New Year Visits to Dentist are Vital to Your Health

No Need to Fear COVID; Tele-Dental Option also Available

By Dr. Shilpa Kapoor, DDS, MS, BDS

Did you visit the Dentist at least once in 2020?

If not, to be certain you are fully protecting your overall health, plan in 2021 to see your Dentist every six months for an exam and a cleaning. This will cover everything.

When it comes to oral health, patients need to understand that every ailment starts from your mouth. And oral health is not just about taking care of your teeth. In addition to diagnosing cavities, a routine oral exam can also diagnose developmental abnormalities, syndromes, oral cancers, mental health issues, oral effects of various medications and medical problems such as diabetes.

Dentists can even provide important education. Consider teenage girls who put tongue rings in their mouth “to look pretty”. They don’t realize that there is a slow process of bone loss happening in their mouth due to the constant force of the tongue ring when they talk. This can lead to tooth loss. During a dental exam, I can make them aware of this very real risk.

And people should not be afraid to come in for a dental visit because of COVID. They don’t need to suffer in pain. During this period, patients can expect the Dentist and Dental Assistant to use all safety measures. They will be fully protected, fully barriered for both the patient’s protection and their own protection. Patients may see your Dentist wearing N-95 masks, eye googles, face shield, surgical cap. Your Dentist will also stand and talk to you from six feet away until the exam begins.

If you are still reluctant to come for an in-person visit, patients can schedule a Tele-Dental visit. From a computer screen examination, I can tell a patient if it’s an emergency or not. I can determine if we can wait a month, or if they need to come in as soon as possible. I can also determine if the situation could be treated with antibiotics or another medication.

As I said earlier, the best way to protect your health is to see a dentist two times a year.

At the very least, during COVID, patients should make an appointment for Tele-Dental.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, please contact the Community Health Center of Buffalo at 986-9199.

Dr. Shilpa Kapoor, DDS, MS, BDS, is Lead Clinical Dentist/Interim Dental Director for the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc.

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