Tooth damage and decay can not only affect your oral health, but they can be a source of self-consciousness if not treated. Fortunately, porcelain crowns are a great long-term solution. It can seem daunting to wonder what to expect, so talking with your dentist about your options is a great place to start. Here’s what to know about the process and how porcelain crowns can help transform your smile.

What is a Porcelain Crown?

A porcelain crown is a fixed prosthetic that is attached to the tooth. Crowns replace the entire outside of the tooth down to the gum level, and are designed to look and feel the same as your natural, healthy teeth. This sets porcelain crowns apart from crowns made from other materials (like gold or other metals) which are more noticeable. Metal crowns vary from porcelain crowns in terms of their durability and biocompatibility, so each type will come with some benefits.

Why Do I Need Porcelain Crowns?

Most patients who opt for crowns are trying to preserve their teeth after damage or decay. If a portion of the tooth is visibly damaged, your dentist might recommend porcelain crowns to repair the tooth and improve your smile. In some cases, porcelain crowns can be placed on either side of missing teeth in order to support a dental bridge.

Porcelain Crown

What is the Porcelain Crown Procedure Like?

During your initial visit, Dr. Chern will take a look at the damaged or decayed tooth and prepare it to receive a crown. This involves reshaping the tooth by filing the top and sides so that the crown can properly fit around it. During this step, Dr. Chern will also treat any decay. An impression of the tooth is then made so the crown can be custom-made. Our porcelain crowns are always custom-made and sculpted to suit the size, shape, and color of your teeth so your results aren’t noticeable. Porcelain crowns are made in a dental lab, so you’ll need a second appointment to have the crown fitted.

Once the porcelain crown is made, it can be placed over the tooth. Dr. Chern will first make sure it properly fits and make any adjustments before permanently cementing the crown in place. After placement, Dr. Chern will schedule a follow-up appointment to check up on your crown and make sure it’s functioning properly.

How to Care for Porcelain Crowns

Getting the most out of your porcelain crowns is largely dependent on a good oral hygiene routine. Make sure to brush your teeth, including the crown, twice daily using an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush with soft bristles. You should also floss daily or use a Waterpik. Make sure to cut back on soft drinks and sugary foods to minimize further decay, and schedule regular dental checkups every 4-6 months with Dr. Chern. This can help you maintain your results and keep a healthy mouth for the long term.

Schedule an Appointment

Porcelain crowns are an excellent option for restoring your smile and keeping your teeth healthy. To meet with Dr. Chern and learn more about your options, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.

April is National Stress Awareness Month, and it’s likely that you know at least a little about stress and its negative effects on your body and mental health. But, one important thing to know is that stress can take a major toll on your teeth and jaw as well. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to take the right steps if you experience high amounts of stress and suffer from dental symptoms as a result. Here’s why stress is bad for your teeth and what you can do about it.

Bruxism

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common accompaniment to times of stress. It can also mean excessive teeth clenching. There are a handful of reasons that this is bad for your teeth, the greatest of which is that it can wear down your enamel over time and even damage or crack your teeth. Although clenching your teeth during stressful times is common, it becomes a concern if you do it while sleeping or constantly throughout the day as it puts excess pressure on your teeth and TMJ. Both are parafunctional habits that exacerbate the amount of force placed on your eating and speaking mechanism. During normal function, we exert up to 200lbs of force on teeth. In excess, these forces can become threefold and cause immediate or chronic damage to enamel and joints in the head and neck.

TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the one that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull and upper jaw. It is an intricate system incorporating various muscles, tendons, and bones. Unfortunately, the joint and it’s musculature can become subject to tension and stress that cause symptoms including pain, discomfort when opening the mouth, tightness, clicking, and even locking in place. In some people, it can even cause excessive headaches, migraines, searches, and neck pain. In severe cases, the joint may start to degenerate causing a shift in the alignment of the jaw.

What can I do to protect my teeth and TMJ?

People’s stress levels are at an all-time high given the COVID-19 virus and its effects on everyday life and our health. The best way to start protecting your teeth is by managing your stress levels. This can be a huge task especially if your workplace or lifestyle includes lots of stress, but it’s integral to making sure you maintain your oral health for the long term. If this seems like too big of a task to handle on your own, consider seeing a mental health professional who can give you ways to manage your stress levels. Natural stress relievers include exercise, yoga, and meditation.

