Dr. Sam’s Graduation👩‍🎓

Graduation tends to evoke a time for reflection and a chance to take a step back and look at the big picture. The day-in and day-out routine of a long schooling process can sometimes diminish the excitement that was so alive at the start—graduation gives you a chance to reignite that spark as you’re able to look back on your accomplishments and take your newly minted knowledge with you onto the next big thing.

Today, I get the opportunity to reflect as I graduate from my fellowship in implantology. Implantology is not a recognized specialty by the American Dental Association and this fellowship was an additional two years of part time schooling after 4 years of dental school and 3 years of a full-time residency in prosthodontics. (Yup, you heard that right. I had 9 years of school AFTER college.) So, as you can imagine, I have answered A LOT of questions about why I bothered “wasting” my time and money on a program teaching me information which someone else could learn on the fly. The bottom line is this: it was all done for my patients.

Towards the end of my prosthodontic residency, I came to realize that the more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know. What I DID know was that I wanted to be able to provide implant surgery as an option to my patients and that I didn’t feel confident in the training I already had. Nor did I think that a weekend course on implant placement was going to satisfy my need to really be well trained and live up to the exceedingly high expectations of my midtown Manhattan patient base.

So, I enrolled in the Implantology Fellowship Program at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine where I learned from the best surgeons, clinicians and academicians in the game. Of course, there were points going through it where I was frustrated. But, now with the opportunity to reflect on my time in my fellowship, I can honestly say that I’m SO glad I did it. Not only did I gain the clinical skills and the confidence to perform these procedures in my practice, but I now understand the fundamentals of why I’m doing these procedures, the scientific rationale behind them and the biology that supports my decisions of one treatment or another.

How does this benefit my patients?  Probably in more ways than you realize. Not only do I have more formal training than almost any other dentist out there, but in a lot of cases I’m able to treat my patients from the beginning to the end of their treatment in the same office. (Of course, there are exceptions!) But my combination of prosthodontic and surgical training gives me the advantage of being able to see the big picture to better plan treatments, execute the treatment for patients in a convenient and efficient manner and achieve better outcomes for them overall.

Whew, that was kinda tough. I don’t like bragging, but in the spirit of reflection and moving forward, it’s important to recognize and be proud of what I’ve accomplished and why I went through it in the first place. With my graduation, my spark is reignited and I’m so looking forward to being able to move onto my next big thing: providing superior service to all of our patients at Gallery57Dental. Cheers!

Broken tooth on vacation?

What happens when you break a tooth on vacation? Dr. Samantha Rawdin is on-the-job providing tips on how to manage this dental emergency:

You’ve been planning for months. Flights are booked. Bags are packed. You finally

arrive at your destination… and then your tooth breaks.

What’s a vacationer to do?! Well, it’ll depend on a few things…

If you’re in pain…

…you should seek help right away. If you’re in a hotel, ask the concierge. Usually

they can direct you to a dentist near by. If you’re not in a hotel, but still in the U.S.,

you can go to the American Dental Association website (www.ada.org) and utilize

their “Find-a- Dentist” tool. It has some advanced search options to help you narrow

down your results. If you’re out of the country, things can be a bit trickier.

Depending on where you are in the world, dental care can be very good or not so

good.

If you can get to a pharmacy…

…try to find a product that helps with toothaches—they’re usually found in the

dental aisle. They come in gums, gels and pastes and can be applied to the sensitive

area. Be sure to follow the instructions, as they can vary slightly among brands.

Can’t get to a pharmacy?

A piece of (sugarless!) chewing gum can help protect a sensitive area from irritants.

You can also try putting desensitizing toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, directly on the

area and then covering it with gum. If you can find it, a drop of clove oil on a cotton

swab can have a palliative effect.

If you have a cap/crown/temporary/veneer that came off…

…you have a few options. Pharmacies typically have some sort of temporary cement

for at-home use. Again, be sure to follow the instructions. Before using, try to clean

the inside of the restoration as best as you can to remove excess cement or debris.

Then, try it in a few times so you know which way it goes. Mix up the cement, place

only enough inside the restoration to coat the surface in a thin layer and seat the

restoration. Bite down gently, but be sure to bite down all the way. Clean up any

excess with a cotton swab or toothpick before it hardens. If you can’t find temporary

cement, denture adhesive will work as well. Just be aware that you’ll need to replace

it a few times per day. If you’re not in pain and the temporary isn’t staying in well,

take it out before you go to sleep so you don’t swallow it.

And whatever you do, don’t use Krazy Glue! Still confused? Call or e-mail us. Even if

we’re not close by, we can probably at least help point you in the right direction.

And, of course, be sure to come see us as soon as you get home!

Can Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Make Your Teeth Whiter?

Dr. Samantha Rawdin clarifies the hype over charcoal toothpaste. Can it really make your teeth whiter?

