For several weeks in early 2020, dentists in New York City and elsewhere across the globe were required to stop providing non-urgent care in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. As we resume our “new normal,” many patients are asking—is it still too early to visit the dentist?
Rest assured that the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now allowing patients to return to the dentist for routine cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, and other elective services—with a few changes in place. Here’s what you should know before visiting the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Is My Dentist’s Office Safe?
Germs are everywhere, but healthcare facilities, including dentist’s offices, have always been among the cleanest places you could go. Many safety guidelines have been the norm for years, including regularly washing your hands, sterilizing tools, and discarding certain gear and needles after a single use.
In light of the pandemic, many dentists, including Park 56 Dental in NYC, are doing even more. Here are some of the steps we’re taking to ensure patient safety and comfort:
- Conducting pre-visit health screenings and contactless temperature checks for all visitors and staff
- Making masks and hand sanitizer available upon request
- Staggering check-ins to minimize wait times and help maintain social distancing
- Holding virtual appointments to answer questions or conduct follow-ups
How “Essential” are Dentist Visits?
The fact that dentist offices were shut down for everything but emergency procedures could make some people think that routine teeth cleanings aren’t that important. However, the condition of your teeth and gums can greatly impact your overall health. In fact, putting off routine cleanings could compound dental problems and other health issues in the months and years to come.
The practical precautions that dentist offices are currently taking are effective at reducing the risk of coronavirus transmission while allowing you to care for your teeth and gums. Skipping your appointments any longer than necessary is simply not worth the risk to your oral health.
What to Consider Before Going to the Dentist
Social distancing is the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. In short, cancel your dentist appointment if you’re not feeling well. You’ll be sent home if you come in with a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. You should also stay home if you think you have been around anyone who has the coronavirus, whether or not they have tested positive.
Park 56 Dental in NYC is open for business! Anything that can be done remotely, such as payments or health questionnaires, will be handled over the phone or via email. We are taking COVID-19 restrictions seriously and place your safety above all else. Please call us at (212) 826-2322 or contact us online to ask questions about our coronavirus precautions or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
You may not think of your teeth as being alive, but they are. The outer shell, called the enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body. However, the nerves and blood vessels at the heart of your teeth are soft and vulnerable. If this inner layer (known as the pulp) becomes damaged, blood may stop flowing. A tooth with no blood flow is called a “dead” tooth. Without treatment, this tooth may become infected or abscessed and will eventually fall out.
What Causes a Dead Tooth?
Trauma or injury is a common reason for a tooth to die. Falling or being hit in the mouth can cut off the blood supply to a tooth or even cause blood vessels to burst. With no blood flow, the nerve inside the pulp dies.
Tooth decay is another possible cause. Without consistent dental hygiene habits, cavities can start to form. Left untreated, decay slowly eats through the tooth toward the sensitive pulp, eventually causing an infection. Inflammation may cut off blood flow to the pulp, causing the tooth to die.
How to Spot a Dead Tooth
It isn’t always easy to identify a dead tooth. Only a dental professional can pinpoint signs of restricted blood flow and a dying tooth in its early stages, which is why regular dentist visits are so important. Before long, though, the problem will soon become apparent.
Pain is the first symptom to watch out for. This may seem odd because the nerve inside your tooth is dead, but that’s not where the pain comes from. Bacteria and dead nerve remnants touching the extremely sensitive nerve endings around your tooth, called the periodontal membrane, are the source of your pain.
A change in color comes next. Dead teeth often darken over time as red blood cells die. This is very similar to developing a bruise. If a single tooth in your mouth gradually becomes yellow, gray, or black, visit the dentist right away.
Signs of infection could also appear if the dead tooth doesn’t receive treatment. You may notice swelling, a bad taste in your mouth, or an inflamed sore on your gums.
Treatment for a Dead Tooth
A root canal is the first option. Dentists want to avoid removing teeth whenever possible, and this procedure could save a dead or dying tooth. It involves removing all signs of decay and infection from deep within the tooth. Then, the dentist fills and seals it. In many cases, a crown is needed following a root canal.
Tooth extraction is the next choice. Even if your dentist can’t save your tooth, prompt treatment is necessary to avoid other complications. Once removed, you have several options for replacing the missing tooth, including an implant, bridge, or partial denture.
