Ask The Dentist

Dear Community Members:


I write to you from the safety of my home, still absorbing the reality of so many loved ones lost to or still suffering from COVID 19 and it's comorbidities. But in this comfort of my home, I've realized, probably like you, just how much I value those simple elements that I too often rush past. My friends and family.

How little we need besides food, shelter, and the sorely missed social contact with our relatives and friends! And if we're blessed to be sheltered in with family... Everything else we busy ourselves with is simply an accent, and at times, actually a distraction or even an excuse. We continue to hope for all of humanity, and we remember those that we've lost, we also feel blessed to be alive and aware of what's important. Can we carry this awareness into the future? What can we do to change the way we live going forward?

As a medical professional, I see this concept of priorities intertwined into the covid 19 story in a subtle way. One phrase we keep hearing is "underlying medical conditions." We've been taught by the media that covid is particularly dangerous to those with "underlying medical conditions", some of which were never diagnosed or treated. We're even been teased by news broadcasters that one must never rest assured, for they too may have undiagnosed medical conditions.

I must admit, this is a possibility. As a dentist, I often see the pattern of "Emergency Health Care." Certain patients present with pain, seek immediate relief, and rush back to their distracting busy lives. Never to restore their mouths to full health. Some times they are too busy, sometimes disbelieving that the work is necessary ("it doesn't hurt") and sometimes, sadly, unwilling to pay the cost of treatment. And from my medical colleagues, I'm shocked to hear the same about systemic health. Patients ignoring signs and symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, and more. Perhaps they are scared. Perhaps they don't realize how much we can help them. Perhaps they are simply distracted. Regardless, this must change.

As a humble dentist in a COVID pandemic, frozen in time and strewn sideways in a veritable war in the hospital network, I feel compelled to share what I've observed of human nature in my many years of practice. I urge you, I beg you, in the least, use this experience to take charge of your health. Even for those who are so used to the risky "Emergency Health Care" cycle, you can make this switch. Call your internist and schedule an annual visit. Find out which tests you should be getting and at what age. Schedule them. Some of these tests are unpleasant. Unfortunately, so are the alternatives. So many diseases are caught at an early stage and treated successfully with excellent outcomes. You've got this!

Of course as a dentist, I must remind you to call us too. The oral cavity (that's the mouth!) is the gateway to so many systems in the body. I've personally helped patients get the proper medical treatment they needed to alleviate physical symptoms they'd had for years. And of course, the mouth itself must be taken care of. Small problems in our teeth, more than any other system in our body, can be resolved so simply when dealt with sooner, rather than than later. (In case you're unsure, "now" is sooner, than later next week.) My healthiest patients always make sure they have their next appointment scheduled before they leave the office-whether it's a treatment or a checkup.

Please do yourself and your loved ones a favor: call your doctor and schedule any necessary tests today. You won't regret it.

Stay healthy and know that I am always here to serve you in any way that I can.


Dr Nina Babayev
BH Franklin Dental
405 Franklin Avenue,
Franklin Square, NY 11010
516- 233- 1227