If you have diabetes, you already know that the disease affects the body in numerous ways. The gums and teeth are no different. For some patients, your dentist may even be the first to notice diabetes symptoms. Here are a few things you should know about the connection between diabetes and your dental health.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the blood sugar, or blood glucose, is too high. This is because the body does not produce sufficient insulin or because the body is unable to utilize insulin properly.

Patients with type 1 diabetes are typically diagnosed as children or young adults. For these patients, the immune system attacks the cells within the pancreas that produce insulin, so the body is not able to produce sufficient insulin.

Type 2 diabetes can occur in patients of any age and is caused by the body failing to produce or use insulin well.

How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Health?

There are a few ways that diabetes can affect the teeth and gums. Diabetes is associated with gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease. This is an inflammatory process of the gums which causes the gums and jawbone to pull away from the teeth and lose attachment. Those with diabetes are at a higher risk because of a decreased ability to fight infection and heal properly.

Diabetic patients are also at a higher risk for tooth decay, or cavities. Due to high blood sugar levels, increased acids can erode the surfaces of the teeth, including enamel and dentin. This issue also causes gingivitis, a precursor to periodontal disease.

Thrush is also a concern for patients with diabetes. Thrush is a fungal infection that is caused by the yeast Candida albicans. Symptoms of thrush include white or red patches within the mouth which are painful. Diabetic patients should be especially careful with their dental hygiene routines to avoid thrush.

Finally, patients with diabetes often experience dry mouth due to a lack of sufficient saliva. Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth can lead to other dental problems including tooth decay, gum disease, or thrush, as the lack of saliva decreases your natural ability to cleanse the teeth throughout the day.

Symptoms to Look Out For

Symptoms of diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, and fatigue. In terms of dental symptoms, you may also experience dry mouth, inflammation or bleeding of the gums, difficulty tasting food, or poor wound healing within the mouth. Children with diabetes may also have teeth that erupt at an earlier age than average.

Dental Treatment Options for Diabetes

It’s key for patients to carefully manage their blood sugar levels to best avoid dental complications related to diabetes. Dr. Chern will also recommend that you have regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Maintaining good oral hygiene is an important way for diabetic patients to avoid issues including gum disease, cavities, and thrush, which they are at a higher risk for. Dr. Chern can also advise the best ways for you to maintain your oral hygiene through your regular, at-home routine. These include brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and avoiding smoking.

How Often Should Diabetic Patients Visit the Dentist?

Patients with diabetes should visit the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and check-ups. If you notice any symptoms such as inflammation of the gums, bleeding, or teeth becoming loose, schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Chern in Manhattan, New York, call (212) 838-0842 or request your appointment online.

Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, it’s a huge benefit to your confidence and dental health to have straight teeth. However, not everyone wants to go through the inconvenience and pain of traditional braces. For those looking to find an effective method of straightening their teeth without metal, Invisalign aligners are your goto product. 

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a treatment that slowly straightens teeth using clear aligners that are worn throughout the day. It is great for those looking to avoid the look and feel of traditional metal braces. Invisalign aligners are easily removable for your convenience, meaning you can still eat and drink all your favorite foods and beverages.

How Do Invisalign Aligners Work?

Each set of aligners has micromovements embedded into them. The aligners are fitted to your teeth with small attachments to improve tooth movement. Every 4-6 weeks you will check in with your doctor to make sure your progress is on track. Depending on your specific misalignments and structure, you will receive a new set of aligners when necessary. In order for the treatment to be the most effective, each aligner should be worn for 7-10 days for a total of 20-22 hours. Treatment times vary depending on the degree of misalignment.

Invisalign Aligners vs Metal Braces

There are many benefits to both Invisalign aligners and traditional metal braces. However, for some, Invisalign treatment may be a better treatment option. The success of aligner therapy is equal to or sometimes better for certain alignment issues.

