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Best COVID-19 Safety Practices for Immunocompromised Patients

Best COVID-19 Safety Practices for Immunocompromised Patients

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COVID-19 has now reached every corner of the globe and the WHO has officially declared it a pandemic. Unfortunately, the virus can be more severe for certain groups of patients. The mortality rate is significantly higher for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.

Those who are immunocompromised are also at great risk. Immunocompromised patients are anyone that has a weakened immune system. The coronavirus is very dangerous for this group of patients, since their immune systems may not be able to keep up the fight.

A person doesn’t necessarily have to have a diagnosis to be classified as immunocompromised. For example, any of the following criteria could indicate that someone has a weak immune system compared to the average in a population:

  1. People above the age of 60
  2. Anyone on specific medications or treatment plans that involve steroids, radiation or chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, bone marrow transplants, and organ transplants
  3. Anyone with chronic conditions or diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, malnutrition, or any other serious ailment

If you meet any of these criteria, then you should take extra precautions during this pandemic.

Keep your care or treatment appointments

Continue to keep your scheduled appointments, particularly if you are in the middle of a delicate treatment such as chemotherapy. Make sure your physician is aware of your immunocompromised state, so you may work out appropriate precautions.

During your appointments, minimize your exposure to others as much as possible. Practice social distancing when outside and avoid unnecessary travel. If at all possible, the best option is to use tele-health services. If you usually have a caregiver, friend, or family that accompanies you to these appointments, then make sure they are not sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

Ask your friends and family to help

Ask your caregiver, friends, or family to run errands on your behalf as much as possible to lessen your risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Keep in mind that people can carry the virus even if they aren’t showing symptoms, so it’s important to limit your exposure to anyone outside your immediate household. Ask your caregivers to deliver groceries to your door but leave them outside instead of handing them directly to you. Also consider stockpiling extra reserves of critical medication in case it’s too dangerous to venture outside or there are lockdown measures in effect.

As always, wash your hands frequently and limit face-to-face social interaction. These two measures are the simplest, most effective tactics you can employ to avoid COVID-19. If you experience any coronavirus symptoms such as headaches, a fever, or a persistent dry cough, contact a medical professional immediately.

These Root Canal Facts from the American Association of Endodontics are Important to Know

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As far as keeping our dental health in check is concerned, we now have more options than ever before. This is why it is so important to understand your choices and the impact they can have on your lifestyle and dental health. Knowing the different terms and concepts related to your dental well-being is crucial to managing your oral health. 

This includes knowing who endodontics are, what is a root canal, and so on.

Endodontists are professionals who possess special training with regards to diagnosing and treating facial and oral pain, as well as the problems associated with the inner area of your tooth. It’s by completing four years of school and two or more years of advanced training in endodontics that you can become an endodontist. If you experience symptoms such as oral or facial swelling, tooth sensitivity to chewing and touch, and long-drawn sensitivity to heat and cold, then chances are that you might require endodontic treatment, such as root canals and the like. 

The treatment of root canal is needed when the soft tissue inside your tooth, which is known as the pulp, gets inflamed or infected due to decay, injury, constant procedures, or perhaps a chipped or cracked tooth. Although replacing an extracted tooth is possible in the form of an implant or bridgework, losing your natural teeth is obviously something you want to prevent from happening. 

Let us now take a look at some intriguing facts related to root canals, provided by The American Association of Endodontists (AAE):

  • A recent survey from AAE stated that 76% of the participants preferred a root canal over tooth extraction.
  • Many individuals are not even aware of root canals being a possible alternative to tooth extraction.
  • Almost one-third of the individuals would not sell their healthy front tooth regardless of how much money was being offered to them.
  • The possibility of a tooth extraction is more in women than men.
  • The chances of older people getting a tooth extraction done is more in comparison to younger people.
  • Artificial teeth can affect your ability to chew and consume certain food items that are necessary to have a healthy and balanced diet.
  • 58% of those who got a tooth extraction done chose to not replace it with anything, and the remaining replaced it with a bridge (17%), dentures (12%), or an implant (8%).

