/Chipped Tooth: Cracks and chipped teeth can result from a variety of stresses, ranging anywhere from grinding, chewing or clenching. Depending on the severity of the crack in the tooth, a root canal may be the only procedure that will repair the damage, while still preserving the natural tooth.

3. Multiple Procedures on The Tooth: If there are multiple procedures done on a tooth, it increases the chance of needing a root canal. In other words, it is best to preserve the enamel and deep root of your tooth by opting for a root canal first, rather than risking the health of your natural tooth by having a variety of other procedures performed on it.

As always, if you have any questions or are curious to know whether or not a root canal is the right fit for you, please give us a call at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011 today!

3 Common Questions About Root Canals

3 common questions about root canals

You’ve just been told you need a root canal and you’re now left in uncertainty. You’ve heard of them, but what do you really know? If you haven’t had one before, the idea of a root canal can seem a bit intimidating (cue in sweaty palms). All you remember are the rumors and horror stories, but is any of it true? What he said she said might be leading you into an irrational fear of the unknown. Thus, let us ease your anxiety by answering three common questions that will help lay your root canal fears to rest!

1. Why do I need one?

Normally, a root canal becomes necessary when the inside of your tooth (the pulp) becomes inflamed or infected. This can result from: deep decay, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns, or a simple crack or chip in your tooth. Some popular signs that indicate you may need a root canal are severe tooth pain, sensitivity to hot or cold drinks, discoloration of the problem tooth, and tenderness of the gums.

2. What exactly is the procedure?

Simply put, a root canal is a procedure where we remove the nerve or pulp from the pulp chamber and root canal (the space inside the tooth). The chamber is then shaped and cleaned so it can be filled. Afterwards, it is then sealed with a rubber-like material, and a temporary filling is placed on the tooth to prevent contamination. Since this procedure usually involves more than one visit, the final step of a root canal is when we remove the temporary filling we previously placed and then finish it off by restoring the tooth with a crown or filling.

3. Is the treatment painful?

Thanks to modern technology and anesthesia, a root canal is as simple and painless as having a cavity filled. It’s important to remember that root canals don’t cause pain, they relieve it!

Being well informed is a great way to shed light on a fearful situation. What often seems intimidating, may just be a lack of information. With this new-found knowledge, you can move forward with your procedure with confidence. If you have any other questions about your root canal procedure, or want to learn more, don’t hesitate to call our office at New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011.

5 foods to avoid so you don’t crack a tooth

5 foods to avoid so you dont crack a tooth

Nothing’s worse than a cracked tooth. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but also the most brittle. If you have large restorations or fillings you may be extra susceptible to cracking a tooth if you bite into something unexpected. Below are 5 foods to watch out for that can cause some serious dental damage.

Popcorn
While most of the time soft, popcorn can have hidden hard kernels. One wrong crunch might cause a crack in your tooth that can send you straight to the dentist. While popcorn is a delicious snack, eat it carefully to avoid biting into an unexpected corn kernel!

Candy
A usual suspect when it comes to tooth damage. Candies such as jaw breakers, jolly ranchers, or even lollypops can cause havoc on your teeth. If eaten how they are intended, they may be harmless, but when bitten into the effects can be disastrous. Softer candies such as taffy, starburst, or even jellybeans can cause dental damage as well.

Breads
Most wouldn’t consider bread to be a threat to your teeth, but hard breads can be a real dental destroyer. Baguettes, Sour Dough, or even biscotti can cause damage if too hard and crunchy. Try opting for a softer bread and take smaller bites if you’re indulging in sourdough.

Olive Pits
Whether it was hidden in your food or processed incorrectly, olive pits are notorious for cracking teeth. Next time you have one of these decadent snacks, make sure it has been pitted and is safe to eat!

Ice
Although this is not technically food, chewing on ice cubes can be especially harmful to your teeth. If you are trying to hydrate using an ice cube, suck on it instead of crunching. This rule also goes for popsicles!

Being mindful of how you bite into foods can spare your smile. Small nibbles can save your pearly whites! But if you do find yourself with an unexpected cracked tooth, call our office @ New York Office Phone Number 212-838-2011 to schedule an appointment.