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?
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.