Now that dental offices are open, many patients would like to know more about visiting the dentist. As Dr. Leonard S. Gordon explains, “Going to the dentist for routine cleanings and dental work in this extended COVID-19 atmosphere is important to maintaining overall good health. At Gordon Center for General & Advanced Dentistry, we feel it’s not just going to the dentist, it’s important to go to the proper, caring dentist. We follow CDC guidelines and have instituted new, extensive COVID safety protocols to ensure your health and safety during dental treatment. So, if you are not one of our patients, ask your dentist what they are doing differently, then compare with our safety protocols. At our office, it is not enough to deliver quality, experienced dentistry, it must be quality, experienced dentistry delivered safely. To provide additional context we’ve gathered numerous articles on the subject. They’re grouped into two sections: dental offices and infectious disease prevention and dental appointments and your health. Please call or text the office at 301-258-1998 if you have any questions. Dental Offices and Infectious Disease Prevention Dr. Matthew Messina, the dental clinic director at the Ohio State Upper Arlington Dentistry, said that there is no reason for people to worry about going to the dentist. “We’re kind of uniquely prepared to provide a safe, healthy environment for people to come in,” he said. “You know, dental offices have been really committed to universal precautions and high level disinfection and care for patients long before it was cool.” “We’ve been in a close space relationship with patients for years and years, and have been through a variety of (epidemics), whether it’s HIV or hepatitis or things like that,” he continued. “These are all precautions that we’ve used before, so we haven’t really had to do new things as much as modify existing protocols to provide a safe and healthy environment. The dentist’s office is a very, very safe place for patients to have their treatment done.” – Today.com Thinking about making a dentist appointment? What you need to know Bill Miller, an epidemiologist and physician at OSU, said it’s important to remember that going to the dentist isn’t the same as going to a barber or hair salon. “Dentists are accustomed to be thinking about infectious-disease risk,” Miller said. “They’re already taking precautions.” – The Washington Post Yes, you should still go to the dentist. But be careful. Dental Appointments and Your Health But is it smart to see your dentist right now? Yes, says [American Dental Association spokesperson Cheryl Watson-Lowry, DDS,]. And it’s not just smart—it’s crucial for your overall health. “Unfortunately, dental disease, including cavities, won’t wait for COVID-19 to end,” she says. “It’s extremely important for patients to continue to see their dentist for their regular checkups and cleanings—even during this time—because the longer patients wait and go without preventative care and treatment for early disease, the more likely their untreated disease will progress. And then that can lead to more extensive problems and increase the time and the costs for necessary care.” Subpar oral hygiene, she points out, can affect more than just your mouth. “Gum disease is an inflammatory disease, and it can affect the rest of your body,” she says. Also, routine dental exams aren’t just about buffing up your pearly whites—your dentist is likely screening for oral cancer, performing a head and neck exam, and inspecting your lymph nodes, tongue, throat, gums, and other tissues in your mouth to make sure everything is healthy, says Watson-Lowry. For these reasons, you should get a regular dental checkup every six months, she says. – Glamour, What to Know Before You Go to the Dentist During COVID-19 “The study by U.S. dental surgeon Dr. Shervin Molayem and South African scientist Carla Pontes suggests COVID patients with gum disease are more susceptible to a respiratory crisis known as a cytokine storm, essentially an overreaction of the body’s immune system. “Gum disease has been linked to other breathing ailments, including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so we weren’t surprised to find a link to respiratory problems with COVID-19,” Molayem said in a press release. “What shocked us was the discovery of the protein’s devastating, life-threatening impact to patients once they’re hospitalized. One tiny, inflammatory protein robbed them of their ability to breathe!” Bacteria from inflamed gums can be aspirated and adhere to the lung epithelium, promoting infection and subsequently showing up in lung fluids. The bacteria cause secondary infections that can serve as a reservoir for the coronavirus. Mechanical ventilation decreases clearance of oral secretions, increasing the bacterial load and probability of pneumonia development. “As the death toll keeps climbing, the CDC now predicts the virus will be among the leading causes of death in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer,” Molayem