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3 Qualities to Look for in an Endodontist

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Endodontics is one of the nine specialty areas in dentistry that are recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA).

An Endodontist is a dentist who focuses exclusively on treating issues affecting dental pulp – the inner part of a tooth composed of living connective tissue and cells. The most common endodontic procedure is the root canal. Because of the difficulty of working inside the tooth, special training is required to become an endodontist. While all endodontists are dentists, only three percent of dentists are endodontists!

For patients seeking specialized dental treatment, here are three qualities to look for in an endodontist:

1. ADA-Accredited Training and Board Certification

To practice endodontics, a specialist must complete first four years at an accredited dental school, and then two additional years of specialized education at an accredited postdoctoral endodontics program. Look for a specialist who has completed all of these studies at an American Dental Association-accredited program. You may want to ask if each endodontist is a diplomat of the American Board of Endodontics – a separate, voluntary process indicating high level of dedication to patient care, ethical practices, and continuing education.

2. Offers the Latest Treatment Techniques and Technologies

Endodontists that remain on the cutting edge of their profession are making a conscience effort to continually improve their skills, and the experience and outcome of their patients. Look for endodontic practices that have invested in and practice with the latest treatment techniques and technology. Specifically inquire about the use of advanced endodontic microscopes, imaging technology, and sedation options.

3. Specializes in Your Specific Treatment Needs

Ideally you want to select and be referred to an endodontist who has built a successful practice through years of experience. A highly-experienced endodontist has often built a reputation for focusing on a particular area, or areas, of specialization within their field. For example, some endodontists focus on offering emergency dental interventions while others may dedicate almost their entire practice to performing root canals. When searching for an endodontist, be sure to ask about his or her experience performing the endodontic treatment you need.

Endodontists are specialists in saving teeth. By helping you keep your natural teeth, you are spared additional interventions such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. If you are in need of endodontic treatment, contact New York City Endodontics to schedule you consultation and let us help you enjoy a restored, happy, healthy smile.

Cracked Teeth - Causes and Treatment

Cracked Teeth – Causes and Treatment

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Teeth are incredibly strong, but they are not indestructible. Cracked teeth are a common occurrence in dentistry. Diagnosing a cracked tooth and developing an appropriate treatment plan to preserve the tooth, when possible, and ensure its longevity are critical to helping dental patients maintain their natural smile.

Causes

There are several reasons why a tooth may crack. Often, a tooth will crack if its structural integrity has already been compromised by previous trauma or invasive dental treatment. For instance, an tooth with a large filling is more prone to cracking. Grinding your teeth at night also increases the wear and tear on your teeth, increasing the chances that one may crack. Eating hard foods, such as ice or hard candy, can cause a weakened tooth to literally crack under pressure.

Some of the most common symptoms of a cracked tooth include:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Pain when chewing
  • Spontaneous shooting pain
  • Excessive pain when eating sour or sweet foods

Treatment

There are many different types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depend on the type, location, and extent of the crack. In some situations, the crack in the tooth is not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen on a dental x-ray. But whether the dentist can see the crack or not, dental x-rays must be taken to examine the exact degree and location of the crack.

For minor cracks, your general dentist will be able to treat the tooth by removing the weakened area and place a filling in the tooth. For more severe cracks, your dentist may refer you for treatment by an endodontist. Endodontists are dentists specially-trained in saving diseased, damaged, or decaying teeth. If there is more than one cusp compromised, you might need a crown. In severe cases, your dentist may recommend a root canal due to the pulp of the tooth becoming damaged through the crack.

There are a number of ways to prevent cracking in teeth, such as avoiding hard foods and wearing a mouthguard while playing sports. Taking proper care of your teeth and going to the dentist for regular visits will help your keep your teeth healthy and in good shape. However, accidents do happen. In which case, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a cracked tooth, contact your dentist right away. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of a cracked tooth is essential for preventing further damage and perhaps the loss of the tooth entirely.

If you are suffering from a cracked tooth or multiple cracked teeth, schedule your appointment with New York City Endodontics today.

Apicoectomy Blog

Apicoectomy

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An Apicoectomy (a Microsurgical Procedure) is performed when tissues of the gum or mouth remain infected after a root canal. In such cases, the root tip (or the apex), needs to be removed as well as the surrounding infected tissue.

