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Plaque, Tartar and Decay

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New York City Root Canal Treatment

We instinctively take care of our heart. We worry about our weight, our liver, and our health. But we don’t think of the health of our MOUTH very often, do we? But your mouth deserves your attention – because you don’t want plaque and you don’t want tooth decay.

Dental plaque is, you could say, your mouth’s worst enemy. Or at least, the worst enemy to your teeth. Plaque is basically a sticky film that covers your tooth enamel and contains bacteria. It is also an ideal setting for bacteria to grow. Where there is plaque – and it’s left alone – there is decay. The bacteria in plaque contributes to gum disease as well as tooth decay.

So, what is plaque made of? Well, it’s actually comprised of tiny leftover food particles, mixed with your saliva. When you brush after every meal, you do not give plaque a chance to grow. Brushing removes the tiny food particles that inevitably are left behind after we eat. If someone goes several days without brushing their teeth, the plaque hardens and actually sticks very well to the tooth enamel. At this point, it becomes what dentists call tartar. Tartar makes your teeth turn various shades of yellow and can also cause bad breath. It is difficult to remove — it has to be scraped off with a dental instrument.

dental plaque New York City root canal treatment

It is interesting to note that plaque forms because of a chemical reaction that takes place in the mouth. Plaque actually needs carbohydrates to form. And luckily for plaque, carbohydrates are found in just about every food. It stands to reason that foods containing a lot of sugar have more carbohydrates — this is why you always heard as a child that if you ate too much candy and cookies, you would get cavities.

There are many health benefits to a low-carb diet and less plaque is one of them. You can talk to your nutritionist, functional medicine doctor, or your general practitioner about reducing carbohydrates. And reducing sugar in the diet is always good. Sugar does damage in the body far beyond just affecting your teeth.

While brushing your teeth after every time you eat something seems excessive, it certainly can’t hurt to brush after every meal. But, dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice per day, ideally once after breakfast, and once before bed. Flossing also helps remove plaque and ensures that it won’t have time to become tartar because plaque can exist between your teeth where your brush doesn’t reach.

Most dentists will tell you that you have about 48 hours before plaque begins to harden and tartar formation begins. You might be surprised to learn that 80% or more of American adults have periodontal disease that is caused by the formation of plaque. Plaque actually begins to harden within just a few hours of forming. It is quite resilient. Note that drinking things like green tea and cranberry juice helps prevent plaque buildup.

Another interesting fact: pregnant women are more likely to have plaque buildup and can have increased tooth decay during pregnancy.

Let’s face it — cavities, yellow teeth, tooth pain, and bad breath are not things we want. Gum disease is not fun either. All of these can be prevented with proper dental care. As your New York City endodontist, we’ve seen the damage that a poor diet and/or poor dental care can cause to our teeth. Many people with their busy lives don’t take the time to brush and floss properly or they ignore a tooth problem until it really hurts. And that is when the decay could require a root canal.

The good news is, today’s root canal procedure is very standard and painless. Advancements in dental care treatment have made root canals, crowns and other dental procedures much faster and easier to perform — and they heal faster as well. If you have a question about getting the new york city root canal treatment or other dental question — feel free to call and speak to us here at Fifth Avenue Endodontics, your New York City root canal treatment specialist.

Dr. Iofin Elected President of New York State Association of Endodontists

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Dr. Iofin Elected President of New York State Association of Endodontists

Dr Alexander Iofin - President of New York State Association of EndodontistsDr. Aleksander Iofin was recently elected to serve as the President of the New York State Association of Endodontists, after completing his term as Treasurer and then Vice-President of the organization.

In Dr. Iofin’s new role as President, he looks forward to giving back and helping not only improve health services for the public, but also advancing the art, research, and science of Endodontics.

As the leader of the New York State Association of Endodontists, Dr. Iofin is responsible for organizing a cutting-edge educational program at the Greater New York Dental Meeting, the largest dental meeting in the country—with over 53,000 attendees—this upcoming November at the Javits Center in New York City.

In Dr. Iofin’s practice, Fifth Avenue Endodontics at Rockefeller Center, he focuses on integrating state-of-the-art tools and patient education into his work to help provide a pain-free (and dare we say pleasurable?) experience for all of his patients.

