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Heart Health and Dental Care

Keeping your best interests at heart

Last year during American Heart Month, we highlighted the connection between periodontal disease and overall health. One of the most often discussed is the effect on heart disease. What is less frequently highlighted is the relationship between various cardiovascular conditions and dental treatment.

So this year, we at Amsterdam Dental Group want to focus on the care and precautions important for patients suffering from the many types of heart disease. This can include reviewing medications, measuring blood pressure and even delaying treatment. But nothing is more important than open communication to provide the best possible care.

Here are some common conditions and related dental treatment.

  • Heart Attack
    After a heart attack, dental treatment should be delayed at least six months. Since cases, conditions and medications differ, most dentists will want to consult your physician as it may impact the method of treatment as in the case of blood thinners and cautions related to dental surgery or extractions. Another is to ensure oxygen and nitroglycerin is on hand during appointments.
  • High Blood Pressure
    There are a number of possible oral side effects to high blood pressure medications – dry mouth, altered taste, gum overgrowth and faintness. Although most will safely interact with anti-anxiety drugs and local anesthesia, it is important for your dentist to be made aware of any prescriptions. For those suffering with this condition, a baseline blood pressure should be taken at the start of each visit and monitored throughout the procedure.
  • Angina
    Dental treatment will vary for stable and unstable angina sufferers. Stable angina generally does not require special circumstances except having oxygen and nitroglycerin on hand. For those with unstable angina, only emergency dental care should be undertaken during which your heart should be monitored continuously.
  • Stroke
    There are various long-term effects caused by a stroke and some can impact oral health care. To help, special toothbrushes and floss holders are available along with fluoride gel and saliva substitutes. Denture wearers may require adjustments. Although routine dental care is safe, it is recommended to bring a copy of recent bloodwork and have your dental and medical professionals consult prior to in depth dental procedures.
  • Congestive Heart Failure
    In general, there are usually no special guidelines for those with congestive heart failure (CHF), yet your dentist may choose different alternatives based upon prescribed medications. For those with more severe CHF, dental chair position should be modulated to avoid possible fluid build-up in your lungs. Patients should refrain from sitting up quickly, which can cause light-headedness. In some cases, dental treatment may be best suited in a hospital setting.
  • Pacemaker Wearers
    Patients with a pacemaker should avoid non-emergency dental care for several weeks after implantation. Once cleared, it is important to review any possible interactions between your dentist’s electromagnetic devices and pacemakers. The dental staff can check this in advance with a call to the manufacturer and your dentist can plan accordingly.
  • In the end, the interrelationship between heart health and oral health cannot be untangled. They often go hand in hand. The best advice is to open the lines of communication between your dentist and physician – both who will have your best interests and care at heart.

    For more information, please contact any member of the Amsterdam Dental staff or your dental professional.


Dental Health – New Year’s Resolution

Try these tips on breaking bad habits instead of your teeth


It’s the new year and perfect time to brush away some bad habits ~ especially those that can harm your teeth and wreak havoc on a winning smile. Here are just some of the common ways we damage our teeth and tips to overcome them.

  • Nail Biting:
    It’s not something everyone does nor taste good. But this nervous habit can do more than chip teeth. Placing pressure in a protruding position for sustained periods of time can cause jaw dysfunction. Solution: Start by recognizing some of the triggers that cause nail biting and try to keep your hands and fingers busy. Other ideas include bitter-tasting nail polish and stress reduction toys or tools.
  • Brushing Too Hard:
    We all know the mantra – brush teeth for two minutes twice a day. However, brushing forcefully or with a hard toothbrush can often do more harm than good, including damaging both teeth and gums. Solution: A first step is to use an ADA-approved soft toothbrush and the motion should be more akin to a massage than scrubbing the bathroom floor.
  • Grinding and Clenching:
    This habit is one that is sometimes so subconscious that we don’t realize we are doing it. Especially when it takes place while sleeping. This can result in chipped or cracked teeth but also sore muscles and joints. Solution: Relaxation is key and yes, easier said than done. In such cases, certain exercises can help. If this occurs primarily when asleep, a mouth guard may be needed overnight.
  • Chewing Ice Cubes:
    Imagine two crystals pressed against one another. That’s the same as tooth enamel and ice – both are crystals. While more often teeth win, chewing on ice can cause a tooth or filling to break. Solution: There are a couple ways to curb this habit, including drinking cold beverages without ice or use a straw.
  • Constant Snacking:
    Who can resist noshing throughout the day but sugary foods and drinks can really put your teeth at risk for cavities. The on-going presence of bacteria produces acid and damages a tooth’s outer shell. Solution: Step one is to eat well balanced meals. This helps you feel fuller, longer. Yet snacking is far too tempting so choose something low in fat and sugar. When your sweet tooth does takeover, have a big glass of water to wash away leftover bacteria.
  • Using Teeth As Tools:
    The only job teeth should be used for is eating. They are not a vice when hands are full nor scissors to tear a plastic bag. Such actions can cause cracked teeth, injured jaws and accidental swallowing. Solution: Take a moment to find someone or something else to help with the job at hand.