The Apicoectomy procedure must be performed by an oral surgeon, an endodontist who uses a special endodontic operating microscope (in addition to other microsurgical equipment).

New York City Endodontics has the cutting edge technology and the expertise gained from decades of experience to perform successful Apicoectomy procedures in New York City.

More on Endodontic Surgery

Endodontic (Greek for “inside the tooth”) treatment (often simply referred to as root canal surgery) is generally performed in cases where infection has occurred within the pulp cavity of the tooth.

Your tooth is made up of Enamel, Dentin, and Pulp — that’s 3 layers that all need protection and care. If an infection penetrates into the root canal (which many times happens in conjunction with tooth decay), a root canal surgery will likely need to be performed to carefully clean out of infection. Then the tooth is sealed and, often, a crown will be placed over that to strengthen the tooth underneath.

What Happens When the Root Canal is Not Enough?

Endodontic microsurgery just might be the best option when a tooth continues to experience or exhibit the qualities of recurring infection. Although the root canal procedure has an extremely high success rate, inflammation or infection can still persist.

Root-end resection (or Apicoectomy) is an effective treatment option which involves a small incision near the gum line. The gum tissue is shifted temporarily as a way to better gain access to inflamed or infected regions.

Next, the root tip is removed, then cleaned (we use a high tech ultrasonic instrument). A root-end filling is then placed as a way to seal the actual canal. We finish up the Apicoectomy by placing a few stitches to facilitate and quicken the healing process.

Apicoectomy Specialist in New York City

If you’d like to learn more about the Apicoectomy procedure, contact New York City Endodontics today. Together, we’ll discuss your treatment options with you and help you decide the best course of treatment for you. From the moment of your initial consultation and beyond, we’ll help you make the best choices and implement the best practices that will help you enjoy a healthy smile for the long haul.

Teeth Extractions Blog

Teeth Extractions

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Many of us might experience a wisdom tooth extraction, but some of us might be wondering what happens when a normal tooth needs to be removed (also called a tooth extraction).

For those of us who have a tooth which might be broken or even damaged by tooth decay, tooth extraction may be the only option. Of course, your dentist will always try to fix whatever problems arise by being conservative with natural tooth and gum structures. In many cases that might mean treating a tooth with a filling, perhaps a crown, or some other type of conservative treatment.

However, sometimes tooth loss and tooth extraction is inevitable. Sometimes there’s simply too much damage that has occurred and the tooth can no longer be repaired. In such cases, the tooth will require extraction if it is rendered unable to be saved.

Most Common Reasons for Tooth Extraction

Tooth extraction most often comes as a result of tooth decay, injury or emergency, or sometimes when a person has extra teeth that impede other teeth from coming in. Baby teeth might not always fall out in time for the arrival of the adult teeth, for instance.

Patients who opt for braces might need to have teeth extracted as teeth rearrange in the mouth to create a healthier, more symmetrical bite (and appearance).

Sometimes tooth extraction occurs due to other issues, for instance if teeth have become infected after an organ transplant operation due to the high risk of infection and lowered immune system that comes as a result.

Types of Tooth Extractions

If a tooth extraction procedure is deemed necessary, then it will fall under one of 2 types of extraction procedures.

There’s the simple extraction, which is performed on visible teeth that have already grown into place. This is a simple procedure that even general dentists can do — hence the name. The dentist will loosen the tooth with a specialized instrument (in this case called an elevator). The the dentist then uses forceps for tooth removal.

The other kind is called a surgical extraction, which is obviously going to be the more complex procedure. This method will be used when the tooth has been broken at the gum line or when the tooth has not yet fully erupted. Surgical extractions need to be performed by oral surgeons, endodontists like New York City Endodontics. During this procedure the dentist will make a small incision into the gum. Sometimes bone will need to be removed to facilitate the process, and sometimes the tooth will need to be cut into sections for easier removal.

Tooth Extraction Specialist in Queens, New York

If you have any additional questions about the tooth extraction procedure, contact New York City Endodontics today. We’ll go over all of the details during your initial consultation. Together, we’ll set you on the path to oral health wellness.

Wisdom Teeth Removal Blog

Wisdom Teeth Removal

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Wisdom tooth removal (also called wisdom tooth extraction) is the most common reason you’ll run into the endodontist, especially for patients who encounter an endodontist at a younger age.