What to do With a Re-Infected Tooth After Root Canal Treatment

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A root canal treatment is done to save a heavily decayed tooth and for most people, it does the job. If there’s proper care given to a treated tooth, its effect can last for a lifetime. However, there are times when the tooth doesn’t heal properly or starts to decay. This will usually cause pain in the treated area. If your tooth becomes re-infected after a root canal treatment, don’t worry – there are other treatments available to help you out.

After talking to your endodontist, you may be eligible for endodontic retreatment. There are many reasons why you may need retreatment, for instance:

  1. Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure.
  2. Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.
  3. The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.
  4. The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.

If your endodontist and you agree to retreatment, the procedure can be carried out in a timely manner. In this treatment, your endodontist will reopen your tooth to access the filling material. If there is a crown fitted, it will require dismantling and reassembly. After this, they will remove the canal filing and re-examine the area to look for a probable cause.

The next step will be to put a temporary filling and you’ll be required to visit the dentist again in order to reassemble the crown or complete the restoration process. While this may seem like too much of a hassle, this is required to save the natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function normally for a long time and because of this, retreatment is seen as a viable option. 

Modern technology is pacing forward at a lightning speed and there are always new techniques and tools available that will make procedures simpler and better. If you wish to preserve your natural tooth then retreatment is an ideal option. 

As is the case with all medical procedures, do not delay a consultation with an endodontist. The earlier you go for a visit, the better it will be for you and your teeth. It is also given that a procedure does not guarantee any specified result. Before opting for endodontic retreatment, always have a thorough consultation with your dentist and take some time to think it through. 

By performing this procedure, you are increasing the life of your tooth and saving yourself from pain and additional complications in the future.

These Six Facts About Root Canal are Worth Knowing

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Root Canals involve extracting infected pulp from within a tooth, and this prevents furthermore harmful and painful infections from occurring. The infected pulp, if left unchecked, can start to result in severe pain, and deteriorate the health of the overall tooth. Root canal treatments ensure that the pulp is removed and is a relatively pain-free procedure involving anesthesia. 

Here are six facts worth knowing about root canals if you’re thinking of having one:

  1. The pulp is your tooth’s alarm system. It’s what alerts the body when the health of the tooth starts to decay, and also provides some of the sensations you experience on your teeth when eating various foods. Sensitivity to the pulp is what you experience as pain.
  2. The pulp is also responsible for more than just providing sensation. It’s also critical to formulating dentin, which is the layer that sits underneath teeth enamel and is what gives the tooth its white color.
  3. Your tooth can survive without the pulp, but what it can’t do is survive long with infected pulp. This is why root canals are necessary as they help remove an infected pulp that may result in the tooth decaying. The pulp provides all the necessary nutrients when the tooth is growing, but once fully formed, then the tooth can go on living without pulp, but an infected one can do quite a bit of damage from the inside. 
  4. An infected pulp can be caused by diseases affecting gum tissue. This is because gum tissues are interconnected with pulp in one’s tooth. Blood vessels and nerves connect the pulp to the gum and because of this, even gum diseases can make its way into infecting the pulp and necessitating a root canal.
  5. There’s a lot of false facts such as infections being common after a root canal. However, this isn’t the case. Infections are generally very low after a root canal procedure and when an infection does happen they’re very low risk and easily treatable. This makes it a relatively safe procedure to undergo.
     

You don’t need a lot of powerful painkillers after a root canal procedure. And how much you need is very subjective. Though a root canal procedure cannot guarantee any pain, an average procedure will only require common over the counter pain medication for a few days in order to subdue any pain in one or two weeks. Most of this pain medication is also to ensure the swelling subsides.

The Difference Between an Endodontist and a General Dentist

The Difference Between an Endodontist and a General Dentist

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Endodontists and general dentists are both dental professionals, but they have slightly different specialties. In fact, it’s possible to be both, but to be an endodontist, you have to be a general dentist first. This is because an endodontist builds on the certifications a general dentist earns, spending an additional two years in school to learn their craft.

So which should you see, an endodontist or a general dentist? That depends on what dental issues you have.