Because at the heart of it, Dr. Iofin believes comfort is the key to a successful patient experience. His patients couldn’t agree more.

The Fifth Avenue Endodontics team, including partner Dr. Syngcuk Kim, one of the most respected endodontists worldwide, distinguishes their practice as being on the vanguard of technology in patient care, integrating microsurgery and advanced technology into their practice such as the Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), a new diagnostic scanner that gives one of the best quality 3-D “real time” images available on the market today.

Dr. Iofin practices endodontics full-time at Fifth Avenue Endodontics and teaches part-time as an Assistant Clinical Professor of the Department of Endodontics at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

So yes, you could say Dr. Iofin knows A LOT about root canals and patient care.

If you need a tooth saved, schedule your consultation by contacting us here or calling: 212-757-1000.

Root Canals – What’s Involved, What to Expect

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The Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment procedure The term root canal is thrown around somewhat loosely in regards to tooth pain, but what does this actually mean? It’s worth noting that The American Association of Endodontics states that millions of teeth are treated through the root canal process each year! When someone refers to getting “a cavity filled”, this is a more common procedure. But when decay, gets too close to the nerve canal, that canal needs to be cleaned and filled to prevent ongoing damage and pain.

For a root canal treatment, the dentist or endodontist will remove the irritated part of your tooth interior, called the pulp. This is living tissue that has nerves and blood vessels, and is removed to prevent spreading infection to the bone. Following this, to ensure that the infection cannot happen again, your tooth is filled and sealed as a final step. It differs from getting a cavity filled as the work is done in the root as well, and root canals are done on teeth that have too much decay to be fixed by a normal filling.

Another common misunderstanding regarding a root canal is that people believe that the tooth is actually replaced in full. However, everything is done to save your original tooth, and so the tooth will not be removed. A filling or a crown will be placed later to protect the tooth. Your bite line will still be the same, and you will still be able to chew naturally. Not to mention this reassuring fact that you might like to hear: This dental process has the highest satisfaction rate of patients!

In total, the whole process can last from 1 to 3 hours depending on the complexity of the tooth and connection to various canals in the mouth. In New York, the approximate cost of a root canal treatment is about $1800 – $2500 without insurance, but the tooth will last a lifetime, when treated by experienced professional endodontic specialists, such as the team at Fifth Avenue Endodontics.

Those who have a tooth that is decayed and painful should not wait, because if a root canal cannot save the tooth, procedures like tooth extraction, placing an implant or creating a bridge can be more costly and quite involved. Nothing works as well as a natural tooth. Taking care of a problem sooner rather than later is always in the patient’s best interest.

There are still more benefits from this treatment. First of all, root canals have over 90% success rate in patients, leaving the margin for error very small for you. Your mouth also will not have to readjust, as you are keeping your own tooth. The reason this is a big deal is because if a foreign object is placed in the mouth, there are chances that it can cause other issues, like shifting of teeth or bacterial infections, even TMJ! And lastly, The root canal treatment procedure should be seen as an investment. When performed by skilled Endodontists, the root canal will pay for itself, as you will most likely never even have to touch the tooth again! You will be able to forget about it for the rest of your life, depending on your age at the time the work is done.

To rid yourself of pain and get this procedure done safely and correctly, contact Fifth Avenue Endodontics, Rockefeller Center, New York City with any questions on this subject. Your priority should be having it done right the first time around!

Good Info to Know for Teeth Health! Part 1

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Healthy Food for Healthy Teeth

Healthy foods for healthy teeth We know there are foods that we should not eat because they will damage our teeth or cause decay,
healthy foods for healthy teethbut do you know what foods are actually good for your teeth? Often our teeth and mouth are our last thought when we think about being healthy. But it’s a good idea for the following items to be incorporated into your daily diet, to help keep your teeth strong and gums healthy.

Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are important because they have plenty of phosphorous and calcium that can help strengthen teeth enamel and help with re-mineralization. They also promote saliva secretion, which can have a preventative effect, as saliva protects teeth against bacteria and balances the mouth’s pH level. For those who are lactose intolerant, enriched soy milk can be a good alternative as it usually has added calcium. (Many people are low in all sorts of vitamins or minerals. Comprehensive testing is available from functional medicine doctors and nutritionists that can identify what you are lacking).