Additionally, your dentist can give you a deprogrammer for muscle tension or create a bite guard to wear at night or during periods of stress to protect your teeth from damage. The appliance is a small tray that fits snugly on your teeth and provides a protective surface to buffer excess stress. The guard also opens the TMJ relationship allowing muscles and joints to relax.. Injectables such as Botox® can prevent excessive grinding as well as allow your TMJ to recover from symptoms like inflammation and discomfort for up to 4 months at a time. Botox immobilizes the muscles so they can not become tense.  Finally, your dentist can ensure that your teeth are remaining healthy and recommend restorative options if your teeth are suffering from excessive wear.

Schedule an Appointment

Stress can take a toll on your mental, physical, and dental health, so it’s important to take the right steps. To meet with Dr. Chern and get started on your treatment options, we invite you to contact our Midtown East Manhattan office by calling or filling out our online form.

Currently, our world and society are in a pandemic of epic proportion. This global pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and staying home has been the primary message to help minimize the spread of disease. Many people are concerned about their overall health and the strong correlation between systemic and dental health can’t be ignored. So the question becomes, how do we maintain our dental health and can we see our dental healthcare provider? The American Dental Association (ADA) has recognized its members and patients who have questions about whether dentists should continue to provide care during the COVID19 pandemic. Our Midtown team at New York General Dentistry is working hard to provide care to our patients while complying with the guidelines set by the CDC and the state of New York.

How to Prevent Transmission of COVID19?

The primary steps to follow in any pandemic is prevention. What steps can you take to protect yourself and those around you from contracting this novel virus? It is important to follow the 5 steps set by the World Health Organization to prevent contracting coronavirus.

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Don’t touch your face with dirty hands.
  • Keep a safe distance from others (6 feet) and avoid group gatherings.
  • Stay home at all costs unless unavoidable.

COVID19 and Receiving Dental Care

One of the main questions that we have been receiving during this time is: can patients still receive proper dental care during this pandemic. It is important during this time to adhere to the ADA policy of emergency treatment only. Any elective care can be postponed till the pandemic lessens in magnitude. This restriction protects the patients, staff and doctor. The ADA has listed different dental procedures that can be rescheduled or need to be taken care of right away:

Non-essential Dental Care

  • Regular visits for exams, cleanings, and x-rays
  • Regular visits for braces
  • Removal of teeth that aren’t painful
  • TMJ treatments
  • Treatment of cavities that aren’t painful
  • Elective cosmetic procedures such as veneers, botox, bonding and tooth whitening

Essential Dental Care

  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • Pain in a tooth, teeth, or jawbone
  • Gum infection with pain or swelling
  • After surgery treatment (dressing change, stitch removal)
  • Broken or knocked-out tooth
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue
  • Snipping or adjusting orthodontics that are causing pain
  • Denture adjustment for people receiving radiation or other treatment for cancer

This pandemic has led to major disruptions in everyday life and medical treatments. We are implementing these measures to ensure that we keep our staff, patients, and our society safe and healthy. If you need emergency dental care, feel free to contact us for the next steps.

How to Maintain Your Oral and General Health While Quarantined?

When quarantined at home, make sure to follow your regular routine of hygiene. If you have extra time, try to set the goal of improving your oral hygiene so when you do see your dentist, there is less of a chance of issues (cavities or gum disease). Some tips to maintain oral health are:

  • Eat healthy and nutritious foods. Think of vegetables and fruit.
  • Floss or use a water flosser at least once a day
  • Brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes
  • Have vitamin-c on hand to increase general health.
  • Rinse with mouthwash to reduce gingivitis.
  • Try to stay active.
  • Meditate to keep calm, stress can lower your immune system and increase inflammation.

What to Do in Case of a Medical or Dental Issue?

If you have a medical or dental issue during this stressful time, reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as possible to be screened for the level of emergency and proper next steps. It is crucial to avoid the emergency room in every way. Our office has implemented Teledentistry and FaceTime consults to aid in diagnosis and treatment. If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact our Manhattan team. We are working together to help stop the spread of this novel virus to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Final Note From Dr. Chern:

I have been involved in dentistry for almost 30 years from roles as a dental assistant to dentist. There was never a time in my life where I could not practice the profession that I love, so this has been a very humbling experience for me. Everyday that goes by, I miss my staff and patients, who have become my family over the years. Helping people with their oral health was my purpose for so long! I am hopeful this will all resolve soon and meditate every day on what the lesson for all of us as a society is? I truly believe that only after a disaster, can we be resurrected. I am hoping that as a whole our society is resurrected for the better!!!