General Dentist

General dentists perform common dental procedures such as filling cavities, fitting crowns and bridges, and assessing overall teeth and gum health. They’ll also advise patients on oral health care.

They don’t perform root canals and, in fact, only assist in the preparation and post-care check-ups. Endodontists are the ones trained to carry out this procedure.

For issues that require more serious attention and expertise, general dentists will refer patients to a more specialized practitioner such as an orthodontist, endodontist, or periodontist.

Endodontist

Endodontists, on the other hand, are trained to perform more advanced dental procedures such as root canal therapy, root canal re-treatment, and endodontic surgery.

If you need any of these treatments or have significant dental injuries, then you’ll be referred to an endodontist after meeting with a general dentist.

Seeing an endodontist over a general dentist who’s less specialized does come with advantages. They’re experts in diagnosing complex dental conditions and treating them, which is ideal when you’re seeking treatment for severe tooth pain. Their advanced education also means they’ll be more adept at treating these conditions using procedures such as root canals.

Endodontists are also experts in pain management and will be able to use numbing medications more effectively, ensuring pain is minimized before, during, and after treatment. Combined with their expertise in advanced medical technology, this allows them to provide much better treatment.

If you’ve got oral health issues that a routine checkup and cleaning can’t solve, particularly if you’re in significant pain, an endodontist may be more appropriate for you. Either way, any general dentist who believes you’ll need more advanced treatment will refer you to an endodontist for a consultation.

Root canal

How Existing Tooth Conditions Can Affect Root Canal Treatment

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“You need a root canal.” These are five words nobody wants to hear from their dentist. Sometimes, though, a root canal is necessary. 

If you have severe tooth decay, a root canal procedure will help to prevent infection from spreading. 

The procedure might not be particularly pleasant. However, the results that it can provide are well worth it for most people.

That being said, some people experience better results from root canals than others. There are a lot of factors that can influence the effectiveness of this treatment, including existing tooth conditions.

Read on to learn how existing tooth conditions can affect root canal treatment.

Tooth Types

Certain tooth types respond better to root canal treatments.

Teeth that have just one root are often easier to treat. Teeth that have multiple roots, on the other hand, are more difficult. They also often require the use of special equipment and techniques. 

It’s not impossible to treat a tooth that has multiple roots. The process just takes extra time and skill in most cases — your dentist might even recommend you to a specialist.

Lingering Infection

Dentists sometimes have a difficult time clearing out infection all the way when they’re performing a root canal procedure. When they’re working on certain teeth — such as the back molars — it can be easy to overlook an infection altogether. 

If this happens, the infection can continue to spread and cause additional oral health problems (and other health problems).

Disease Progressions

The longer an infection has progressed and an individual has gone without dental care, the more difficult it is to perform root canal procedures. \

Sometimes, the infection spreads so much that the patient doesn’t respond well to the medications used to numb them. As a result, the procedure is more painful and the patient takes longer to make a full recovery. 

This is why it’s important to see a dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and make an appointment right away if you start experiencing pain or any other problematic symptoms.

Age

Finally, age can play a role in root canal treatment, too. Older patients with aging teeth may experience more pain and discomfort during and after the procedure.

Their teeth may be more prone to damage, too, as a result of them being older and more brittle. Because of this, dentists may have to apply crowns to try and add an extra layer of protection.

Should You Still Seek Root Canal Treatment?

As you can see, there are a few different factors that can influence the effectiveness of your root canal treatment. 

This knowledge can be a bit daunting at first. You might even be wondering if it’s worth it for you to pursue a root canal. 

Some root canals are more intense than others. In most cases, though, it’s still ideal for you to have a root canal if your dentist recommends it. 

Just make sure you’re working with a dentist who is thorough and understands the potential factors that might influence your treatment. 

Root canal

Debunking Common Myths About Root Canals

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Should you be scared of a root canal

To help you find out whether it is reasonable for you to fear this dental procedure, let us separate fact from fiction. 

Here are some myths and truths about root canals:

Myth 1: Root Canals Are Painful

When people are told that they need a root canal, they usually think about pain. 

However, the pain they feel is caused by an infection in the tooth, not by the root canal treatment. A root canal is done to eliminate that pain. 