So, start the year of right and break those bad habits and not your teeth. If questions or conditions arise, contact any member of the Amsterdam Dental staff or any dental professional.


Holidays – Family, Food and Fun

Keep Smiling with Dental Health Tips

Slice of pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream

Who can refuse marshmallow-topped yams or sweetly tart cranberry sauce? Not to mention traditional pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream? Yes, it’s that time of year and Thanksgiving gatherings are upon us. As we prepare to dig in and enjoy, here are some easy yet wise dental health tips to keep in mind…

  • Shorten Meal Time. Enjoying friends and family for hours is great, but eating that long can wreak havoc on teeth. Prolonged exposure to the acids in food can increase cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Stay Hydrated. Drinking water is always good but even more so when rich, sweet foods are on the menu. A light rinse can wash away debris, prevent plaque and help improve saliva flow – all to fight cavities.
  • Brush and Floss. Dental hygiene diligence is key throughout the holidays so bring a toothbrush and floss for a quick powder room escape 30 minutes after the meal. No time? Keep some sugar free gum on hand.
  • Avoid sticky sides. Cranberry relishes, pecan pie and even mashed potatoes can stick to teeth for hours, creating an ideal environment for gum infection and enamel erosion. A swish with water or quick brush will help.
  • Schedule Cleaning Appointment. After days-filled with rich foods, schedule a dental cleaning visit to check for cavities, excess plaque and any signs of disease. Cosmetic treatments are also available to correct any damage.

Celebrate the holidays with a beautiful, healthy smile. If questions or conditions arise, contact any member of the Amsterdam Dental staff or any dental professional.

Overcoming Dental Fear

Halloween can be spooky.

But we’ve got some sure fire ways to alleviate dental fear.

Philadelphia Dentist
Studies show that nearly 75% of people in the U.S. fear going to the dentist. While women are more likely afraid than men and younger people have greater apprehension, they all have one thing in common – some level of fear. At times, it can lead to avoiding even routine oral hygiene appointments and have a detrimental impact on your overall health.

With the varying levels of fear and possible root cause, it is often hard to know what will truly help put someone at ease. In fact, the likelihood of eliminating fear altogether is rather slim. However there are some helpful tips that can make a difference.

  1. Don’t go alone
    One valuable tip is to bring a family member or friend along who doesn’t share this same fear. It’s comforting to have a familiar and trusted someone at your side even in the treatment room.
  2. Find a distraction
    Dentists are well aware of the great number of patients who are afraid and create an environment with TVs, music and other distractions. If unsure, you can also bring your own headphones to try.
  3. Breathe deep
    Relaxation techniques can go a long way in reducing the fear when sitting in the dental chair. Whether it is slow deep breaths or tensing and relaxing certain muscles, such efforts really help.
  4. Calming effects
    The use of sedatives, including local anesthetic, laughing gas and even IV sedation, has become common. Trained dentists can recommend the most appropriate option based on your needs.
  5. Choose wisely
    All dentists like to claim they cater to those most afraid. The only way to be sure is to know your dental professional and the staff. They should talk to you first even before sitting in the dreaded dental chair.

So when the ghosts and goblins are out this month, know you’re safe when you need dental care. If you have questions or concerns, contact Amsterdam Dental Group or your dentist.

Source: and

National Dental Hygiene Month

Just in time for Trick or Treat

Here’s a short and sweet list of oral health tips.

Dental Hygiene
October – renowned for caramel apples, candy corn and all sorts of sugary-Halloween treats. But its also National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) and a perfect time to remember “Oral Health = Overall Health!”