Many people suffer from pesky white spots on their teeth. It’s common and it’s nothing to worry about. But it can make you feel self-conscious about your smile and appearance. 

As a dentist, (and a person!) I think everyone should pursue a beautiful smile. Fortunately, thanks to new high-tech treatments, getting the smile of your dreams doesn’t have to be painful. 

There are great minimally-invasive whitening options available!

Oftentimes, patients come to see me because another dentist told them to bleach their teeth or spend a lot of money on veneers to fix the white spots on their teeth. I love giving second opinions and sharing my expertise. Working closely with my patients, I try to find the best possible option for their needs.

I’ve tried a variety of white spot treatments and until ICON, nothing was this reliable, non-invasive, and painless.

What are white spots and where do they come from?

White spots on teeth are caused by several factors, including fluorosis and demineralization. White spots may be seen from the time the tooth erupts into the mouth or may become apparent after orthodontic bracket removal. 

Fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride being deposited on the teeth during development. The teeth erupt with white or even brown spots on their surfaces. Demineralization of tooth structure may be caused by bacteria, nutritional deficits, and some medications taken while teeth are developing. 

Everyone’s mouth is full of bacteria! Most are harmless, but the cavity-causing bacteria love to grow in highly acidic environments created after eating food. This makes brushing after meals very important. Braces and dental appliances make brushing in those hard-to-reach areas difficult. As bacteria accumulate around the glued brackets and prosthetics, demineralization occurs and white spots form.

White spots can also form as a result of nutritional deficits. If you’re not getting enough of the minerals which strengthen enamel, your teeth can weaken and white spots can result. People who have celiac disease and can’t eat gluten often get white spots because they have issues absorbing minerals through digestion.

Some medications, particularly antibiotics, cause white spots to form in areas of enamel development. This is especially common in children and pregnant women because as teeth are developing in the baby/child, any interruption in the process may harm proper enamel production.

What is ICON and how does it work?

ICON is a revolutionary treatment to treat white spots at any point of their development. It can be used to help both children and adults who were born with these white spots and for those who developed white spots after orthodontic treatment. 

  • NO DRILL – Is it even possible? YES!
  • NO PAIN – Can it be? YES!

ICON is an ADA-approved micro-invasive dental treatment to remove white spots in as little as 15-30 minutes. 

ICON works by opening the pores of the tooth enamel. This lets us dry the white spots out and fill them in with a material perfectly matching the natural color of your teeth. ICON also prevents against future white spots and even makes your teeth stronger than they were before!

Benefits of ICON

  1. Stops cavities in their tracks
  2. NO drilling & NO pain
  3. Promotes long-lasting and healthy tooth structure
  4. Very comfortable!
  5. Can be combined with teeth bleaching treatments for exceptional results
  6. See for yourself!

    This is a before & after photo showing how ICON helped removed white spots from this person’s teeth!

    Schedule your appointment today

    If you want to know if ICON is right for you, call (212) 838-0842 for more information and say good-bye to white spots forever!

We put a premium on the value of a beautiful smile. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, everyone definitely wants teeth that are perfectly straight! Straight teeth are a HUGE request in dental offices across the United States.

Personally, I had metal braces as a child, as did many of my friends growing up. In those days, parents were trained to take their kids to an orthodontist as part of their dental care. Straight teeth were and are definitely the norm in the US. Beyond aesthetics, straight teeth provide for better hygiene and fewer cavities. They also increase oral volume and airflow which reaps systemic benefits throughout a person’s life.

No time to read the entire post? Here’s everything you need to know:

  1. I became Invisalign-certified in 2004, but was disappointed with its inconsistent results.
  2. New technology has greatly improved Invisalign and I now recommend it wholeheartedly.
  3. I’ve used Invisalign myself and my daughter will be starting it soon, too.
  4. Smile Direct Club and Candid are new DIY clear braces by mail services. Without the supervision of a dentist or orthodontist, you’re putting your health at risk.
  5. Call (212) 838-0842 to schedule your Invisalign consultation.