The root canal procedure itself is painless. Advancements in the field of endodontics, as well as the use of effective anesthetic agents, are responsible for making this procedure relatively less painful. 

It must be noted that the objective of performing this procedure is to remove the infected pulp, which is the source of pain.

At times, people keep delaying the visit to the dentist, which causes severe infection. Though the intensity of pain is considerably reduced as the source of pain is removed, some pain may still be experienced as the effect of anesthesia wears off. 

Moreover, the inflamed tissues at the end of the tooth are still in the process of healing. The tooth may feel more sensitive, especially if there was a severe infection prior to the procedure.

This discomfort can be relieved with the help of OTC painkillers or prescription medication. It’s best to avoid chewing on the affected tooth until the crown has been fitted.

Myth 2: The Tooth Won’t Feel Pain After the Procedure

Many people believe that once they have had root canal treatment, they will no longer feel pain in the treated tooth. 

This, however, is incorrect. The tooth will no longer be sensitive to hot or cold food or beverages. 

But for a few days after treatment, the area around the tooth can be sensitive. If this happens to you, your dentist can prescribe a medicine to reduce inflammation.

Myth 3: A Root Canal Means Removing the Tooth

The whole point of root canal therapy is to try to save a tooth, not to remove it. 

Your tooth and roots are not removed. The canals are cleaned and shaped on the inside only. The nerve tissue and pulp are removed along with some of the inside part of the root to ensure all the bacteria have been removed.

Myth 4: A Root Canal is Not Required For a Dead Tooth

A tooth dies when the blood supply to the nerve inside the tooth root is cut off. This could occur due to trauma or decay. 

Though one may think that there’s no need to treat a dead tooth as it can no longer cause pain or sensitivity to temperature changes, extracting the tooth or saving it through a root canal can prevent the bacteria from multiplying inside the dead tooth and causing an oral infection.

For a root canal performed by expert orthodontists, visit NYC Endodontics. We also treat cracked teeth.

 

Reasons to Not Be Anxious about Getting a Root Canal

Reasons to Not Be Anxious about Getting a Root Canal

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It’s hard for anyone to hear the word “root canal” and not cringe. The words alone project an image of in-depth surgery, instruments poking at your mouth, and gratuitous pain for days afterward. Even though it’s done to save a tooth, some people would rather deal with the implications of a rotted canine.

However, there really is no reason to be afraid of a root canal. We’re going to jump into the three biggest reasons why you should not be so anxious about getting a root canal to put your mind at ease. First, let’s quickly define what a root canal actually is.

What is a Root Canal?

Beneath the white enamel of your teeth and the ultra-dense dentin layer, there sits a soft kind of tissue known as the pulp. The pulp tissue contains blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves that help your teeth grow during development. An adult tooth does not necessarily need pulp anymore because it can survive by using the tissues around it for nourishment. The pulp is essentially the leftover materials from the growth stages.

Sometimes abscesses or inflamed ligaments in the gums can enter the root of the tooth and cause infected or inflamed pulp. This is often extremely painful and dangerous for the rest of the teeth in one’s mouth as the infection can spread. A root canal or endodontic treatment is essentially the process of removing an extremely diseased tooth in order to prevent the spreading of disease. It is also done to scoop out the infected pulp to save the tooth itself without full removal. Millions of teeth are saved through root canals every year.
These three facts about root canals may shock you!

1. You might not experience any pain whatsoever.

Like we mentioned above, when people think of root canals, they think of pain. It makes sense why, of course. Sometimes there is pain associated with root canals. However, there’s a good chance you won’t experience any pain whatsoever.

Since the procedure for root canals has improved and changed in recent years, the approach taken often results in little pain. Before performing the surgery, your endodontist will inject a numbing anesthetic around the tooth, which at most will feel like a light prick to the gums. From there, you won’t feel much else.

2. Post-surgery pain isn’t that long lasting.

Sure, pain in surgery probably isn’t that bad. But what about afterward? Luckily, you won’t really have to worry about that either.