Don’t like celery? Well, celery is considered an “abrasive” food item due to its high fiber content. It can help protect teeth and its enamel by cleaning the surface of the teeth. Its fibrous nature also requires longer chewing time, which also can promote saliva secretion and maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth. The gums, which are also integral to healthy tooth enamel, are also massaged in the chewing process to ensure its health.

Hopefully, you like berries. Strawberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which are important in maintaining the overall health of the oral cavity. They have a natural exfoliating effect due to its malic acid content, and can also help whiten your teeth while removing enamel-harming tartar. There is no need to actively rub the actual fruit on the teeth; however, as an excess of malic acid may actually do harm and dissolve tooth enamel. To keep your teeth enamel and oral cavity healthy, just incorporate strawberries in your diet, as a snack or a healthy dessert.

GET YOUR VITAMIN D.

Studies have shown that vitamin D is a nutrient that plays a key role in regulating proteins that create tooth enamel. So foods that are rich in vitamin D, such as fish oil, cold-water fish, or enriched egg yolks, are great for strengthening and possibly re-mineralizing tooth enamel. For example, canned sardines are a great super food that is rich in vitamin D. Beneficial for strengthening tooth enamel, and you can also eat the bones of the fish for added bone-strengthening calcium and fluoride.

Most animal proteins, such as chicken and beef, contain phosphorus, which is a mineral essential to healthy tooth enamel. When phosphorus is paired with calcium and vitamin D, healthy bones and teeth are created. Tofu may be an alternative option for vegetarians, as it contains a good amount of protein, and may also have the added benefits of calcium and magnesium.

Your friendly root canal specialists in New York City, Fifth Avenue Endodontics, encourage you to make healthy choices, not just for your teeth, but for your body and your longevity. We welcome all questions concerning tooth health, cavities, and root canal procedures. See our next article for more on this topic.

LASER DENTISTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

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History of Laser Dentistry

Laser DentistryHistorically, dentistry and lasers have been married since 1994. Initially, lasers were used to treat just a few dental issues but today their use has grown to apply to everything from tooth decay, to gum disease, to bonding. The FDA approves of laser dentistry for treatment and it’s seal of approval assures dentists the products or devices they use meet the ADA standards for safety and efficacy, among other things.

The lasers used in dentistry today have evolved with the development of new hardware and software. As a result, dentists and endodontists now use lasers to:

  1. Treat tooth decay and its removal. Tooth decay or “caries” and “cavities” is a disease that is not life threatening but typically results in tooth enamel, dentin, or cementum being destroyed from long-term exposure to harmful bacteria and other germs.
    The bacteria eventually turns into a colorless film on your teeth and gums called plaque. The plaque leads to the production of acids which break down tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or de-mineralizing, the mineral structure of your teeth. This leads to tooth decay and weakening of the teeth which, untreated, leads to fillings, root canals, or extraction.
  2. Prepare, cure and harden fillings and bonding. Materials used for fillings and bonding to repair teeth and adhere to existing and healthy enamel are blended to respond to laser light for hardening and adhesion. It is not invasive or painful compared to what may have been used in the past before laser light was available.
  3. Remove bacteria and reshape gums after various dental procedures. The laser method of doing this is not only less traumatic than traditional methods but also, healing is faster for the patient.
  4. Remove lesions or tissue for biopsy (examination for cancer). Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue so it can be examined and checked for diseases including cancer. Lower powered lasers are commonly used to remove unwanted lesions, aid or facilitate healing. and to relieve cankor sore pain.
  5. Whitening teeth. Lasers speed up in-office whitening procedures when combined with the application of a peroxide bleaching solution. The solution in effect, is “activated” by the laser energy which is where the enhanced speed comes into play.

How Does Laser Dentistry Work?

All laser technology functions by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for dental procedures, including oral surgery, the laser dentistry tool acts as a cutting instrument for vaporizing tissue that it comes into contact with. When used for curing, a bond is created between filling materials and the tooth being treated. For teeth whitening, laser facilitates and in fact enhances the benefits of tooth bleaching agents.

For more information, call your Endodontist New York today! We specialize in painless root canals and have all the latest technology in our New York City office.