Park 56 Dental offers tooth care and smile restorations out of our spa-like, patient-centered New York dentist office. If you notice signs of a dead tooth, please contact us online or call us at (212) 826-2322 to schedule an appointment.
Even if you brush and floss religiously, doing your best to have pristine teeth and perfect oral health, you’re likely to one day have a cavity. If this happens, don’t delay treatment. It’s important to get any cavities filled as soon as possible, for many reasons.
- Tooth decay, left to its own devices, will spread. If you ignore a cavity, the decay will soon spread to the area around the cavity. Then you’ll not only have a bigger cavity than you originally had, but you may also have additional cavities as well. Getting it filled will solve the problem and keep the damage from spreading.
- Bacteria from a cavity is unlikely to stay in your mouth. An unhealthy tooth won’t just affect nearby teeth: it will spread bacteria as far as it can. Bacteria in your mouth is not ideal, but once it gets into your bloodstream and makes its way to other parts of the body, it can be extremely dangerous.
- Fillings keep your smile intact. If you don’t get a cavity filled in a timely manner, you may end up having to have the tooth removed entirely. Dental implants can solve the problem of missing teeth, but they’re much more expensive than fillings and require a much more complicated process. You’ll have a hole in your smile until you can get the implant, and this can compromise the bone in your jaw.
Those are pretty compelling reasons to get your cavities filled, but did you know there are different types of fillings? Each material used in fillings has its pros and cons, and your dentist will be able to help you determine which is right for you.
- Amalgam fillings have been around for over a century. They’re strong and ideal for cavities in the molars, because they can take the impact of chewing. Made of a combination of several metallic elements, they are sometimes visible when you laugh or smile, but they’re some of the least expensive cavity-filling materials.
- The other most common filling material is composite fillings. Sometimes called composite or filled resins, they’re made of a combination of glass or quartz filler. They can be made to match the color of your tooth, and they’re good in areas involved in moderate chewing.
- Metals, ceramic, and glass ionomer are also used as fillings. Gold and silver are often used, and these metallic fillings can last 10-15 years. Ceramic or porcelain fillings are attractive but expensive, and glass ionomer fillings can release fluoride to protect teeth but are less durable than other fillings.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care, offering pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, in a patient-centered practice with hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation by contacting us online or calling (212) 826-2322.
Many Americans have one or more dental crowns. This restorative dentistry option gives you back your smile after a tooth has been damaged by decay or traumatic injury. While crowns are meant to be permanent additions to your mouth—either cemented on top of a natural tooth or screwed into a receiving hole on a dental implant—they do sometimes come loose. Here’s what you should do if your crown falls off.
Retrieve the Dental Crown
Once you realize your dental crown is missing, act quickly to resolve the issue. First, locate the crown. If it’s still in your mouth, take it out. If it fell on the ground, try to find it. If you swallowed the crown, don’t panic—you will simply need to be fitted with a new one.
Inspect & Clean the Crown
Assuming you have located it, rinse off the crown with warm water and examine the interior side closely. If the crown looks completely hollow or has a small metal rod emerging from it, you might be able to temporarily place it back in your mouth before visiting the dentist for a more permanent solution.
However, if you see part of your tooth stuck within the crown, this means it didn’t lose adhesion—rather, your tooth has deteriorated further and broken off. In this case, you should not attempt to place the crown back in your mouth. Instead, put it in a safe place, such as a small container or plastic bag, until you can meet with your dentist.
Protect Your Tooth
Crowns are intended to shield the underlying structures of a damaged tooth. This means nerves and other sensitive tissues may now be exposed, causing sensitivity to touch and temperature. You may be able to find dental cement at a pharmacy to temporarily replace the crown until you can visit the dentist. Even if you lost the crown or can’t reattach it, you can protect the exposed tooth by molding dental cement or wax around it.
Then, be careful about what you eat. To avoid potentially dislodging the crown again, avoid crunchy, chewy, or tough foods. Steer clear of hot and cold foods as well if they cause you pain. Limit yourself to things like applesauce, pudding, and room-temperature soup until you have a more permanent solution.
Call Your Dentist
Let your dentist know about your emergency without delay. Explain what happened, and make an appointment to repair your tooth immediately —on the same day, if possible. Trust your dentist to pursue the best course of action, which may include putting in a filling, reattaching the old crown, or making a new one.