Preventing tooth decay and gum disease begins with a commitment to “Do The Daily 4” according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. For those who need a refresher, these four most important components include:

  1. Brush 2x a Day, for 2 Minutes
    Reduce sticky-icky plaque. Prevent tooth decay. Lessen the likelihood of gum disease. Simply remember to brush your teeth for two minutes – once in the morning and before bed at night.
  2. Floss Daily
    Reach the spaces a toothbrush won’t. Remove the food regular brushing can’t. Flossing will do both and more to prevent bad breath and avoid infection that can cause other health issues.
  3. Daily Rinsing with Mouthwash
    Swish to the right. Swoosh to the left. By rinsing with an anti-microbial, ADA-approved mouthwash even once a day can go a long way in maintaining the best possible oral health.
  4. Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
    On the go between meetings. No time before the soccer game. Grabbing a piece of sugar-free gum after meals stimulates saliva – a key natural defense in the fight against tooth decay.

So as we celebrate NDHM, remember to “Do The Daily 4” and schedule your next professional cleaning. If you have questions or concerns, contact Amsterdam Dental Group or your dentist.


It’s National Gum Care Month

We turn the spotlight on preventing periodontal disease.

September is National Gum Care Month and Amsterdam Dental turns the spotlight on preventing periodontal disease – a common condition that can often have no warning signs.

Simply defined… periodontal disease (or periodontitis) is a serious gum infection and one of the major causes of tooth loss in adults. While often preventable with proper oral hygiene, early symptoms of red, swollen or receding gums should not be overlooked. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious dental conditions, such as tissue damage and jawbone deterioration. In addition, periodontitis has also been linked to heart and other diseases.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, research has indicated the bacteria and inflammation related to periodontal disease may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also have a negative effect on existing heart conditions. Evidence has further shown a relationship between periodontitis and other diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and respiratory-related illnesses.

At-A-Glance: Signs & Symptoms

  • Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
  • Receding gums or those that move away from the tooth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums

At-A-Glance: Risk Factors

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Genetics and/or age
  • Crooked, hard to clean teeth
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications (steroids, select anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives)

At-A-Glance: Gum Disease Prevention

  • Brush teeth daily
  • Floss teeth daily
  • Swish with mouthwash
  • Know gum disease risk factors

There is good news! Periodontal disease is treatable using special dental procedures to clean the pockets around teeth and prevent damage of surrounding bone. In advanced cases, periodontal surgery may be required. As with all diseases, early detection is best. If you have questions or show symptoms, the team of Amsterdam Dental Group periodontists can diagnosis, create and manage a personal, case-specific treatment plan.

So as we celebrate National Gum Care, keep your healthy with good oral hygiene.


Fall Tips for Tailgating

Tailgating is always fun! And, yes, it can be tooth-friendly!

It’s fall and that means… Get out and start tailgating! From SUV-filled stadium parking lots to a comfortable gathering in front of the big screen at home, there is no shortage of food and fun. The good news is there are some easy ways to maintain dental health while rooting for your favorite team. Here are some quick and good-tasting options.

  • Take a pass on the tradition and replace hamburgers and hot dogs with some grilled vegetables, fish, chicken and other lean meats instead.  All good ways to avoid bad breath and mouth sores.
  • Back up your starting line up with a raw vegetable tray. These fiber-rich favorites stimulate saliva and wash away cavity-causing sugars and bacteria.
  • Kick off the tailgate with some cheese and crackers. The calcium-infused favorite is a great source of minerals for your teeth. Go for two points by opting for whole-grain or whole-wheat picks.
  • Gear up for overtime with some healthy sweet treats like sugar-free peanut butter cookies or sliced fruit with yogurt dip.

Win or lose, the best end of game advice is to be sure and brush afterward or at least swish with a little water! Happy tailgating!

If you have any questions or dental related concerns, contact Amsterdam Dental Group or your dental professional.


Do you have sensitive teeth?

sensitive teethStep One: Determine the Cause

For those who have sensitive teeth, a scoop of cold ice cream or sip of hot coffee can be painful. But good news! The condition is treatable. It’s just a matter of determining the cause.

