We are dentists, not bloggers. But we want to share with our existing patients, and those looking for a new midtown dentist in New York City – the stories, advice, recommendations and news in the world of dentistry, and in the world of our unique practice. Even with over 60 combined years of experience, we are always looking to grow through referrals and new residents looking for the finest cosmetic and general dental care.
An older gentleman recently came to our office seeking dental care. He was quite sophisticated and respected, a caring husband and father, although a stroke had left him with paralysis on his right side and limited verbal skills. Between limited time available during his recovery, the lack of quality dental care found at his assisted living facility and difficulty finding dentists willing to accommodate his needs proper cleanings and exams were a challenge. Naturally, he found himself in need of a good dental cleaning and check up.
After he and his family expressed their displeasure with the insufficient level of care, he was referred to us by friend of the family. We were delighted to welcome him, as all new patients to our practice. Upon arrival, we performed an extensive oral examination including a full set of x-rays and a complete visual exam using our intraoral camera system. The visual exam revealed an abundance of staining and spaces where food was catching between teeth. While we are accustomed to seeing this, with the intraoral video exam we can show the patient and their family the extent of the issues.
It’s not uncommon for teeth in the mouth of older patients to drift backward to the rear of the mouth allowing gaps to form. This can lead to food retention that can dangerously impact the gums. In communicating with his wife, the caregiver – the need for a porcelain crown to close the gap between the teeth, essentially eliminating the food impaction – Dr. Herman recognized that she did not fully understand the implications and severity of the sequence of health issues which could arise. The patient had a history of cardiac conditions that required a quadruple bypass. Oral health, especially prevention of periodontal disease is closely tied to inflammation. Suddenly, what seems like a simple case of food getting caught could become a much more severe medical issue.
Further discussion led the patient and his wife to the decision that they would improve his home care to eliminate the food impaction. They were not ready to move forward with the porcelain crown treatment, so we needed to work together to find a solution that would keep the patient healthy while still providing them with an easy connection to our office.
After many years of seeing the benefit of patients having the ability to see what he sees, Dr. Herman recently founded MouthWatch to address this need for patients. MouthWatch is a home dental monitoring system that puts an intraoral camera in the hands of the patient. While the crown that is needed may need to wait, we will be providing the patient with the MouthWatch system so that his caregiver can easily see where food is catching and improve home care – all while sharing updates and images of problem areas.
While there may be a financial concern, we are always ready to work with our patient’s insurance plans or create payment plans to help our patients obtain the care that they need.
Our dental office is decorated with photographic art pieces created by Dr. Herman. The patient who visited us is a photographer as well and was interested to see some of Dr. Herman’s latest prints. Dr. Herman asked him to choose a print that he liked and gladly gave it as a gift. Perhaps more important than the immediate need to push for a decision on treatment, is the opportunity to build a relationship, stay in touch, and let the patient know that our office is there for them. We will communicate regularly via MouthWatch, set an earlier than usual recall appointment and build trust while maintaining an eye on care.
Welcome to the blog. Here we plan to share stories, experiences and advice that will help you learn about the side of dentistry that affects you – the patient. We look forward to hearing from patients, new and old, along with any patients looking for a new dentist in New York City. We’ve been here a long time and know how challenging it can be. When you want more from your dentist than a cramped office with an impersonal feel, we invite you to visit our office for a free consultation.