Some of the downsides to metal braces include being painful or uncomfortable, their inability to be removed during treatment, and their obvious visibility. In comparison, Invisalign aligners are invisible, can easily be taken out when necessary, and adjust your teeth in a way that provides a less painful process. Plus, Invisalign aligners fit perfectly to your own teeth, allowing for a more predictable and effective treatment. Traditional braces often take over a year to straighten your teeth, while Invisalign treatment can give you results in as little as six months. 

What Is the Process to Get Fit for Invisalign Aligners?

To get fitted for your Invisalign aligners, a scanner will create a 3D digital rendering of your teeth and create a virtual model of your final smile design. Your dentist will take photographs of your smile and alignment to complete the treatment planning process. You will also need a dental examination to make sure your teeth are healthy and cavity-free before starting the process. X-rays will be taken to ensure that your teeth will react well to the Invisalign treatment. 

How long Will I Need to Wear Invisalign Aligners?

With Invisalign aligners, you will start to see results in a matter of weeks. Depending on your specific issue, it can take as little as six months to a year to complete your treatment. Teenagers may need around 12 to 16 months to complete due to jaw growth. Ultimately, your dentist will be able to explain the final treatment timelines. 

Schedule a Consultation

If you’re looking for convenient and effective teeth straightening treatment, Invisalign aligners may be your solution. To learn more about the Invisalign treatment process, we invite you to meet with our Manhattan team by calling (212) 838-0842 or filling out our online form.

If you’ve ever tried teeth whitening at home, you’ve probably found the results to be a little underwhelming or even painful. There are a slew of products on the market that promise effective whitening, but it’s important to know that your best results will come with a little professional help. Your dentist can recommend your best options for teeth whitening if you’re looking to brighten your smile.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening, sometimes called teeth bleaching, is a process of removing stains from the teeth caused by everyday habits (“life stains”). Brushing can sometimes help remove external stains from food and drink, but over many years, these stains can become deep-set and difficult to remove. Although you can find over-the-counter products to help whiten teeth at home, your dentist can provide you with the most effective treatments to get you the best results without sensitivity.

How Can My Dentist Help?

Dentists often provide cosmetic whitening treatments that go further than at-home treatments. At-home options can sometimes remove extrinsic stains or surface-level stains. However, professional treatments can reach deeper intrinsic stains that accumulate over years of stain deposition due to food, liquids such as wine, and coffee or tobacco use. In many cases, your dentist can offer you professional-grade treatments both in the office with Zoom or with take-home kits that can be done in the comfort of your own home.to take home Both are effective and are supervised by your dental health provider.

What Causes Teeth Stains?

There are a lot of things that can cause stains to develop due to regular exposure and frequency of consumption. The biggest culprits are things like coffee and red wine, along with smoking and tobacco use. In addition, the normal process of aging can cause the teeth to yellow and gray over time. Additionally, some medical conditions, medications, or injuries can cause discoloration along with poor oral care habits.

What is the Zoom Whitening Process?

The Zoom bleaching process is a great way to whiten teeth in a professional setting for transformative results. It begins with an in-depth assessment and pumicing of the teeth. Your mouth is isolated to prevent any bleach from touching delicate mouth tissue such as gums and cheeks. A special peroxide-based solution is placed on the teeth for 3-4 15 minute intervals. The solution is catalyzed by a special UV light which optimizes the process for quick results.

Additionally, you may get customized trays for maintenance of the procedure. Zoom whitening lasts 9-24 months depending on your individual habits and can be repeated yearly.

How Should I Care for My Teeth After Whitening?

It’s important to practice good oral care after your Zoom treatments. This includes brushing and flossing, as well as avoiding stain-causing factors for the first 24-48 hours. For the best results, you can use your at-home treatment system to touch up any stains that do form. Dr. Chern usually recommends in-office treatments yearly to maintain results as part of your hygiene program.

Schedule an Appointment

Professional teeth whitening is a great and easy way to boost your confidence. To learn more, we invite you to meet with our Manhattan team by calling or filling out our online form.