Technology changed how we straighten teeth

The advent of digital technology over the last 15 years has opened the door to easier and more predictable ways to achieve a straighter and healthier smile. Gone are the days of ugly metal brackets and painful monthly dental appointments.

So what changed?

Invisalign came around in 1997, offering clear removable aligners that gently reposition and straighten teeth. The first set of aligners were available to the public in 2000 and offered a more comfortable and effective way to straighten teeth. The first system focused on adult teeth and gave people the option of having healthier smiles in a more cosmetic and private way. The aligners were clear and couldn’t be seen by the average person.

The early days of Invisalign

After finishing my dental residency in 2004, I dove into earning my Invisalign certification.
Once I completed some intense orthodontic lectures, I was ready to start my first few Invisalign cases. At the time, I was practicing in Gramercy Park as an associate dentist. I completed a total of 10 cases during those first 2 years.

The outcomes were not where they are today.

The results were not as predictable as the technology suggested. The success of the aligners were dependent on the patient being very compliant and wearing Invisalign consistently for 20-22 hours a day.

I had patients lose trays, have their dog chew them, and just down right not wear them or put in the wrong sequence.

The exorbitant lab bill and lack of consistent results led me to stop doing Invisalign for a few years after. I didn’t want to charge patients for a service that, from my point of view, wasn’t delivering. Plus, I wasn’t an orthodontist who could tweak things using traditional braces and adjustments.

Invisalign comes into its own

I watched and waited as the technology of 3D printing improved. Finally, I decided to give Invisalign another try in 2016.

I couldn’t be happier with the results and outcomes.

Invisalign has truly evolved into an amazing resource for discreet and comfortable tooth movement. The aligners use 3D scanning and printing technology to create a virtual image of your mouth. It’s awesome!

What you’ll get with Invisalign

  • The Clincheck system then allows you to see the before and after of your smile transformation along with all the steps along the way.
  • Your aligners are numbered and your dentist can track your wear to ensure best results.
  • Each set of aligners is worn for 7-10 days for 20-22 hours and is easy to clean.
  • Believe it or not, hygiene actually improves for most patients as they’ll be more conscientious about taking care of their teeth.
  • You’ll be given a few sets of aligners at a time so you don’t have to schedule as many trips to see your dentist.

What you won’t get with Invisalign

Pain and mouth sores from traditional metal braces and brackets are inevitable. Plus you’ll be on a variety of food restrictions to avoid damaging your braces. With clear aligner technology like Invisalign, these problems are a thing of the past.

No pain, all gain!

My personal Invisalign experience

I recently treated myself with Invisalign and was really pleased with the results. No one was able to see them in my mouth and I experienced no pain or discomfort when changing aligners. This is nothing like my experience with traditional braces.

As my own guinea pig, I was able to really share in the experience with my patients.

What about Smile Direct Club or Candid?

A few patients have recently bought up the DIY aligners heavily marketed on television, radio, social media, podcasts, and in print.

The 2 main contenders are Smile Direct Club and Candid.

They offer similar services without the guidance of a dentist/orthodontist. Smile Direct was the first of the DIY aligner companies and like Candid offers consumers a mail order impression kit to take their own models, which get mailed and reviewed by an orthodontist.

A treatment plan is formulated and if a consumer accepts it, trays are mailed directly to the consumer to be worn on their own without guidance from a dental provider.

The company focuses on marketing the simplicity of use and lower cost.

I believe tooth movement and one’s occlusion (bite) are nothing to be played with. For every dollar you may save now, you will pay infinitely more to fix damage to your TMJ and bite.

Until recently, Invisalign owned shares of Smile Direct and was milling the aligners for them in their facility using the older Invisalign technology which I can attest was an inferior product.

As a dentist, I am occasionally asked about these companies, especially now that they have beautiful storefront retail spaces very close to my home and office in NYC.

I tell consumers to be careful as DIY orthodontics is a risky game to play.

The DIY aligners are for simple and moderate cases and offer no way of checking if the teeth are moving correctly and not harming your functionality and periodontal health. I currently have no patients using them.

Most people who are seeing a dentist regularly value professional supervision and expertise. The DIY aligners market to people who do not see a dentist regularly and often don’t want to. They also target people who want to save on healthcare and don’t value the role of a dental provider.