While it is considered a surgical procedure, wisdom tooth extraction is commonplace and is done for the sake of making room so teeth don’t crowd via removing one (or more — in some cases 4!) wisdom teeth.

Your wisdom teeth are the 4 permanent (and adult) teeth that are located in the back corners of the mouth (both on the top and bottom rows).

What Happens When Your Teeth Have no Room to Grow?

If your wisdom tooth lacks a certain amount of afforded room to grow, an impacted wisdom tooth becomes the result, which puts a patient in unnecessary pain. The condition can even cause infection — not to mention additional dental problems. When this is the case, you’re likely to need a wisdom tooth removal procedure.

Wisdom teeth may be removed when they’re impacted or also in order to prevent future problems.

The good news is that a wisdom tooth extraction can be done by either a dentist or an oral surgeon like New York City Endodontics.

The Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure at a Glance

After your initial consultation, and after you and your oral health specialist or endodontist decide the best course of treatment, the procedure itself will consist of the following:

  • An incision in the gum will be made to expose tooth and bone
  • Bone which blocks tooth root access is removed
  • In certain cases, the tooth is divided into sections for easier removal

Once your tooth has been removed, we’ll clean the site of the removal and clear away any remaining debris from the tooth or bone to avoid infection. Stitches are generally required to close the wound and promote healing — although taking this measure isn’t always necessary.

We’ll also give you all the wisdom teeth removal aftercare you need, whether you have 1 or all 4 wisdom teeth removed.

After Your Wisdom Tooth Removal

We’re sure you’ve heard your fair share of horror stories, but we always aim to create a comfortable experience for our patients at New York City Endodontics.

Swelling and bruising may occur, but cheeks usually improve in just 2-3 days. Bruising can take longer to resolve. We recommend that you plan to relax the remainder of the day after surgery. Avoid strenuous activity for a week. Avoid hard, hot, spicy foods and avoid tobacco use for at least 72 hours after surgery — stay away from chewing tobacco for a week or longer for good measure.

NYC Endodontics Woman Root Canal

What to Expect from a Tooth Extraction Procedure

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When endodontics cannot be performed to save a tooth, what comes next is a dental extraction procedure, generally.

Ideally, our permanent teeth should last throughout our entire adult life. But things don’t always go to plan. Whether due to trauma, disease, decay, or overcrowding, it is sometimes necessary to remove a tooth.

When you are facing a tooth extraction procedure, you may have questions about what to expect. We have written this brief guide to help you understand what to expect from a tooth extraction procedure.

Getting the Best Care: General Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

Depending on the underlying cause for your tooth extraction, your tooth extraction can be performed either at a general dentist’s office or by an oral surgeon, if the case is more complex. Either way, the dentist performing the extraction will conduct a thorough examination, including x-rays, prior to the procedure.

Follow all Pre-Appointment Instructions

If your dentist determines that you should be on antibiotics, make sure you get your prescription filled right away. It is vitally important to your health and safety that you take your antibiotics according to your dentist’s instructions.

In order to prevent any nausea or vomiting, please do not eat or drink for 6-8 hours prior to your appointment.

Also, be sure to make arrangements for transportation both to and from your appointment.

Pain Management Options

For a simple extraction performed by a general dentist, it is often sufficient to use the same pain management techniques offered during other dental procedures, such as getting a crown or having a cavity filled. Once in the chair, your dentist may offer you nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) to help you relax. The area around the tooth will be numbed by injecting a local anesthetic. This is commonly the most uncomfortable part of the patient’s experience.

More complicated extractions are usually performed by an oral surgeon with the patient under general anesthesia. This will prevent the patient from experiencing any pain or discomfort during the procedure.

To help you cope with any pre-appointment jitters, your dentist may be able to prescribe a mild sedative.

If you’re wondering whether or not your tooth can be saved or if you need a tooth extraction procedure, please do not hesitate to contact New York City Endodontics today. We’ll schedule your consultation and get your oral health back on track in no time.

A Quick Look At Endodontists And Dentists

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Taking care of your teeth is more than just a one-person job, which is why it’s great that there a wide variety of dental professionals with a vast range of specialties to give you the treatment you need when you need it. We know how important it is to make sure you have the right healthcare professional for you at NYC Endodontics, which is why we’re telling you everything you need to know about endodontists today.

What Is An Endodontist?