The Anatomy of a Tooth – and How it Decays

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The Tooth Anatomy

Tooth Anatomy shows parts of the toothUnderstanding a root canal or any dental procedure is more easily done when you understand the tooth anatomy. The field of tooth anatomy concerning the physical structure of teeth. The outside of your tooth is covered by a very hard, white enamel. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and it takes a beating from biting and chewing, not to mention the extreme temperatures of hot and cold beverages and foods.When you think about it, it’s surprising it doesn’t wear down and decay more frequently!

The enamel is very hard for good reason – it protects the soft, sensitive insides of the tooth. The layer immediately under the enamel is called dentin, and it too is fairly hard. But under that is the pulp – very soft and sensitive. The pulp is what can become infected or inflamed. Infection and inflammation can come from a number of causes – a crack in the enamel, a chip in a tooth, decay from cavities, or a faulty filling or crown.

Obviously, if infected or inflamed pulp is left untreated, it will lead to pain for the individual. This is why at the first sign of mild pain or discomfort in a tooth, you should see your dentist. When decay has spread up into the root of the tooth, you may need a root canal from an Endodontist. Endodontists, such as those here on 5th Avenue, work specifically on the inside of teeth. We are “interior teeth specialists.”

The roots of the teeth reach up into your gums. They anchor your teeth and keep them in place, and are an essential part of a healthy mouth. Decay travels, so it can get into the roots.

Endodontists save millions of teeth each year, by performing root canals and avoiding the entire tooth being ruined. Saving a tooth is always preferable to losing a tooth. These days, a root canal treatment is very similar to receiving a filling. Gone are the days of root canals being a highly painful dental procedure. They’ve become routine with modern products and equipment. Endodontic treatment will save the tooth and reduce the need for further, future dental work.

However, nothing beats good old prevention. You don’t want the exposed part of your teeth to become decayed, which is why brushing and flossing regularly is encouraged. You don’t want to eat lots of sugary foods either, as sugar contributes to decay (and it’s not good for us, anyway!). Untreated decayed teeth can lead to an abscess, and you don’t want that, as it will be painful when it develops.

Luckily, roots can be cleaned out, filled and healed by skilled Endodontists whose goal is to see everyone have a healthy smile. If you have questions about your teeth or gums, please don’t hesitate to ask your NYC Root Canal specialists here at Fifth Avenue Endodontics.

EATING AND DRINKING FOR YOUR TEETH 

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Good and Worst Foods for Teeth

We eat for a lot of reasons. Because we are hungry, we eat what we like, we eat what tastes good or we eat healthy for our bodies. But when, if ever, do we eat for our teeth? Do you ever even think about your teeth when making food choices? Now, we talk about the foods for teeth.Good and Worst Foods for Teeth

When it comes to food, your teeth are the first to be affected. And your teeth do have enemies. It’s important to know what foods are good for your mouth and which ones can have negative effects on your teeth and gums.

Let’s first talk about sugar. Is it one of the worst foods for teeth? That grainy white stuff you dump in your coffee — Yep, not nice for your teeth. Eating candy or candy bars, sucking on a lollipop, eating cake or cookies — all of this is detrimental to your teeth. You may have a lot of fillings in your mouth because you had cavities in your younger years. Maybe because you had too much sugar as a child and into your young adulthood. Keep in mind that a little bit of natural sugar is okay but things like agave nectar, Stevia and artificial sweeteners don’t contribute to decay like good old-fashioned sugar does.

Note that chemical-based artificial sweeteners may not be good for us so they should be consumed in very limited quantity. Just a dash of Splenda rather than a whole pack is the way to go. But play around with different sweeteners and figure out what works for you.

Now let’s talk about the crunchy stuff. Decay starts with bacteria and so any foods that cut back bacteria are good foods for teeth. Sugar — you guessed it — actually contributes to bacteria growth. But things that we crunch like celery, carrots, apples and cucumbers will not only fight bacteria in our mouth by producing saliva, but they also help keep plaque from forming on your teeth and at the gum line. Get in the habit of crunching one fruit a day, ideally in the morning. Why? Because eating fruit at night — which has a good amount of sugar in it — means you don’t burn it off and the sugar becomes fattening for you. Better to eat sugary foods earlier in the day so that you burn the calories.

And of course we are going to talk about dairy. You need calcium not just for strong teeth but also for strong bones. Many people are calcium deficient. Do you eat enough yogurt, milk, and cheese? Maybe a little ice cream now and then – but again, choose ones that are low in sugar. Sunflower seeds are actually very high in calcium and they promote building tooth enamel so try snacking on them once in a while.