The long-term effects of the DIY aligner movement are hard to evaluate as of yet because the dental damage doesn’t happen right away. Improper movement of teeth can cause TMJ problems, airway problems, bite issues, and periodontal issues.

Live a healthy & happy life

I am an advocate of healthy living and getting the best quality of care in every aspect of your life. Seeing a dental provider, whether a dentist or orthodontist, is imperative when you’re thinking about straightening your teeth.

I really value Invisalign and their products. Their retainers (essential for maintaining your straight smile) are excellent and they are constantly working on improvements to their product.

What about Invisalign for teenagers?

Unlike the DIY clear braces kits, Invisalign offer aligners to teens. They have even released a light treatment which speeds up the movements — great for teens who may not have the patience for a long treatment program.

My daughter is starting Invisalign teen soon. While I have not tried the light yet, I am looking forward to learning more about it.

Is Invisalign for you?

When it comes to straightening teeth, my advice is to not skimp out on the highest level of care. If you’d like to learn more about Invisalign, schedule your appointment today. Let’s talk about giving you the smile you’ve always wanted!

You only get one set of teeth. Cherish them for the work they do to keep you healthy!

The evolution of oral health as a function of systemic health has bought dentistry into the forefront of integrative medicine. Issues with tooth alignment and oral cavity size/shape and oral inflammation have links to sleep apnea, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and a slew of other health issues.

I’m happy that dentistry has become a huge part of systemic health. I want to believe I’m helping people past the mere counting of teeth and filling cavities.

This being said, many people are afraid to come in for care. Often when a lot of time has gone by, they worry about being judged. Patients also harbor different expectations of pain and discomfort based on their previous experiences.

Overcoming anxiety

I recently had lunch with a friend who happens to be a patient of mine. We went for lunch prior to his appointment and he shared with me the slew of anxieties he usually faces prior to his medical and dental appointments. I asked him what he does to overcome them. Interestingly enough, he brought up CBD (cannabidiol) oils and tablets.

This prompted me to start reading a bit more literature on CBD products and how they pertain to dentistry and anxiety. What I found was truly amazing and prompted me to try the tablets for myself.

I make a habit of trying new products, dental or otherwise, before speaking to patients about them.

Finding the right CBD product

First of all, CBD products are not regulated by the FDA and are legal. Still, it was crucial to me to find a brand that had a great reputation for quality. Most CBD products can be purchased in stores or online and come in tablet or oil form in varying concentrations.

My experience with CBD

I decided to try a very small dose prior to going to bed when I was having a hard time falling asleep due to stress.

I felt very relaxed upon waking, but wasn’t convinced if this was a placebo effect or the merits of trying the CBD. I shared my experiences with a few colleagues and friends and found that many other dentists have tried the various products with similar success.

So, what is CBD???

The compound CBD (cannabidiol) is one of 113 identified cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa. It works directly on Serotonin and GABA receptors in the brain.

CBD research has mostly been conducted in animal studies and a few human studies, but is growing in popularity for several key systemic benefits. It has been shown to help with anxiety, sleep issues, seizures, acne-control, and inflammation. There is even some discussion as to whether CBD can cure cavities — although far more research is needed.

Dentistry and CBD

Insofar as dentistry is concerned, the anti-anxiety and inflammatory benefits of CBD are truly remarkable.

Many of my patients suffer from anxiety related to their healthcare appointments and most people suffer from differing levels of periodontal issues caused by inflammation (gingivitis). I can definitely see benefits in further research into those two categories.

A natural pill or oil that eases anxiety, yet leaves a patient fully functional while also lowering systemic inflammation and gingivitis sounds like a dream to me!

My conclusion

I am not yet fully ready to start recommending CBD products to patients as a form of treatment, but am definitely willing to have a conversation urging more research be done in that arena.

I also think it’s important to ask patients if they are using any medications (prescribed and herbal). When patients ask me about my thoughts on CBD, I urge them to make their own decisions and recommend they find a reputable company to purchase the products.

Personally, I like to take them occasionally before bed when I find it hard to fall asleep and would love to see more evidence-based research to support the benefits so I can start recommending them for anxiety and as an anti-inflammatory.

Natural products are a staple of my work and personal philosophy!

