By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
SHREWSBURY – More than a year of pandemic life has caused a spike in certain oral health problems, Modern Dentistry co-owner Dr. YiChen (Jenn) Wei said in a recent interview.
But it’s not too late for patients to take proactive steps to avoid bigger problems.
Indeed, as the COVID-19 threat begins to wane, the staff of Modern Dentistry in Shrewsbury are inviting patients to come back to the office for potentially overdue care.
“Now that people are getting vaccinated and as we’re trying to resume a sense of normalcy, we certainly encourage patients to return to see their dentist for exams, cleanings and preventative care,” Wei said. “If we do see a problem, we certainly plan in advance before it becomes a tooth that actually has symptoms or issues later on.”
Modern Dentistry adapts to COVID-19
Wei owns and operates Modern Dentistry with her husband, Dr. Mehdi Karimipour.
With their team of experts, Wei and Karimipour offer a variety of dental services from standard cleanings to preventative and advanced restorative care as a multi-specialty office. They use new technologies like 3D imaging tools, a microscope for root-canal therapy and a Cerec machine for in-house fabrication of same-day crowns. They also offer implants.
When COVID-19 hit, Modern Dentistry had to delay some routine care appointments. But the office never closed completely, remaining open for the expert emergency care it has long provided.
“We see patients with dental infections,” Wei said. “We didn’t want the hospital system to be overwhelmed with having more emergency patients, so we’ve always stayed open for those emergency patients.”
Now, especially as the state has continued with its long reopening process, Wei and Karimipour are excited to be bringing back routine care with proper precautions in place.
The team sanitizes its space regularly. Waiting room capacity has been reduced. And schedulers are staggering appointment start times to limit clusters of patients gathering to wait for their appointments.
Modern Dentistry has also expanded its air circulation and filtration systems to improve airflow as a virus mitigation mechanism.
“We’ve pretty much done everything as recommended by the ADA, health department and local dental societies,” Wei said.
Proactive care could mitigate worsening dental issues
While fears about COVID-19 infection persist, Wei said she’s also seen a number of new gingivitis cases and cracked teeth in recent months.
She attributes this, at least in part, to the pandemic.
“It’s because of the stress of COVID and what we were subjected to for over a year,” she said.
Cracked teeth and other issues are manifesting in the form of chewing sensitivity. Karimipour is treating such symptoms by creating night guards for patients who clench or grind their teeth. When those don’t provide relief, Wei as an endodontist or root canal specialist, will evaluate for nerve damage or recommend a crown to keep the tooth intact.
Together, those treatments aim to stop potentially severe problems before they require tooth extraction.
“We see a lot of patients based on symptoms, unfortunately,” Wei said. “But we do try to observe if there are any cracks that could potentially be a cracked tooth problem later. We try to crown it so that the crack doesn’t cause nerve damage over time.”
Modern Dentistry offers compassionate care
The team at Modern Dentistry cares for their patients and is celebrating the slow return to normalcy.
With their compassionate brand of treatment, they’re now hard at work making patients feel safe and comfortable enough to continue to safeguard their long-term oral health with regular dental care.
“You treat it accordingly before your symptoms actually start to appear,” Wei said.
Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury is located at 307 Grafton St. #203, Shrewsbury. For more information call 508-842-8838 or visit shrewsburydentist.com.