An endodontist is a dental who specializes in saving teeth, focussing primarily on helping you maintain your natural smile for a lifetime. They generally have an extra 2 years of education after traditional dental school.

Endodontists perform a variety of oral healthcare procedures like root canals and other internal tooth surgeries. They also focus on preserving your natural teeth for as long as possible, though they will consider all options when it comes to choosing the right course of care for you when push comes to shove.

How Is An Endodontist Different From A Dentist?

Here’s a fact: All endodontists are dentists, but less than 3% of all dentists are endodontists. To become an endodontist, a dental professional must take 2 years of extra schooling that focuses on saving patients’ natural teeth and caring for the tooth interior. This means that endodontists are highly trained and true experts at a certain set of situations and procedures, such as diagnosing tooth pain and performing root canals — even more so that traditional dentists.

Endodontists are specialists when it comes to the interior of your teeth, and can offer a higher level of insight and expertise in these matters than a normal dentist.

Is An Endodontist Right For Me?

Tooth pain is one of the most pressing reasons to see an endodontist. Since they’re experts at problems and procedures related to the interior health of your teeth, they’re perfectly suited to diagnose and treat many of the problems that cause serious tooth pain. Other symptoms that are a good sign you should call an endodontist are sensitive teeth, swelling around the teeth, gums, or face, and, of course, serious tooth injury.

Furthermore, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist for certain procedures, like root canals, related to the inside of your teeth.

To summarize, endodontists are highly-trained specialists who can both help preserve your natural smile and solve problems that occur on the inside your teeth.

If you’re worried about maintaining your natural smile, or worried that you might have problems brewing inside your teeth, you should call NYC Endodontics right away to set up an appointment with any of our dedicated professionals! We’ll help you keep your smile as perfect as it was always meant to be.

Endodontics and Dental Implants: Two Ways to Save Your Smile

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An article from April this year in Dentistry Today highlights some of the changes seen in endodontics over the past twenty years, involving technology that makes endodontic treatments safer, faster, and more reliable. Advancements in endodontics have also made the process far more comfortable for both patient and practitioner, becoming more and more necessary as patients continue to live longer lives.

New microscopes help specialists prep access cavities, finding all related canals, helping facilitate a faster, more accurate diagnosis. Digital imaging provides immediate, detailed visual representations, while ED CBCT imaging allows dentists to actually view inside the patient’s tooth. This gives endodontic specialists more consistency and more confidence.

Cosmetic Dentists and Endodontists Working Together to Save Smiles

If you go to a dentist who specializes in cosmetic procedures, they might suggest that you first visit an experienced endodontist to have a diseased or damaged tooth treated, rather than suggesting extraction followed by implant placement. Dental implants consist of a titanium post joined to the jaw bone which supports a prosthetic tooth (or crown), a dental bridge, or acts as an orthodontic anchor. If you are considering a dental implant, the only concern is permanently losing your natural tooth. Endodontics offer a conservative means to save and protect your real teeth.

The Triad for Endodontic Success

Endodontics specialists are able to predictably treat and save diseased teeth through a three-step approach:

  1. Disinfection
  2. Preparation
  3. Obturation

This means that your endodontist works hard to shape the tooth’s canal, clean in a three-dimensional fashion, and finally, fill in the root system with a biocompatible material that protects the tooth. An endodontic specialist’s ability to execute 3D disinfection is the cornerstone to the success of any endodontic treatment. This means removing bacteria (when present), affected pulp, and any other toxins and irritants that damage the root canal system.

Of course, it’s pretty unfair to compare endodontics and dental implants. A good dentist will always aim to save the natural tooth, and both are viable procedures that not only help give you a winning smile, but save your teeth and bone structure. While endodontics are a conservative measure, it’s still important to use the treatment as a springboard for practicing sound oral health, because the tooth can become infected again.

At New York City Endodontics, we stay involved with our patients and treat each one on a case-by-case basis. We provide concentrated care to our patients needing an experienced endodontic specialist in New York City. If you believe you will benefit from endodontics, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Holiday Dental Survival Advice from NYC Endodontics

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Seems like we were just warning you about the pitfalls of Halloween. Now we’re warning you about the pitfalls of indulging in those traditional holiday mainstays — the candy canes, the hot cocoa, the wine with kith and kin. We know that maybe we can sound a little bit like a downer during the holiday seasons, but it’s important to look after your teeth and keep your oral health habits going strong this time of year.