If your crown has come off, or you have another dental emergency, please contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to request a same-day appointment with our NYC dentist. Rest assured that we’re following all recommended safety precautions from the CDC to keep our patients safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
A broken tooth can happen in an instant. All it takes is a forceful impact to the face or biting down wrong on a cavity or filling. Whatever the cause may be, you need an emergency dentist visit to set things right. Give us a call at (212) 826-2322 immediately to schedule a same-day appointment with our NYC dentist. In the meantime, reduce the pain from your broken tooth with these tips.
- Take anti-inflammatory medicine: Controlling inflammation is critical for reducing pain from a broken tooth. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories—such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen—provide temporary pain relief. Just remember that these medicines do nothing to address the underlying issue, so you still need to visit a dentist as soon as possible.
- Rinse with salt water: Salt is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, making it the perfect substance for a natural mouth rinse. Pour a cup of warm water into a glass and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Swish the rinse around in your mouth for 10 to 15 seconds, and then spit it out. Repeat this process four to five times a day until you can visit a dentist.
- Apply a cold compress: Cold temperatures make blood vessels constrict, numbing the pain and reducing the swelling from a broken tooth. Wrap a bag of ice or frozen peas with a towel and place it on your cheek for 20 minutes at a time. Repeat every few hours.
- Chew on garlic: The anti-bacterial and pain-relieving properties of garlic make it an effective remedy for toothaches. Crush a clove of garlic into a paste, add a dash of salt for good measure, and spread it on your broken tooth.
- Numb the pain with peppermint tea: Brew a cup of peppermint tea and add ice to cool it down. Then, swish the tea around in your mouth. You can also freeze the used tea bag for a few minutes and place it directly on your aching tooth.
- Apply clove oil: Clove essential oil contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic that numbs pain and reduces inflammation. Moisten a cotton swab with clove oil and then add a drop or two of olive oil to dilute it slightly. Rub the swab on the affected area a few times throughout the day. Alternatively, you can concoct an antiseptic mouthwash with 1/2 cup water and a drop of clove oil.
- Apply vanilla extract: The antioxidant properties of vanilla extract make it an effective healing agent. It also contains alcohol, which numbs the pain. Moisten a cotton swab with vanilla extract and apply it to the affected area a few times daily.
If you have a broken tooth or other dental emergency, contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to request a same-day appointment. Save the broken-off part of your tooth, if possible, so we can attempt to repair it. Rest assured that we’re following all recommended safety precautions from the CDC to keep our patients safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As part of the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, the American Dental Association (ADA) has provided dentists and patients with guidance on what to consider a dental emergency during the pandemic outbreak. This is a follow-up to the recommendation that patients should postpone elective procedures for the time being.
Here are some examples of what constitutes a dental emergency. If you are experiencing any of these problems, please call Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322. We would be happy to assist you and schedule a same-day appointment to have your emergency treated.
If you lose a tooth after getting hit in the face, gently place the tooth back in its socket, being careful to handle it as little as possible. Bite down slightly on moistened gauze to help hold the dislodged tooth in position.
If you can’t get the tooth back in your mouth, place it in a small container of milk or saliva (not water) to keep it moist. Then, call your dentist immediately. The faster you act, the better chance you have of saving the knocked-out tooth.
Loose Permanent Tooth
A wiggly permanent tooth is considered a dental emergency, even if there’s no pain. Hold the tooth in its proper position, and then bite down gently to keep it from moving. You can prevent the tooth from falling out entirely, but you must see a dentist as soon as possible.
Chipped, Cracked, or Broken Tooth
If a tiny corner of your tooth chips off, and you feel no pain, this usually doesn’t constitute a dental emergency. Simply be careful not to let any sharp edges of the tooth cut your lips, cheeks, or tongue
However, if you have a badly chipped, cracked, or broken tooth, this is a serious cause for concern. You may be in severe pain, so call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. In the meantime, dull the pain and reduce inflammation with a cold compress to your cheek. Taking anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen, may help as well. You can also rinse your mouth with saltwater for antiseptic benefits.
Soft Tissue Injury & Resulting Pain
Puncture wounds, cuts, or tears to the cheeks, lips, or tongue are examples of soft tissue injuries that can cause pain and bleeding. Clean the area with warm water, and staunch the flow of blood with a soft cloth or gauze pad if available. Then, set up an emergency appointment with your dentist.