You may experience some discomfort after the procedure that over-the-counter pain medication can treat. You’ll more than likely be able to go back to your normal routine the next day.

3. Your tooth will be rescued!

Root canals save so many teeth. It’s really surprising how intense the myths about this procedure are when the results are so incredible!

How was our list of reasons not to be anxious about getting a root canal? Tell us about your experience with root canal procedures in the comments below!

Why You May Need to See an Endodontist

Why You May Need to See an Endodontist

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You already know that it’s important to see your dentist regularly for checkups. In addition to giving your teeth a thorough cleaning, regular checkups allow the dentist to check for signs of gum disease, cavities, oral diseases, and oral cancer.

And many times, when minor issues come up, your regular dentist can handle those. Like getting a cavity filled or a tooth extracted.

But sometimes you need a specialist and that’s where endodontists may come in.

This article covers what an endodontist is and why you might see one for a tooth problem. Read on to get information that could save your teeth.

What is an Endodontist?

An endodontist is a specialist who is qualified to diagnose and manage tooth pain, tooth restoration and root canals.

Although endodontists are known as root canal specialists, their extra training actually covers multiple procedures related to tooth roots and interiors.

Because the nerves are on the inside of a tooth, that’s where tooth pain comes from. An endodontist can better diagnose and treat painful tooth issue because of their knowledge of tooth interiors.

Why see an Endodontist?

It’s not uncommon to see a specialist for bodily health needs, so it should be no surprise that there are specialists for your teeth and gums. After all, orthodontists are specialists who specialize in tooth alignment and oral bone structure.

Endodontists are skilled in a variety of tooth surgeries. And if you treat an issue early on, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to keep the affected tooth or teeth.
In addition to root canals, endodontists treat traumatic dental injuries, such as from sports, falls, or car accidents.

They also place dental implants. Although they try to save natural teeth as often as they can, they do have other options when that’s not possible or not the best course of action.
You may be wondering why you need a specialist when your regular dentist provides these procedures. Practice increases skill in any field, and an endodontist performs root canal procedures about 25 times per week. General dentists typically only perform a couple of these procedures a week.

You’ll be getting more experience and specialized knowledge in pain management, which honestly is a big deal when it comes to any procedure.

If you’re having tooth pain, make an appointment with NYC Endodontics today.

Benefits of Endodontics

3 Benefits of Endodontics

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Endodontics is a lesser known area of dentistry and, as a result, many folks are unsure of its overarching purposes.

In short, endodontics is a branch of dentistry that concerns itself with the treatment of diseases and injuries which occur in the soft tissues inside a tooth (also referred to as dental pulp).

Your friendly neighborhood endodontist specializes in the removal of inflamed, infected dental pulp. They’ll fully clean the canal system while sealing the tooth so no further infection can take place. The procedure mentioned above just so happens to be the Root Canal procedure, which is the best known treatment an endodontist performs.

An endodontist can also help treat teeth that are cracked or have experienced trauma due to injury — all in the name of saving your natural smile.

Below are a few benefits you can glean from seeing the endodontist.

1.) Rid Yourself of Unwanted Tooth Pain

If you’re experiencing a toothache there are often only 2 ways to deal with the problem: either endodontic therapy or tooth extraction. Endodontics always aims to be as conservative as possible and to save as much natural tooth structure as possible. Root canal therapy has saved many teeth for patients not wanting to undergo a tooth extraction.

2.) Maintain your Bone and Jaw Structure

If you lose teeth, this means that your jaw bone isn’t getting proper stimulation in that area, which can lead to further tooth and bone loss. Endodontics will keep your natural tooth in place, which helps preserve the natural shape and curvature of your jaw and face.

3.) Endodontics is Safe and Effective

Root canal procedures alone have been done for decades and they are a routine procedure we specialize in at NYC Endodontics. We work hard to remove any infected pulp and seal the tooth to greatly reduce chances of further infection. We help prevent tooth loss and tooth removal in a safe, clean, and supportive environment.

If you have any additional questions about how endodontics can possibly benefit you, contact NYC Endodontics today. We’ll schedule your initial consultation and help put you back on the footpath to amazing oral health!

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