Let’s talk about beverages now. Are you consuming sugary beverages like lemonade, sweetened iced tea, energy drinks, Gatorade, sodas? Alas, these are not your friends. Not only are they bad for your teeth and potentially cause cavities but they put too much sugar in our body. Sugar has been linked to all kinds of health problems and should be consumed in very small quantities. Keep this in mind when making beverage choices. Try having water with just a small amount of fruit juice or lemonade mixed in. Drink light iced tea and add ice and lemon. It’s important to make good beverage choices. Coffee of course stains your teeth as do any dark beverages so try limiting them and replacing them with lighter colored beverages if you’re concerned about white teeth. Green tea is a perfect substitute.

Now keep in mind that some foods can actually wedge in between your teeth more easily than others. Things like breads, crackers and potato chips can leave small particles in the cracks of your teeth and you don’t even know it. They create a perfect home for bacteria. This is why flossing is so important.

At the end of the day it is up to you to take care of your teeth and avoid decay. As New York City’s root canal specialists, we’ve seen our share of decay. We know what foods can do to our precious teeth. So, take care of your teeth, New York! Toss out the candy bar and have celery with peanut butter or apples with a bit of almond butter instead. Thanks for reading.

Avoiding Bad Breath

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Avoiding Bad Breath

It is not pleasant to be at a party or function, or even in the workplace, and be talking to someone with bad breath.
You yourself could have bad breath and not know it. This is why we should all take steps to prevent bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis. Everyone thinks their breath is fine and only other people have stinky breath. Not true. 85% of people have halitosis at times. The good news is, it is fairly easy to prevent, just by taking some simple measures.

bad breath solutionsThe first tip is an obvious one — get regular dental checkups and have your teeth cleaned at least once a year, but preferably twice per year. Tooth decay and plaque can contribute to bad breath. Removing that build up of plaque on your teeth and fixing any cavities will result in decreased chance for halitosis. Brushing your teeth frequently also decreases your chances of getting bad breath because you are making sure that food fragments are not residing in the cracks of your teeth.

Now what about your tongue? Do you clean your tongue? From the back to the front, your tongue can be covered in bacteria and yes, you guessed it, this can contribute to bad breath. You can brush your tongue gently with your regular toothbrush or gargle strongly with mouthwash and swish it all around your mouth and tongue.

Even just rinsing your mouth with water after you eat or drink something keeps food particles and bacteria from building up. And water is your friend in other ways. Staying hydrated throughout the day means you are less likely to develop halitosis. When your mouth is dry, less saliva is being produced and saliva is nature’s mouthwash. It fights bacteria and it washes away food particles. So when your mouth is dry, bad breath can take hold. Drink a lot of water especially if you are going to be socializing.

Certain foods lead to bad breath as well. You should avoid spicy foods like garlic and onions. Coffee and other strong drinks can also leave a smell. If you are consuming these things it makes sense to carry mints or gum and use them after consuming spicy foods and strong beverages.

If you are a smoker, you should know that smoking actually contributes to the buildup of plaque. So smokers are not only more likely to have bad breath, but also more teeth and gum problems. They have less saliva to protect them from halitosis as well.

Finally, we will encourage you to look for natural breath fresheners. You can chew on parsley or meant or even cinnamon sticks. Eating a grapefruit or an orange helps kill bacteria in your mouth and prevent bad breath. Flossing is a good idea to because it removes trapped food and gets your saliva flowing.

You may even want to ask a close friend or family member, do I ever have bad breath? You may be surprised to hear that halitosis is frequent. If you have frequent halitosis, it could be linked to a health condition like severe allergies and sinusitis, bronchitis, systemic problems, or even good old stress. If you have halitosis frequently and you are taking good care of your mouth and teeth, you should check with your doctor or dentist to determine the root cause of the problem.

As your New York City endodontist, we appreciate clients who take care of their mouth and breath. Our endodontists share these tips to help you avoid this embarrassing condition. A healthy mouth is a happy mouth – and the people around you will be happier too.

ABOUT GUM DISEASE

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About Gum Disease

about gum diseaseHealthy gums are firm, and don’t bleed. They fit snugly around the teeth.