Other Dental Emergencies
In short, you should call your dentist immediately if you have any of these symptoms:
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Severe pain
- Swelling or trauma to facial bones that potentially compromises your airway
- Bulging, swollen, or knotted gums
If you have a dental emergency, contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to request a same-day appointment with our NYC dentist. Rest assured that we’re following all recommended safety precautions from the CDC to keep our patients safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
You’ve probably heard of a root canal, because they’re referenced when people are talking about something difficult or painful, and they pop up in dental jokes. Do you know what the term means? While you may be under the impression that a root canal is a form of torture, it is actually a special procedure that’s relatively simple and can often save a tooth.
The term “root canal” actually means two things. It may refer to the part of the tooth between the pulp and the roots. More commonly, it’s a reference to the dental procedure used to relieve root canal pain by removing infected material. Nerves and blood vessels are contained in the root canals of teeth, and by removing a nerve in an infected tooth, a dentist can eliminate pain caused by infection or decay in the pulp. While many people assume that the root canal procedure is painful, it’s rarely more painful than a filling. The time leading up to the root canal, however, can cause a great deal of pain, stemming from several different causes.
- Tooth decay penetrating the teeth can cause root canal pain.
- Cracks or chips that damage the teeth can also be painful.
- Disease in your mouth may cause decay or infection, compelling your dentist to recommend a root canal.
If you are experiencing extreme tooth pain when you eat, or sensitivity to hot and cold that lingers after you’ve removed whatever was hot or cold, you may need a root canal. Other signs that a root canal may be required include a small, pimple-like bump on the gums, darkening of the tooth, or tenderness or swelling in the gums near the painful tooth. If these symptoms are familiar, it may be time to talk to your dentist about a root canal.
Root canals are highly effective, and many teeth fixed using root canal therapy can last a lifetime. The procedure has a success rate higher than 95 percent and involves several steps.
- First, the dentist takes an x-ray to determine exactly how much damage exists.
- A local anesthetic will numb the area to prevent pain, and a rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry.
- The dentist will drill an access hole into the tooth and remove the damaged tissue and nerve.
- After the infected material is removed, the tooth may be sealed or given a temporary filling.
- To complete the tooth restoration, a crown or filling is placed.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
How much do you know about wisdom teeth? It might surprise you to know that pain related to wisdom teeth is one of the most common reasons people visit the dentist. The third set of molars to emerge from the gums, wisdom teeth can be problematic, causing pain, swelling, and infection even if your oral hygiene is good.
We all grow two sets of teeth over the course of our lifetimes, beginning with the baby teeth, which are gradually replaced with 32 permanent teeth. The last permanent teeth to appear in the mouth ae the wisdom teeth, which come in between the ages of 18 and 25. In days past, people erroneously assumed that wisdom also developed around that time, which is how they got the name. Wisdom teeth are the teeth furthest back in the mouth, and most people have four of them. Many people have fewer, maybe only one to three wisdom teeth and a lucky few have none at all.
Why do we grow wisdom teeth, if we don’t need them? We probably used to need them, but with the evolution of our diet to food that doesn’t wear down the teeth as much, our other teeth have become larger. This means less room in the jaw and not enough space for wisdom teeth to erupt normally. As a result, they can become impacted, emerging at an abnormal angle. This causes pain, either by pressing on the second molar or by remaining partially erupted, which leads to a pocket in the gum where food can collect, causing infection and tooth decay.
If an infection is left untreated, it can spread into the face and neck, sometimes becoming life–threatening. In some rare cases, tissue around the impacted wisdom teeth can develop cysts or tumors. Because impacted wisdom teeth never become fully functional, the best way to prevent them from becoming a problem is to remove them, usually through oral surgery.
Not everyone should have their wisdom teeth removed; if they grow in normally, there’s no reason to do it. Around the time that wisdom teeth normally emerge, your dentist will x-ray your mouth to check on yours. He or she will then be able to recommend removal, if needed, and determine the best time to perform the surgery, for minimal risk.
At Park 56 Dental Group, we provide personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.
Years ago, deep cavities, diseased nerves, and infections almost always required tooth extraction. Today, teeth can often be repaired and saved thanks to endodontic treatment, also known as a root canal. Learn more about this procedure and how to tell when you might need one.
What is the Purpose of a Root Canal?
The innermost layer of your teeth, known as the pulp, is susceptible to infection. The purpose of a root canal is to remove the infected pulp and the nerves running through it. This helps prevent further complications and restores a healthy, pain-free mouth.