Don’t just save your oral health for your New Year’s Resolution. Here are some ways that you can ensure you spend your time with family and friends, instead of at our office getting a root canal or treating a cracked tooth.

Eat Plenty of that Turkey!

We thought we’d start with something positive. We don’t want to just be telling you what you can’t have. Turkey is one holiday food that’s actually great for your teeth. Turkey is rich in both phosphorus and protein, which both assist in fighting tooth decay.

Opt for Veggies

Carrots, cucumber, celery, cherry tomatoes, and other healthy vegetables are preferable to most of the other items being offered during Christmas and Thanksgiving. Veggies are healthier options than, say, sugary foods like cookies and peanut brittle (which can often crack teeth). Even fruits like raspberries and blueberries should be eaten mindfully because of the high sugar content. Make sure you brush your teeth or at the very least rinse out your mouth afterwards, because the sugars and acids in these fruits will go to work on your teeth and enamel.

Keep Track of When You’re Eating

Don’t just continuously snack during the holidays (also called “grazing”), as tempting as it may be. If you plan your meals and snack times to allow brushing after you eat or drink, your teeth will certainly thank you. Keep a strong routine to make sure your pearly whites are shining for those holiday pictures.

Drink Water and Stay Away from Wine and Hot Cocoa

We know, bummer. Hot cocoa is loaded with sugar and so is wine. Drinking water is healthier and you won’t be the drunk person at the party, which is always a win in our book. Drinking less sugary beverages never hurt anybody, either. If you wish to indulge, moderation is key.

We hope that these suggestions help you in your journey to great oral health. If you experience sharp tooth pain, a cracked tooth, a painful bite, a chipped tooth, or most any other dental emergency, give us a call today. Our team of endodontists is here to help you at NYC Endodontics.

Fall Toothcare Tips

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With Halloween just around the corner, we thought we’d hit you up with some dental knowledge and some artfully crafty ways that you can protect your teeth during this troublesome time of year for your oral health.

Bad Habits will Turn on You

Are you into sugar? Has it been awhile since your last check-up? Okay, we’ll stop grilling you about your grill. Instead, we’ll try to focus on the positives and bestow a little bit of oral health knowledge to our patients and readership. Just by adjusting a few less-than-ideal habits you may have will go along way towards protecting your teeth.

Oral Health Tips for Trick-or-Treat Season

Here are some tips from NYC Endodontics to you, just a few ways that you can empower and protect yourself from the quiet and not so quiet tooth and gum assassins during Hallow’s Eve.

Keep your scheduled visits with your dentist.

Sticking with your dentist-recommended bi-annual checkups will ensure that you get the guidance and monitoring that you need to achieve a lasting smile. Try to schedule one of your visits around the fall season just to make sure you and your dentist stay on top of any issues.

If you have an injury or tooth pain, call NYC Endodontics.

Don’t let tooth problems go untreated. If you eat some rock candy and chip your tooth or chew on a piece of taffy and dislodge your amalgam filling, then schedule an appointment with us and we’ll set the matter straight. We can end up saving you money (not to mention teeth) down the road.

Avoid hard and chewy candies. Avoid sugar as much as possible.

Eating sugar-loaded candy will do serious damage to your teeth. Many candies have harmful acids that will eat away at tooth enamel, attacking your tooth and gum tissue. At the very least, brush your teeth after you eat anything with sugar or acid. Steer clear of hard foods like chocolate-covered almonds or peanut brittle. If you must, stick with sliced almonds or crushed walnuts.

Keep a Disposable Brush Handy

You might have some work parties and Halloween parties lined up in the Fall season, but it’s important to stay on top of brushing. The more you snack, the more you should be brushing. Buying a bag of those little disposable toothbrushes and floss kits will go a long way at social functions and even power lunches.

Limit Your Snacking

We know it’s hard, but if you limit your snacking between meals, you can do a lot to protect your teeth. Even eating healthy snacks like blueberries can leave your teeth riddled with harmful sugars and acids. Try at the very least to brush 20 minutes after you snack, that way your mouth has time to process and break down acids that act as abrasives to your tooth’s enamel.

Feeling better about the Fall season? We do, too. If anything about your teeth and gums feels less than 100%, schedule a consultation with NYC Endodontics today.