said. “Now … we’ve confirmed periodontitis makes it even deadlier.” – International Business Times, Study Links Gum Disease To COVID-19 Deaths, Aspirated Bacteria Serve As Reservoir For Coronavirus “Many times people do not comprehend that teeth are attached to the body, to the bone and head, and that it is as important to take care of their teeth as their organs,” [Dr. Chad Gehani, the president of the American Dental Association (ADA),] said. “Most of the dental diseases are preventable and, if detected in an early stage, they are very inexpensive and they are very easily treatable. If you let the oral condition go for too long a period of time, it can become more complicated later on.” – Today.com Thinking about making a dentist appointment? What you need to know “Dentistry is not an elective procedure,” said Purnima Kumar, a professor of periodontology at Ohio State University. “They’re important to your mouth health, as well as to the health of the rest of your body.” – The Washington Post Yes, you should still go to the dentist. But be careful. If you have any questions about visiting the dentist, you can call or text the…
Gordon Center for General & Advanced Dentistry is open and seeing patients! Here’s an overview of our new COVID safety protocols: New Social Distancing Measures We have instituted a new texting program that allows patients to stay in their car when they arrive. Patients will call or text Billie. They will be notified by calling or texting when the treatment room is ready. They can expect to be greeted at the front of the office by a staff member. Temperatures will be taken with a touchless laser thermometer. Patients will then be taken directly back to their treatment room. We have removed all magazines from the waiting room area. Waiting room furniture has been replaced by 3 functional, widely spaced chairs are sprayed with a disinfectant multiple times a day. Patients must wear a mask in the office per Gov. Hogan’s executive order. Patients should come with their own masks, but if they do not have one, we will have a limited supply at the front desk. At this time, non-patients coming with patients are limited to ONE necessary guardian. New Protective Measures All doctors, assistants, and hygienists will be wearing enhanced levels of PPE. This includes the use of face shields, N95 masks, scrubs with outer lab coats changed between patients, and HEPA filter machines that filter the air. We have placed one in each operatory and one much larger one at both the front and back of the office. Dentistry in the past was concerned with preventing blood borne pathogens. Now, we are additionally focused on airborne pathogens. For the foreseeable future, the dental hygienists will not be using the cavitron or piezo (vibrates and sprays out water ). New Standards of Cleanliness We completely repainted and re-carpeted the office. A new level of cleanliness and cleaning procedures will become a new way of life, so we decided the best way was to start fresh with the surroundings. HEPA filters are now in each treatment room with larger ones in the front door area and in the back of the office. Hand sanitizer is available at the front desk and in common areas. A Touchless Thermometer At least in the near term, temperatures will be taken with a laser thermometer on all patients before a dental procedure is started. A Questionnaire All patients will be asked a new set of questions when confirming over the phone and upon arrival to the office. These will include questions like …”Have you or anyone in your household had symptoms of COVID19 in the past 2 weeks?” and “Have you developed a cough in the past 2 weeks?” Patients who answer yes to any of the screening questions will be asked to reschedule their appointment. An Expanded Schedule (Now Open Fridays!) We will be working on Fridays to accommodate those patients whose needs we put off during the Governor’s ordered business suspension. Please be patient with us. We need to triage all dental patients. From a treatment standpoint, infections or tender and broken teeth must be seen first. Those patients with acute periodontal problems will be seen first by the hygienists. We are working more hours to accommodate everyone’s needs. The Same Team We would like you to know that everyone who works at GCGAD was kept on full salary. Our dedicated professionals–Billie, Tina, Nila, Nicole, and Nicky received their full salary during the closure. No one was furloughed or fired. This was unique for the medical and dental community. We realize that our staff are dedicated people who help you receive the finest care in the country. We know they have bills to pay. So, we decided to use this gesture to say thank you for taking such good care of all of our patients. Related: What the Experts Say About Visiting the Dentist During COVID-19 Learn More About Our Dentists Click to Request an Appointment Questions about our COVID safety protocols? Call or text our office at 301-258-1998.