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, veneers are hard to beat. The fact is, they can be an effective solution to many different concerns like misshapen, discolored, misaligned, or chipped teeth with long-term results. They can even make you look 10-20 years younger by improving wrinkles and building up the lip support of your lower face. If you’re considering veneers, it’s important to know what to expect from your dentist who can create the ideal treatment plan for you.

What are veneers?

Veneers are thin coverings made from either porcelain or composite material. They are placed over the visible surface of each tooth— and they look, feel, and function better than natural teeth. Because they cover each individual tooth, they can be custom-made using digital scans so they meet your esthetic and functional needs. Veneers can last for twenty plus years with the right care, making them a great long-term solution for creating a more youthful and beautiful smile.

How can they change my smile?

Veneers cover your existing teeth and are very durable and strong. They can improve concerns with chips, cracks, color, staining, medicine-induced discoloration, misshapen teeth and misalignment. They also have the power to  improve worn teeth and restore better function and lip support, making for a more youthful and beautiful esthetic.

Are there different types of veneers?

There are two main types of veneers— porcelain and composite resin. Each one has different properties and benefits. Composite resin veneers can be less costly, require very little alteration of the natural teeth and can be completed in one appointment. They are not as durable as porcelain veneers and may be more susceptible to staining. On the other hand, porcelain veneers can be more expensive but offer the best esthetics and durability. They require specialized fabrication by a laboratory, meaning you may need multiple appointments to prepare your existing teeth and have them fitted.

What’s the difference between a crown and a veneer?

Crowns can often serve a similar function to veneers when it comes to cosmetic and restorative dentistry. However, it’s important to know that a crown covers the whole tooth whereas a veneer covers only the outer visible surface. In most cases, crowns are utilized when more tooth structure requires support whereas veneers restore the appearance of the tooth and conceal any concerns.

How long is the procedure to get veneers?

This depends on the type of veneer you opt for. Composite veneers can be completed in one to two appointments because the resin material can be applied to the teeth right at our Midtown Manhattan office. Porcelain veneers, because they require fabrication from a lab, will require more than one appointment for scanning, preparing, and fitting.

Schedule an Appointment

Veneers are an excellent way to transform your smile for the long term. To learn more about your options and meet with Dr. Inna Chern & her dentistry team, we invite you to contact New York General Dentistry by calling or filling out our online form.

Dental technology is constantly improving, meaning higher quality and more comfortable care for the patient. Dr. Chern is now using the newly developed iTero Element Scanner in her practice to create precise and accurate models of the teeth using a method that is both more efficient for her practice and more comfortable and simpler for the patient. Here are a few reasons why New York General Dentistry has chosen the iTero Element Scanner. 

Avoid Mess & Discomfort

For years, patients had to undergo impressions for their dentist or orthodontist to create models of their teeth. This involved goopy trays that were messy and uncomfortable. Many patients are familiar with the gagging sensation that traditional impressions can cause. 

The iTero Element Scanner is a high-tech replacement for these impressions. Instead of waiting for the impressions to solidify with bulky trays over the teeth, a small handpiece is used to scan the teeth and gums in only a few minutes. There are no messy materials to deal with, and the patient can feel more relaxed and comfortable as the images are collected. Patients can relax and comfortably breathe throughout the procedure, which typically takes just three to five minutes.

Precise Technology

One of the major benefits of the iTero scanner is that it creates precise and accurate 3D models of the patient’s teeth. The images are produced in real-time as the dentist scans the teeth. In addition, these digital models allow your dentist or orthodontist to effectively predict changes to the teeth because of their proposed treatment plan by simply and easily manipulating the images.

Easy and Efficient 

While the technology used in iTero imaging is advanced and radiation-free, it is intuitive to use, and dental professionals can quickly master the program to best serve their patients. The machine is also relatively small, meaning that it fits seamlessly into the office for added convenience. Finally, the software makes it simple for your dentist to save data, allowing them to focus more on your care without worrying about losing track of records. 