In the past year, I have embarked on an amazing journey to expand my dental knowledge in the direction of preventive and educational dentistry. Two years ago, I left my part-time position in academics to focus on private practice. But I missed the teaching aspect of my career and so decided to dive in to Spear Education. I have subsequently been doing online work for the past year and have gone to Arizona to their facility to train twice.

Sleep apnea prevention with airway prosthodontics

The most fascinating part of this experience is their new focus on airway prosthodontics. This is not to be mistaken with sleep apnea dentistry. Sleep apnea dentistry is the final result of a problem that the Spear Education system says can be predicted and even prevented with early intervention.

Evaluating (and improving) how you breathe

Airway prosthodontics is the evaluation and treatment of the breathing systems of an individual which may cause a multitude of problems including:

  • Bruxism (tooth grinding)
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sleep apnea
  • Irritability
  • Cardiovascular problem

Don’t ignore tooth grinding and clenching

In my practice, as many as 80% of my adult patients grind or clench their teeth. Research shows that 50% of these individuals are likely to have airway issues. This number jumps to almost 100% in children under the age of 12.

Traditional treatments

The traditional approach to treatment is to make a night guard for adults and wait for children to “outgrow” this problem.

Recent airway theories maintain that the para-function of the jaw is to help the body get more air. With the traditional approach, the problem is already there and we are merely putting a bandage on it and not curing it.

In the realm of sleep apnea, the treatment involves appliances which move the lower jaw forward to open the airway, or CPAP appliances which push air into the airway with a mask worn during sleep. Unfortunately, research shows most patients are noncompliant with these forms of treatment due to discomfort. The average time spent wearing them is about 1-3 years.

Is there a better way?

These facts were very disheartening for me and I was eager to see if there was a better way to treat and identify these problems. At Spear Education, I began to learn how to identify people with potential problems.

The premise of what I learned was that a dentist can be the first person to identify possible airway issues. I started to ask people with bruxism and clenching about their sleep and if they had any issues breathing. I also started to look for people with septal issues in the nose and scalloped tongues which appeared big in the mouth and placed more emphasis on the alignment of people’s teeth.

Here’s what I found…

With this newfound information, I discovered a lot of people have some kind of issue involving their breathing and have never been approached by their healthcare provider — let alone a dentist.

I felt like I opened a door to helping people not only with their teeth but also with their systemic health.

The Seattle Protocol: Prevention, Treatment & Resolution

The Spear philosophy uses a format they have called the Seattle Protocol. It is a 6-step program that focuses on prevention, treatment, and resolution of the problem. The most interesting part of the protocol is the first step of nasal breathing training. Some people have a hard time breathing from their noses and can be trained in as little as 14 days to breath through their noses.

I have subsequently tried this method based on the Buteyko breathing clinic manual with great results. Watch the video below to learn more:

[et_pb_video src=”https://youtu.be/ClQqi87UAoQ” image_src=”//i.ytimg.com/vi/ClQqi87UAoQ/hqdefault.jpg” 

The remaining 5 steps of the protocol have to do with appliance therapy of different forms, which act to open airways. Once a patient is comfortable and breathing better, a resolution step to get them out of an appliance is formulated using a multi-disciplinary model. The resolution step involves multiple disciplines, such as otolaryngologists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons.

The key is that a patient will be given the steps to final resolution and not be forced to live with “bandages” forever.

Continuing my journey and helping my patients

I am still learning more about the role I can play in airway health, but this new addition to my dental knowledge has added a layer to my profession that can really impact people‘s systemic health. This is very rewarding!

By the time most people are diagnosed with sleep apnea, they often have several other problems including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and oral issues such as bruxism.

I look forward to educating patients both young and old about not only their oral health but the signs of possible long-term problems related to their breathing.

If you’d like to learn more about your airway health, schedule your appointment at New York General Dentistry today.

In today’s blog post you’ll learn more about Dr. Inna Chern and her approach to your care at New York General Dentistry…

Where are you from and how did you become a dentist?

I’m proud to say that I was lucky enough to hail from the best city in the world, New York.

I grew up on the Upper West Side until I was about to enter middle school. At the age of 10, I moved to Forest Hills, Queens where I completed my middle school and high school. It’s also where I started my dental career at the age of 15.

Like any other teenager, I wanted “stuff”. My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic from an early age. If I wanted something that I didn’t need, I needed to earn it. I got my first real job in a dental office across the street from my house, working as a dental assistant and receptionist.

