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 ( 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


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!

First Aid For A Chipped Front Tooth

“Oh no”, my front tooth chipped!

A front tooth chipping is an alarming occurrence. While there is usually no pain, there may be a sharp edge and depending on the size of the chip, it may be unsightly.

The first thing to know is that the tooth is unlikely to keep chipping over the next day or two so there is no reason to fear the tooth crumbling. If the chip happens on the weekend or vacation, treatment can usually wait till a more convenient time.

Treatment options vary from smoothing a rough edge to placing a tooth colored plastic filling to a porcelain veneer or crown. Treatment is determined by the size of the chip and the stress the edge of the tooth bears under function. Small chips can often be smoothed or filled, while veneers or crowns are needed if more of the tooth is missing. The good news is that all our modern materials are very esthetic and the tooth can usually be restored to a natural appearance.

Teeth wear over time even with normal function. Just like tires on a car slowly loose rubber, teeth slowly lose their enamel covering. When the enamel gets thin, it is easier to chip. When people use their front teeth as scissors, tweezers, pliers or bottle openers, excessive stress is put on the enamel and leads to chipping. While those habits should be avoided, sometimes chipping is inevitable as the enamel thins out over time.


Milling crowns with Samantha, our lab technician

Talk about 10 Years Forward.. 10x faster!”

Our milling machine is one piece of our in-house lab that creates crowns in a single visit. How?  Once the Doctor has scanned the patients prepped teeth, the technicians get busy in designing the new crown and milling it. Next step, is for the doctor to try the crown in the mouth and make any needed adjustments. This is all while the crown is in its “purple” stage, since it hasn’t been crystallized to the proper shade of the patients tooth. After, we (technicians) receive the crown, add a little stain and glaze and let it bake in the oven for approximately 13 minutes. In the end, after its cooled and all done, it’s sent back out to the Doctor and placed properly into the patient’s mouth. Just don’t forget to smile !

Take a look at Gallery57Dental Facebook page to see our milling machine in action!

The New York Times Questions Dental X-RAYS

A New York Times article on dental X-rays,, generated many questions from our patients. Read an exchange between a Gallery57Dental patient and Dr. Andrew Koenigsberg, which addresses that question.

Patient RK-

What do you think of this article, “You probably don’t need dental x-rays every year?” I’ve wondered about it before. Thanks! RK

Dr. K

Hi RK. I had seen this article and find it interesting for several reasons.

The way the conversation starts, the hygienist asks the patient if they would like to take x-rays since it is a free service. This question is what is wrong with a lot of our health coverage where need, benefit, cost, risk are decoupled.

In our office, every patient has an individual schedule of X-ray frequency for bitewings, Panorex and other x-rays. That schedule is based on each patient’s individual risk/benefit profile.  We do not decide to take X-rays based on insurance coverage.

Bitewing X-rays are taken primarily to identify decay between the back teeth. This may be new decay or decay under existing restorations. Decay rarely causes pain, (until it is so extensive that the nerve is infected and root canal treatment is necessary). Our goal is to find decay early when it can be treated with a simple filling or crown. This is the same reason we take a stress test to check for clogged heart arteries before there are symptoms. Often, by the time there are symptoms, the disease is more serious and harder to treat.

You have restorations on almost every back tooth, which puts you at higher risk for decay, hence the once a year bitewings. We don’t take X-rays of the front teeth to check for decay because the teeth are thinner and can be checked visually.

I hope this makes sense.