pictured above Dr. Shilpa Kapoor, DDS, MS, BDS
When it comes to oral health, patients need to understand that oral health is more than just brushing your teeth. Many ailments start in your mouth.
In addition to diagnosing cavities, a routine oral exam can also identify developmental abnormalities, syndromes, oral cancers, mental health issues, oral effects of various medications and even medical problems such as diabetes.
Dentists provide important education. Young people, especially teenage girls who opt for tongue rings in their mouth to “look pretty”, do not 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. Good oral health is especially important for them and I can make them aware of this very real risk during a routine dental exam.
Many people are hesitant about seeing their dentist during the current pandemic. You do not have to suffer in pain because you are afraid to come in for a dental visit because of COVID-19. During this period, patients can expect the dentist and dental assistant to use all safety measures. We work fully protected, fully barriered for both the patient and our own protection. We wear N-95 masks, eye googles, face shield and some even wear surgical caps. Social distancing is also employed until the exam begins.
If you are still reluctant to come for an in-person visit, you can schedule a Tele-Dental visit. From a computer screen examination, I can tell a patient if it is an emergency or not. I can determine if we can wait a month, or if you need to come in as soon as possible. I can also determine if the situation can be treated with antibiotics or another medication.
The best way to protect your health is to see a dentist twice a year. At the very least, during COVID-19, 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.