As with dental health in general, proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing the pain from sensitive teeth. However there are situations where additional treatment is needed. To give a little background… Healthy teeth have three layers – enamel, cementum and dentin. Enamel protects the crowns above the gum line; cementum shields the tooth root. Dentin is the least dense and last layer of defense shielding the nerves and cells within the tooth. When dentin is exposed or unprotected, pain from sensitivity can result.

So what are some of the most common causes of sensitive teeth? Tooth decay is often top on the list, followed by the wear and tear of worn fillings, eroded enamel or fractured teeth. More serious conditions, such as gum disease and tooth root exposure, may also be the basis for sensitivity. Depending on the cause, there are several treatment options dental professionals might recommend.

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. Specifically created to block sensations between the tooth surface and the nerve, regular use of such toothpaste can reduce sensitivity.
  • Fluoride gel. This in-office treatment strengthens tooth enamel in order to protect dentin and reduce the transmission of sensations to the nerve.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. If the cause is tooth decay or wear and tear, one of these corrective methods may be the best course of action.
  • Surgical gum graft. When the root is exposed due to the loss of gum tissue, surgical grafting can be used to restore protection and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal. This is generally the last recommended option and one that would be used in cases of severe or persistent sensitivity when other treatments have not shown results.

If you have any questions or experience such symptoms, contact Amsterdam Dental Group or your dental professional.


Checking in from the AO 2017 annual conference, Orlando

With 6,000 members in 70 countries around the world, the Academy of Osseointegration (AO) is recognized as the premier international association for professionals interested in implant dentistry. AO serves as a nexus where specialists and generalists can come together to evaluate emerging research, technology, and techniques; share best information; and coordinate optimal patient care using timely, evidence-based science and methods.

So when this group gets together for the AO Annual Conference, this event is huge and Amsterdam Dental Group was there. But we did more than just attend, our very own Dr. Harold Baumgarten gave a hands-on CE course with our favorite Swedish professional, Dr. P.O. Ostman. This workshop focused on advanced full arch immediate treatment solutions that incorporate novel implant designs to properly manage complex anatomical conditions.

Additionally, Dr. B (as we refer to him) was moderator and presenter for the corporate forum session. Easily the most exciting arena of the meeting, it is where all of the beta-tested items from the past years are introduced as coming to market.

On a personal note, I was particularly proud of my immediate past co-residents and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hector Sarmiento (periodontics) and Dr. Rebecca Boccow (periodontics-orthodontics) were speakers on the main floor of this year’s general assembly.

Dr-Arturo-LlobellA true highlight was to see my former classmate, Dr. Arturo Llobell (periodontics-prosthodontics) recognized as the most outstanding young clinician in the field and awarded the keynote address at the Young Clinician’s Lecture Series. Dr. B and partner Dr. Howard Fraiman are truly honored to see former students soar to such tremendous heights. It’s a true testament to the mentors they have become for the next generation of world-class clinicians and the future of dentistry.

Looking ahead, I can’t wait for next year’s meeting in Los Angeles and another opportunity for the talents of our Amsterdam Dental Group team to again be on display at the foremost convention of implant dentistry.

– Dr. C


As the curtain closes on a busy year, there’s more in store for 2017

Focal Point
Looking back on 2016, this was a busy year at Amsterdam Dental Group – a practice merger, a partner merit award and a complete office expansion and renovation. All this as we launched MIDI computer guided implantology, our well-defined technique using minimally invasive dental implants. Here are some highlights.

  • Amsterdam Dental Group announces its merger with Family Dental Associates, P.C. in Paoli, PA, which closed on March 14th. The two groups share a long history of unprecedented dental care and fostering the best possible patient experience.
  • In May, practice partner Jeffrey S. Ingber, DMD received the Penn Dental Medicine Alumni Award of Merit in recognition of his loyalty to the school, excellence in the profession of dentistry and community involvement.
  • The summer marked the completion of our Paoli office expansion boasting a new look, new amenities and new meaning to state-of-the-art dental care. With twice the square footage, it’s an ideal blend of science and art embracing all the newest advances.

So what is in store for 2017? Quite a bit. This spring, we will be bringing on a new associate dual trained in periodontics and prosthodontics and our own Dr. Harold S. Baumgarten will be honored with the Penn Dental Medicine Alumni Award. The practice as a whole will continue advancing MIDI and exploring the latest advances to improve patient experiences and results.