Many Uses

There are many circumstances that require your dentist to create a model of your teeth and gums, meaning there are many applications that make the iTero Element Scanner useful. In particular, the program is designed to work seamlessly with Invisalign technology, making it simple for your dentist to develop an Invisalign plan for you in real-time. The iTero scanner can also be useful in restorative and implant dentistry as your dentist works to create crowns, veneers, or dental implants. Finally, there are some instances when your dentist will wish to make a model of the teeth during a routine exam. For example, the iTero scanner can be helpful in visualizing cavities or other tooth decay or damage. With its time-lapse technology, it also allows patients to visualize quantitative changes in their mouth ( ie enamel wear, recession, and tooth movement). Itero takes the patient education experience to the highest level of technology. You will be able to see an exact rendering of what Dr. Chern and her team see.

Schedule an Appointment 

If you require dental care in New York City, schedule an appointment with Dr. Inna Chern at New York General Dentistry in Midtown East Manhattan. Call (212) 838-0842 or request your appointment through our online form.

If you’ve ever had concerns about your oral health, you know it can be stressful to wonder if it’s time to call your dentist or not. There are times when it’s appropriate to call your dentist and even necessary. At other times, you can simply manage the issue at home. Here’s a cheat sheet for the most common symptoms and what to do to alleviate them. 

Tooth Pain

Tooth pain and toothaches are usually caused by cavities, infected nerves, and fractured teeth. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve pain. If medications are needed to alleviate the pain, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. If you need to wait to see your dentist because it’s nighttime (and pain is often worse at night), it can be helpful to sleep propped up on a few pillows and to take an NSAID before bed. This can often help with throbbing. If you’re traveling and the pain is severe, contact your dentist and their office can prescribe antibiotics, which can ease an irreversibly damaged nerve until you can come in for an appointment.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can be caused by increased tension in your head and neck muscles or damage to the TMJ rather than your teeth. Occasional jaw pain can be managed with medications and compresses. The key is to mention occasional discomfort at your next check-up appointment so that your dentist can find the source of your pain. Jaw pain can be an indicator of a clenching or grinding problem. If the pain in your jaw is constant, it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible to get a diagnosis and start working on a treatment plan so permanent damage to your joint and teeth doesn’t occur. Patients with jaw pain should generally avoid chewing gum, hard foods, and opening their mouth too wide. Treatments for jaw pain include NSAIDs, muscle relaxer therapy, oral appliance fabrication, Botox therapy, dental restorative therapy, and sometimes surgery.

Sensitivity

Sensitivity while eating or drinking things that have extreme temperatures can be an indication of gum (periodontal) issues or cavities. In this case, it’s important to see your dentist to find the source of the sensitivity. If the issue is cavities, restorative dentistry can alleviate the problem. If the sensitivity is gum-related, then there are some options like special toothpastes, cleanings, and grafting surgery. If you can’t see your dentist right away, stick to milder foods and start on a toothpaste such as Tom’s of Maine Rapid Relief (specially formulated to help sensitivity in 60 seconds) or Sensodyne. 

Swelling

Swelling (with or without pain) is a major concern and can lead to hospitalization and death. If you have any head or neck swelling, call your dentist as soon as possible. Swelling can grow quickly and cause issues with breathing. If you have issues with swallowing or breathing, bypass your dentist and go straight to your emergency room or call 911. Dental swellings can be treated with antibiotics, root canal therapy, extraction, and drainage procedures. Dental swelling is one of the more serious issues in dentistry and should not be taken lightly. This will not resolve on its own so contact your dentist as soon as you notice a change in the symmetry of your head and neck!

Schedule a Consultation

Maintaining optimal oral health is important and will contribute to your overall health! Our integrative approach will provide you everything you need to know to stay healthy and symptom-free for the long term. Make an appointment today with Dr. Chern and her team to get started on a better smile! You can get started by calling or filling out our online form.