Without a root canal, an infected tooth may develop an abscess. This can be quite painful and puts you at risk of losing your tooth as bacteria damage the bone that connects your tooth to your jaw.
What Does a Root Canal Entail?
The treatment typically takes one to two office visits to complete. Contrary to popular belief, getting a root canal is not excruciatingly painful. In fact, similar to having a tooth extracted, your dentist will use a numbing agent to ensure you hardly feel a thing.
Before the root canal begins, your dentist will take X-rays to help assess the infected tooth and surrounding bone. Then, a local anesthetic is applied to keep you comfortable.
During the treatment, your dentist drills an opening into the tooth through which the pulp and nerves are removed. Don’t worry; taking out the nerve doesn’t affect your tooth’s function—it simply eliminates your pain.
Finally, the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and filled with a rubber-like dental composite material to seal the tooth against future infection. If an extensive amount of tooth had to be removed, your dentist might suggest placing a crown to protect against cracking. This may need to take place at a follow-up visit.
In the days following your root canal, your tooth and the surrounding area could feel sensitive. You may be advised to take over-the-counter pain relievers until the discomfort passes. You might also receive a prescription for antibiotics to prevent any residual infection from spreading.
As long as you take proper care of your teeth with daily brushing and flossing and routine trips to the dentist, the results of your root canal should last a lifetime.
When Do You Need a Root Canal?
A root canal may be needed if the pulp deep within your tooth becomes inflamed, infected, or damaged. If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your dentist right away to discuss the possibility of a root canal:
- Toothache (mild to severe)
- Pain when you bite down
- Sensitivity to temperature extremes
- Cracked or fractured tooth
- Discolored tooth
- Swollen, tender gums or drainage of pus
Whether you need a root canal or another form of restorative dentistry, Park 56 Dental can help. Our experienced endodontist specializes in pain-free root canal procedures. Contact our dentist office in NYC at (212) 826-2322 to schedule your consultation today.
Accidents involving your mouth can occur at any time of day or night. Some oral injuries need immediate treatment, while others are safe to delay until regular business hours. How can you tell a standard dental problem from a truly urgent situation? Answer the following questions to help determine what constitutes a dental emergency.
If you need immediate attention after hours, please call our emergency phone number at (917) 566-9419, and our on-call doctor will help you. If you are unable to reach us during a dental emergency, dial 911.
Are you in severe pain?
If you bite down on something hard or get hit in the face while playing sports, you could chip a tooth and expose a nerve, resulting in severe pain. A toothache from an abscess or serious infection can also be unbearable—and potentially life-threatening.
If you’re in excruciating pain, you shouldn’t wait to get treatment. Call our emergency dentist in NYC as soon as possible!
Is a tooth loose or knocked out?
Adults are done losing their baby teeth. If you feel a permanent tooth wiggling around in your mouth, even if you feel no pain, call an emergency dentist right away.
A knocked out tooth is even more serious. Call your dentist, and while you wait to be seen, handle the tooth as little as possible. If you can, insert the tooth back in its socket and place moistened gauze over it so you can bite down gently and hold it in place. NOTE: Don’t put a baby tooth back in its socket because it could fuse there or damage the permanent tooth beneath it.
If you can’t put a knocked out tooth back in its place, rinse it with saline solution (contact solution) or milk. Then, place the tooth in a container of milk or saliva (preferably from the patient). NOTE: Don’t rinse or soak a knocked-out tooth in water. Also, don’t scrub the tooth.
Are you bleeding profusely?
It’s not a dental emergency if your gums bleed while flossing, but if you have a traumatic injury and start bleeding from the mouth, this is a sign that something is wrong. Call an emergency dentist in NYC to have the problem looked at right away!
What is NOT a dental emergency?
Sometimes, oral trauma occurs, but it’s safe to delay treatment for a few days. Here are some examples of what does not constitute a dental emergency:
- A chipped or cracked tooth with no pain and no sharp fragments.
- Minor toothache with no other symptoms, such as facial swelling, high fever, or bumps on the gums.
- Lost crown or filling. (You can temporarily fill a cavity with sugar-free gum, or put a crown back in place for the time being with denture adhesive or dental cement.)
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you may be having a dental emergency. Call Park 56 Dental’s after-hours dentist for help—(917) 566-9419.