These opportunities were my biggest blessings because from that point on, I knew with full certainty that I wanted to become a dentist.

I have to thank Dr. Ira Morrow and Dr. Mitchell Greenberg!!! I am still in touch with Dr. Greenberg and I still don’t think he can really know how grateful I am for the opportunities he gave me as a teenager.

After high school, I attended New York University in the East Village. I loved New York City so much, I couldn’t envision leaving it for college. I studied psychology and chemistry. On the weekends, I continued working in dentistry and became the treasurer for the newly formed Pre-Dental Society at NYU.

I went to SUNY Stony Brook for dental school. It was a challenging program that gave me an amazing education. After attending such a large undergraduate university, I was grateful to have such an intimate experience in graduate school. The professors, staff, and patients were like a big family— and from that point on, I knew how I wanted to practice.

I wanted my future practice to be a family and a home.

What do you love about New York?

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I truly believe New York is the best city in the world. You can find anything you are looking for here— arts, music, food, nightlife etc. More importantly, it’s a place where you can find yourself as an individual. New Yorkers embrace uniqueness and although usually in a hurry, greet people without judgement. I don’t think this sentiment resonates in many places around the world.

My favorite places in the city are the Guggenheim, Brooklyn, and Whitney Museums. In the summer, I love taking the ferries which run along the waterway to Governor’s Island and the Long Island CIty/ Brooklyn waterfront.

A perfect day for me would be wandering around the city and exploring the ever-evolving neighborhoods of Manhattan and neighboring boroughs.

What do you like to do when you’re not seeing patients?

I have been a long distance runner since I was 16. During my travels around the world, my sneakers are always with me and helped me to see a lot of beautiful places. I have run 4 marathons and 13 half marathons.

I even ran the 2017 NYC marathon as my 40th birthday present to myself. I’m also proud to say that my daughter has now shown a love for running which allows me to spend time with her as well. Another passion of mine is yoga.

When I’m not working, running, or practicing yoga, my biggest priority is my family. I have an 11 year old daughter who you may sometimes see at the office along with my husband. I look at my office as my home away from home, so it’s nice to have them come by to help out. Special thanks to my husband for his IT support!

I secretly hope one day that my daughter will want to follow in my footsteps. For now though, she is happy to help make hygiene goody bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss!

What was the biggest surprise about being a dentist you didn’t learn in dental school?

The biggest surprise about being a dentist is how many people I meet who are afraid of “me”. Well not me, but of the profession.

It’s unfortunate that people have had such negative experiences at a dentist’s office. Part of our practice philosophy is to undo some of that damage and replace it with a love of dentistry and what it can offer.

I want people to see it as achieving health and longevity in a fun way!

What keeps you interested in dentistry?

Dentistry is constantly evolving. It’s impossible to get bored. When I look back at the things I saw when I was an assistant, dentistry today feels like a whole new world. The digital and cosmetic advances are outstanding. I’m a naturally curious person so the limitless information available in our field keeps it new, exciting, and fun.

In the last year, I have found an amazing educational philosophy and program based in Scottsdale, Arizona called Spear Education. I have never been so excited for my field and learning is so much fun.

What do you think will be the biggest change in dentistry during the course of your career?

I think with the advancement of implant technology, no one will suffer from tooth loss and be forced to wear dentures. Another new dental development which is just starting to blossom is airway medicine and its diagnosis in the dental office. The mouth is the entryway to the digestive tract but also the airway.

Here at New York General Dentistry, we’re at the forefront of diagnosing people with airway problems.

What do you love about New York General Dentistry?

I think the coolest thing about our office is the feeling you get when you walk in the door.

We want everyone to feel relaxed and at home. We’re constantly trying to find ways to make the experience at our office effortless, friendly, and patient driven.

We want everyone to leave empowered, aware of their dental needs, and healthy.

What are you most excited about for the future?

I am excited about my academic coursework and to share this knowledge with my patients. I am also excited to welcome our newest staff member to the practice — my mom.

She spent her career as an administrator and HR director. She recently retired and I was hinting to her to come join our dental family. When our office manager of 7 years left in September to move out of the city, I knew it would be a hard seat to fill since our patients loved her.

But I know my mother Julie will care for our dental family as I care for them, which is priceless.

What are the best ways to be healthy?