We are aware of the recommendations from Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Health. They have advised that dental offices can reopen. We look forward to welcoming you back with the highest standards of safety and comfort. These have always been key priorities for us, and they remain so during this pandemic and beyond. With this is mind, we will take the remainder of the week and possibly a day or two next week, to ensure our office and staff are fully up to date with all recommendations and that we have all of the necessary equipment and protocols in place to protect every member of the Gordon Center community, including our office team. We will keep you updated on new developments. We look forward to seeing you once we reopen!
Brushing and Flossing Dental home care during social distancing or shelter in place is important to maintain good oral hygiene and good overall health. If you have been having good checkups, try to maintain the same routine of brushing and flossing. It’s been our experience that sometimes when people change their routine, they become lax in their dental home care. Vacations, retirement, or new babies thrown into the mix often have changes in brushing and flossing habits, that lead to gum inflammation or tooth decay. Working From Home and Dental Care Working at home due to social distancing can elicit a change in dietary habits. An increase in snacking and not brushing after allows more food particles to stay in the mouth, which could lead to an increase in plaque and calculus. This, in turn, could lead to inflamed gums and more cavities. Increased access to sugary foods from the pantry (raisins, fruit roll ups, candy, gum with sugar, more sugary drinks–soda, or drinking coffee with sugars all day long) , can cause cavities in as short a time as two months. (A more sugary diet causes additional issues if you are pre-diabetic.) The solution is two-fold: Try to limit your intake of additional sugary foods and drinks, and when you consume them, try to do so in one sitting and brush your teeth once you’ve finished. Running out of Floss If you run out of dental floss, there are some substitutes that can be used. Keep in mind: In most cases, flossing removes more bacteria and food particles between the teeth. Tooth picks or oral irrigators are acceptable alternatives but a word of caution with each. Tooth picks when used too aggressively between teeth can blunt back gum between the teeth causing a bigger space for food to get stuck. In upper and especially lower front teeth, twirling a toothpick in and out can cause an “hourglass shape “ at the gum on the root of the tooth. Water Piks are good for some people who cant floss at all. However, if used on a high setting, it can cause irritation. Even on a low setting, the pulsating water has the capacity to wash out cement under crowns or bridges. One should never “recycle” floss use. Bacteria can grow on floss and be reintroduced between the teeth causing gingival inflammation. Sewing thread should never be used as a substitute for floss. There is no telling what type of bacteria is seeded on different threads. Also, skinny thread can break between the teeth and become wedged. If it gets lodged in the gum, that irritation can cause a gum abscess. If you run out floss, continue brushing as you usually would. Running out of Toothpaste If you run out of toothpaste, don’t fret. Toothpaste is not necessary to remove dental plaque from your teeth. The mechanical action of the bristles on teeth and the use of dental floss, disrupts the organization of dental plaque that would lead to gum disease and cavities. Active ingredients in toothpaste, fluoride being the main one, helps remove the bacteria that causes bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. The internet is full of at home homeopathic toothpaste that you can make. The easiest one calls for a teaspoon of baking soda and a half of teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide mixed to a paste like consistency. Related: Now that dental offices have reopened, it’s recommended to keep up your regularly scheduled dental cleaning to stay healthy and prevent gum disease. Our office has implemented extensive safety protocols include and beyond social distancing, PPE, HEPA filters, screening questions, text to skip the waiting room and more. What the Experts Say About Visiting the Dentist During COVID-19 What Can I Expect When I Come for My Dental Appointment?
The health, safety, and comfort of our patients and staff is our #1 priority. Based on current news and recommendations by the CDC, ADA, and MSDA; Gordon Center for General & Advanced Dentistry is closed effective immediately. We will reevaluate and post another update next weekend. In the meantime, if you have a dental emergency, call our office at (301) 258-1998. We’ll continue to post updates on our websites, Facebook, and Instagram pages. As always, please feel free to contact our practice with any questions or concerns.