In accordance with the DIY health remedies that have taken the Internet by storm recently, we wanted to take a closer look at one in particular—activated charcoal toothpaste. Up there with turmeric and matcha, activated charcoal is an increasingly popular wellness trend. It has well documented use in medicine as a detoxifying agent in treating poisonings and overdoses, but does it have a place in dentistry?

 

Activated charcoal is thought to absorb the stains and impurities that remain on teeth, which can make teeth appear whiter. However, there are no studies that prove this and the long-term effects of using charcoal, both on your teeth and systemically, are unknown. Plus, by just using the activated powder alone, you’re missing out on the benefits of using a fluoridated toothpaste.

 

What about all of the positive reviews online? Brushing your teeth for 3-5 minutes with any abrasive material is going to make your teeth appear whiter—especially if there was a lack of attention to oral hygiene habits previously.

 

So, until new research on activated charcoal tells us otherwise, stick with the traditional bleaching products for whitening. If you’re at the drug store and not sure what to buy, just look for the ADA seal of acceptance. It can be found on both toothpastes and at-home whitening products that are proven to be both safe and effective. If you’re interested in learning more about your options for tooth whitening, let us know. We’d be happy to go over them with you!

Tune into our Facebook Live Session Monday April 24th at 4:00 with Dr. Samantha Rawdin to learn the best options for teeth whitening.

 

 

Millennial’s Poor Oral Health Impacts Job Prospects

Are you a millennial looking for a job? Forbes says you may want to visit your dentist first… https://www.forbes.com/sites/dianahembree/2017/03/28/why-some-millennials-arent-smiling-bad-teeth-hinder-28-in-job-search/#c8642d359c6a
Here’s Dr. Sam Rawdin’s proven oral health tips for millennials.

This week, Forbes reported on an American Dental Association (ADA) study that showed 28% of millennials feel the state of their teeth and smile has a direct impact on their ability to interview for jobs. The ADA also showed that one third of millennials are reluctant to smile—that’s higher than any other age group! And, even though 80% plan to visit the dentist in the coming year, only 30% actually made the trip to the dentist over the last 12 months.

 

Why are millennials falling behind on their oral health care? It seems like a dental visit is analogous to… well… pulling teeth. What do we know about millennials? Falling within this age group myself, I can attest to the fact that convenience is key. We want necessary tasks done instantaneously in a way that’s super easy to access, preferably without the inclusion of human interaction. The thought of picking up the phone to make an appointment ensues the highest level of procrastination. And face-to-face interaction with strangers is basically out of the question…

 

Unfortunately, going to the dentist checks all of these boxes. You need to (most of the time) call to make an appointment, take time out of your busy schedule to actually get yourself to the office and then have to explain why your gums are bleeding during your cleaning to the hygienist (who, I promise, is NOT judging you!). I get it, it’s not the most glamorous situation and it’s easy to see why most avoid it. BUT, as I’m sure your dentist has told you in the past, biannual visits is still the best way to keep your teeth in a condition where you’ll be proud to flash your pearly whites.

 

We can’t cover the topic of convenient dental care without addressing the elephant in the room: money. Bottom line is that dentistry is expensive. Unfortunately, many millennials are earning entry-level salaries, paying off student loans and trying to hang onto a few dollars to go to that new restaurant so they can send a Snap Chat to their friends. C’mon, you know you’re guilty of that too… So, paying for dental care isn’t always at the top of the list.

 

Dental insurance can help, but there are a few inherent issues here. First, according to the ADA, millennials are less likely than any other age group to have dental insurance. Plus, yearly maximums for dental insurance are typically around $1,500 depending on the provider. These maximums have not really changed since the concept of dental insurance was made around 40 years ago. You know what has changed? Inflation. What this means is that if you’re coming in twice a year for regular cleanings, exams, and x-rays, you’re probably covered. However, if you need any other sort of extensive work done, you may need to pay out of pocket.

 

So what’s a millennial to do?

 

  1. Make an appointment to see your dentist. Many offices (like ours!) offer a form on the website that you can fill out to then be contacted via e-mail to get you scheduled. No phone call needed.

 

  1. Plan ahead based on your personal situation. If you have dental insurance, check to see if your provider is in- or out-of-network, if you’ll be responsible for a co-pay at the time of your appointment and what percentage of the cost of the procedures the insurance provider will cover.

 

  1. Ask the front desk if there’s an option for a payment plan or if they accept payment through companies such as CareCredit who allow you to pay over time. Most of the time, if you need to foot a big bill, the office will work with you.

 

  1. Don’t wait to go to the dentist, especially if you’re in pain. Chances are, the earlier a cavity or other issue is seen, the easier (and less expensive!) it is to fix.

 

If you’re not sure about any of these, overcome your aversion to human interaction and call us. We’re here to help! And, once you make your appointment, we may even agree to take a selfie with you when you’re ready to show off those pearly whites on all of your social media platforms.