My general tips for a healthy life are simple…

  • Eat healthy
  • Sleep well
  • Exercise regularly

And don’t forget to visit your dentist. Remember, all digestion starts in your mouth so taking care of your mouth is essential to eating well and maintaining systemic health.

If you could sum it up, what’s your overall philosophy about health and dentistry?

Our philosophy is simple:

A healthy life resonates in all aspects of your body. Inflammation is the root of all disease and we should work hard on reducing it so we can live long. Your mouth is a direct indicator of inflammation.

A visit to your dentist is an investment in your health and wellness.

The first step to oral and systemic health is picking up the phone and calling your dentist and physician. We promise we don’t judge whether it’s been one year or ten. Just come!!!

You’re a winner the minute you walk through our door!

What would people be most surprised to learn about dental health?

Inflammation in the mouth has been linked to many other problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Periodontal health or lack of it can be a marker for larger issues in the body. Your dentist can often be the first person to notice these systemic changes. Also, with the advent of airway dentistry, we can be the first person to address breathing problems!

Why should patients come see you at New York General Dentistry?

You should come to our office if you are looking for a unique experience. We take our job as educators very seriously and want patients to leave empowered.

Ready to learn more?
Schedule your appointment online or learn more about New York General Dentistry.

Recently, I’ve noticed something at my practice. There’s a growing number of patients who come in for routine care and complain of TMJ related problems like tooth grinding (bruxism) and clenching. Even more surprising is that patients of all ages are suffering these problems. At New York General Dentistry, my patients range in age from 3 to 92 years old and anyone can suffer from TMJ pain.

After a thorough comprehensive exam of the TMJ and evaluation of a patient’s medical and dental history, I’ve found nearly 60% of my patients report some form of TMJ pain starting at as young as 7 years old.

The dangers of teeth grinding


The biggest problems associated with grinding and clenching are TMJ damage, wearing away of healthy tooth structure, and head/neck pain, which includes migraines and tension headaches.

TMJ pain

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short, is the joint which contributes to the movement of the jaw and connects the lower jaw to the head. It has a thin disc which separates the two components. When a person grinds their teeth, they are exerting up to 5 times the normal force on the disc. The disc can thin out or skirt up leading to clicking and popping sounds and chronic pain. The deterioration of the joint can happen abruptly or over the course of several years.

Enamel loss

The wearing away of enamel from the teeth is an equally concerning matter.

The forces from grinding and clenching can be up to 800 pounds per square inch. This extreme force can cause enamel to break or wear away over time. People with fillings and dental work often come in with broken restorations caused by grinding and clenching. In many cases, their restorations are fairly new and would normally last longer.

Another consequence of lost enamel is that the facial structure begins to collapse. If you’ve ever seen a person with no teeth, they often look sunken and sallow. This same effect can occur over years of grinding and clenching.

Head and neck pain

The final issue of head and neck pain is often overlooked by medical doctors. When a person is grinding their teeth, the muscles in the face and neck area are in spasm. If you were going to the gym for a workout and overdid it…you’d be sore …RIGHT?

The same happens to the muscles of the face and neck, which can manifest as neck pain and migraines.

What causes tooth grinding?

The direct cause of tooth grinding is not fully known. However, a huge contributing factor is stress. Anything you can do to alleviate your stress will definitely help.

Stop grinding your teeth at New York General Dentistry

For patients who grind their teeth or who suffer from TMJ pain, I start by taking an extensive history of the symptoms and performing a thorough TMJ evaluation.

I may recommend occlusal splints, nightguards, and acupuncture. Now there is even evidence that Botox can work wonders in relaxing the muscles that cause the grinding.

The most important step is to see your dentist and start the process of diagnosis and treatment. Want to learn more? Schedule your consultation today.

Implants are becoming more and more common these days and patients are using them routinely to replace missing teeth both in the back and front of the mouth.

The standard of making temporaries for this area has been a flipper which is an appliance that comes in and out of the mouth. Eating with it can be difficult and patients are looking for alternatives to removing this prosthetic from the mouth. A tried and true technique of creating a Maryland bridge from fiber reinforced composite material is a great and cost effective alternative.

I have had several patients who are very pleased with the fit and appearance of these restorations. They involve minimal grooves to be placed in neighboring teeth which can later be filled with regular filling material. This alternative makes the wait time to place a permanent crown much more pleasant, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing to the patient.