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.

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.

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!!!

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.