J. Peter St. Clair, DMD Blog
May 18, 2020
Have you ever experienced a sudden flash of pain in your mouth when drinking hot coffee, eating ice cream, or simply breathing in cold air? This is known as tooth sensitivity, which is a condition that impacts at least 20 million Americans according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Even if the discomfort fades quickly, sensitive teeth can negatively impact your quality of life and oral health. Your Rowley dentist explains what causes this uncomfortable sensation and what you can do to treat it.
May 12, 2020
Unless things have changed, we will start to see signs of routine life this coming Monday, May 18th. Among other retail stores and services, dental offices will be allowed to see patients for routine care under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)l and Prevention, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Massachusetts Dental Society.
May 4, 2020
There are states in this country where dental offices are returning to providing routine dental care. That is not the case here in Massachusetts. At the time of this writing (Wednesday April 29th), the State of Massachusetts has extended its stay-at-home advisory through May 18, 2020. Dental offices will continue to remain closed for non-emergent care at least until then.
April 27, 2020
There’s a lot more to consider with regards to the steps needed to provide a safe environment when we return to our routine medical and dental appointments following this global pandemic. Unfortunately, it seems there is plenty of time left to discuss these. We are all waiting for more guidelines from the CDC and other professional organizations on any necessary changes that need to occur before and upon opening to patient care.
April 21, 2020
Last week, the title of this column was a Jon Bon Jovi reference from the 80’s hit Livin’ on a Prayer, hoping that “We’re Halfway There” when it comes to getting back to ‘normal’. As I was thinking of a title this week, the first thing that jumped into my mind was a story I remember about “the boy in the bubble”.
When David Vetter was born in 1971 with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), an experiment to keep him alive made him famous. Vetter became known as “The Bubble Boy” after he was placed in a germ-free plastic bubble that he lived in for 12 years.
April 15, 2020
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, people are worried about cleanliness more than ever before. The worry of keeping everything clean enough should also extend to your toothbrush. You might be wondering “how can I keep my toothbrush clean” in the age of the coronavirus. That’s why, in today’s blog post, we have written about how to deep clean your toothbrush to keep it as germ-free as possible.(more…)
April 9, 2020
Hopefully you were singing the 1986 hit by Bon Jovi when you read that title. Anything to put a smile on your face these days. The funny, and not-so-funny thing about that title is that I hope we are halfway there. The new “projected” date to resume “normal” business is May 4th. That would put us at about halfway there. Whatever the date is that we go back to work, it still won’t be “normal”.
April 3, 2020
April 2, 2020
Here we are again, another week into the viral pandemic that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. Our return to normal seems to keep getting pushed out further into the future. We will be able to see each other again one day, just not for another “few” weeks.
Aside from the numerous webinars and Zoom meetings I’ve been watching specific to dental practices and small businesses, two things I have seen this past week that have had the most impact on me have nothing to do with my profession or my business.
March 25, 2020
As of the writing of this column, on Wednesday March 25, 2020, the state and much of the country is shut down. Since information is changing so rapidly, and this print is a week old, I am going to concentrate this week on things that will occur regardless of how long it takes for things to return to normal.
Dental offices will NOT be open for routine care for many more weeks at the rate we are going. Dental problems will continue to arise. It is important that you understand what general dentists are considering emergencies vs. non-emergencies.
In addition, all dental problems, including any questions you have, should be directed to your general dentist. Many of us are doing consultations via video (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.). I have found these to be very helpful in determining who needs to be seen, and who can wait.
If you do NOT have a general dentist and have a dental problem, PLEASE do NOT go to the emergency room.
Please ask family members or friends for recommendations to a general dentist. Check their website. Call their office to listen to their message. Check their Facebook page. You should be able to get in touch with a general dentist to assess your particular situation. They should be the one who determines if you should be seen and/or if you need a referral to a specialist for care.
What constitutes a dental emergency? Is a dental emergency different than an urgent dental need?
True dental emergencies are not as common as urgent dental care. Dental emergencies are potentially life threatening, require immediate treatment to stop ongoing bleeding, or alleviate pain or infection. Trauma would also be included in this category. This would typically not include routine toothaches. The general dentist can use their referral network of specialists as needed for these situations. The emergency room should be used as an absolute last resort.
Urgent dental care focuses on management of conditions that require attention to relieve discomfort and/or risk of infection. These should be treated by a general dentist or specialist. Severe tooth pain, dental abscess or tooth fracture, missing temporary fillings, or anything else you have concern about should be directed to the general dentist and left to their discretion on how to handle.
Please keep doctors, nurses, all people in healthcare, and anyone else who is potentially at higher risk of exposure due to their profession, in your thoughts and prayers during this time.
Please do not hesitate to send any non-urgent questions to my email below. You can also get more up-to-date information at my blog, also listed below.
Dr. St. Clair maintains a private dental practice in Rowley and Newburyport dedicated to health-centered family dentistry. If there are certain topics you would like to see written about or questions you have please email them to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can view all previously written columns at www.jpeterstclairdentistry.com/blog.