Gingivitis is a condition where a person has mildly inflamed gums that may appear red or swollen and may bleed during brushing or flossing.

It can be painless, and at the beginning of the inflammation of the gum line you may not know you have a problem. But it can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease:

STAGES OF GUM DISEASE

  1. Gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease.
  2. Periodontitis – the stage where the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which traps food and plaque. You should seek proper dental treatment and improve your home care to help prevent further damage.
  3. Advanced periodontitis – This is the final stage of gum disease, when the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. Your bite can be affected and if aggressive treatment can’t save your teeth, they may need to be removed.

HOW DOES GUM DISEASE HAPPEN?

It is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque that can build up and then the bacteria will infect not only your gums but eventually the bone that support the teeth and even the teeth themselves. Eventually this damage will cause the teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

WARNING SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE

Gum disease commonly occurs among adults over age 25. However, it can start at any age. It can be reversed and detected early, if you see your dentist. These are some of the symptoms:

  1. Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  2. Gums that are red, puffy, swollen or tender
  3. Gums that have separated, or pulled away from your teeth creating a pocket
  4. Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
  5. Changes in the way your teeth fit together while biting
  6. Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  7. Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums

PREVENTING GUM DISEASE

After our description, we’re sure you don’t want gum disease to happen to you. As endodontists serving New York City, we’ve seen our share of gum and tooth damage. It is preventable with good oral care that includes:

  1. Proper brushing and flossing
  2. Using antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash killing bacteria
  3. A saltwater mouth rinse
  4. Bi-annual dental visits for cleaning and check-ups.
  5. Deep Cleaning, by a Dentist, when you need it

It is important that you have dental checkups, at least annually to prevent gum disease. Especially, people with heart disease or diabetes need to be aware of and work to prevent gum disease. Ask your New York City root canal endodontist if you have any questions, we are here for your dental health.

What dentist to use – How to choose

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How to choose a Dentist

Not all dentists are alike. You obviously have choices, so do you like your current dentist? If not, there’s no reason not to change. You have choices in dental care and the reality is that some dentists are better than others. Just like any profession, some are more skilled and have better customer care and “bedside manner”. Don’t feel guilty about switching, because your dental health is important. You need your teeth for your lifetime!

how to choose a dentistSo how do you choose a dentist? Random selection from an online search or just responding to a postcard you got in the mail? We recommend doing a little homework.

Here’s some helpful guidance on how to choose a dentist.

First it’s best if they are within 10 miles of your home or work, otherwise, you are less likely to make and keep your appointments. Convenience is important. Second, they have to have hours you can work with. They also have to have an appealing, very clean office. You can pay them a visit in advance before choosing them, just let them know you’d like to do so.

Once you’ve made a selection, it’s time to check on their background and training. You can start by finding out if they are a member of the American Dental Association. Seven out of 10 dentists are and so this gives them credibility and is a reassurance for you the patient. Members of this organization agree to abide by the high ethical standards set by the ADA.

When you first call or visit your prospective dentist, ask what degree he or she has. You are looking for a DDS—Dr. of Dental Surgery or DMD—Dr. of Dental Medicine, which are the same degree. Confirm that they are board certified by the ADA.

If you can meet the dentist in person, even just briefly, or speak to them on the phone, that’s great because it gives you a chance to get a feel for their personality and client relationships. Are they personable, do they explain themselves well? It’s ok to ask questions. A good one to ask is, “what if I have a serious dental issue outside of normal hours, like I crack or lose a tooth?” How does their office accommodate a dental emergency?

It’s also very important to find out up front how they bill, and what they charge. What will your costs be? And confirm that they take your insurance if you have it. If you don’t’ have insurance, do they allow installment payments on higher cost dental procedures? If you need a root canal, do they send you to an endodontist (root canal specialist)?

What’s really ideal is if you can identify and speak to an actual client of your prospective dentist, or read prior client testimonials. That is the best feedback you can find. The bottom line is, you can look at online reviews, read about the dentist you’ve chosen, and gain some insight. But meeting the dentist in person before becoming a client is your best way to know if you will like them and want to use their services for years to come.

As New York City Endontists, we have seen the work of sub-standard dentists and excellent dentists. If you need a referral, call Fifth Avenue Endodontics and we’d be happy to share some names of dentists with you.