Dear Patients and Gordon Center Community: We are so proud of the relationships and trust we have built as your dentists over the past 30 plus years. While the Covid-19 pandemic is new, our commitment to your heath remains steadfast as always. In this spirit, we want to communicate all we do to keep the office clean and safe, and answer any questions you may have. As doctors, we are closely monitoring all communications from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Maryland Department of Health regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will be posting an update on any change in office policies every Monday, with more frequent posts if additional information becomes relevant. In the meantime, you should know that we practice strict Universal Standard safety precautions as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Specifically, we are in strict adherence to the CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings. Every single item we use in the mouth is either single-use disposable or sterilized in the autoclave. Hands are washed and gloves are changed between each patient. We’re disinfecting the common areas such as waiting room and restroom with EPA-registered disinfectants morning, afternoon, and evening. A cleaning crew comes in every night. Antibacterial hand sanitizer is available at the main desk and we encourage all patients to use it when they arrive. Drs. Gordon are partnering closely with the dental lab in Arizona on their disinfectant and sterilization protocols. We are doing all we can keep patients safe and healthy. We ask that you do the same. If you have been in contact with any persons with a diagnosed COVID-19 virus, have a temperature greater than 100, sore throat, achy joints, and/or severe cold/flu like symptoms, please reschedule your appointment. Gordon Center for General and Advanced Dentistry is open and is operating under our normal business hours. We’ll continue to post updates on our websites, Facebook, and Instagram pages. As always, please feel free to contact our practice with any questions or concerns. Committed to your health and safety, Drs. Leonard and David Gordon
Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease in the gums. Commonly referred to as Gum disease, it infects the jaw bone with destructive bacteria. These harmful bacteria like a dirty environment of dental plaque and tartar. They cause bone degeneration around teeth. Additionally, they have recently been implicated in heart disease, Alzheimers, and an increased risk of cancer. Periodontal disease can not be treated, only prevented, with a dental cleaning. Periodontal disease treatment might include deep cleanings, Scaling and Root Planing, Gum surgery and bone grafting. Prevention is the best medicine.
At Gordon Center, we bring the latest dental technology and advanced dental techniques to our patients. It allows us to create natural-looking cosmetic results. The latest example of this is with a new dental bonding technique, pioneered by a top dentist–and friend of Dr. David Gordon–across the country. Specifically, Dr. Dawn Wehking suggests using Teflon tape to separate the teeth instead of more cumbersome outdated techniques. (Read more.) Using Teflon tape allows the filling to have a smoother and more natural contour. Check out this before and after picture of a patient who saw Dr. David Gordon after he broke two teeth in an accident.
Your parent may be interested to know how going to the dentist contributes to overall health and longevity. Recent studies show that bacteria from the mouth has been linked as a cause for an increase in heart disease, pancreatic and colorectal cancer, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular dental cleaning visits in addition to proper home care limit bacteria in the mouth. As teeth are lost and chewing power decreases, there is an increase in memory loss. Not to mention, if they can’t chew, it will limit the healthy foods they can eat. Dental implants allow for the same chewing force as natural teeth, and we’ve restored implants on patients up to 87 years old. Even if nothing is bothering your parent, a comprehensive exam and necessary X-rays can reveal what, if left untreated, could cause problems in the future. If the root of their hesitance is a fear of the dentist, they are not alone. One in ten people have some fear of the dentist and we specialize in making our patients feel comfortable. The dental hygienists and Dr.’s Gordon will not rush your parent and will answer any questions they have. Click to schedule an appointment or call 301-258-1998.
Whether you purchased more than you ended up handing out, or your children brought home massive bags of treats, most of us find ourselves with leftover Halloween candy. And you might be wondering: Is it all the same, or is some worse for my teeth than others? As far as your teeth are concerned, sticky (taffy, caramel) or hard candies are some of the hardest on your teeth. Chocolate is often preferable. Of course there are two other things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, it’s one thing to eat a lot of candy on Halloween night, but if you continue to consume the leftovers all month long, you’ll be exposing your teeth to more sugar. Second, anytime you eat candy, you want to make sure you properly brush and floss your teeth.