Welcome back to Dentistry!!!
After 3 long months of waiting, we are finally back in the office! And just in the nick of time!
If anyone has doubted that Dentistry is an “Essential” Service, I can attest to the many patients who have suffered from so many issues over the past few months. I have seen many infections, cracked teeth, and a lot of painful TMJ muscle issues. I will say that it feels so rewarding to be able to help people and watch them leave the office feeling comfort and relief… Finally!
I was worried that our patients would be nervous coming back into the dental office after so much stress from Covid related stories in the news. We have taken a very serious approach to re-opening our office and have gone above and beyond the regulations that have been given to us by the Ministry of Health.
I know that as soon as patients enter our office, they can see how much we care and how safe of an environment we have set up. I can honestly see how relaxed they are, and it gives me a great sense of pride in the strength of our Dentist-Patient-Dental Team relationship. We have known many of our patients for decades.
We have recently been blessed to welcome back Rosie at our Front desk, following her surgery. Rosie and I started in Gasner Dental 27 years ago, on the same day! My hardest task now is trying to stop patients who say they want to give her a big hug! For now, she gives virtual hugs through plexiglass and a mask!
We are waiting for the Hygienists to return to work, and we hope that this will be soon. The regulations that they follow come to them from their College, the CDHO.
Dr. Walters, who has been my right-hand Dentist for the past 25 years, has eased into her retirement phase. She is still available to discuss issues and can easily be reached. We are working very hard to ensure that all of her patients are being transitioned to Dr. Jessica Temple and the rest of the team in a smooth and easy manner. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
In the meantime, we are open for all aspects of dentistry. We even have the dentists doing the cleanings. And believe me, many of our patients need this badly!
As we head into the summer, we are working tirelessly behind the scenes to help our patients return to their optimal dental health. As there is a lot of catching up to do, we hope that everyone will bare with us as we try as hard as we can to keep up with the overwhelming requests.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy summer!
Like many of you, we are left wondering when we will be able to reopen our practice to see our patients for continuing and ongoing care. We hope that it will be soon, and we are busy preparing for re-opening by modifying the office to account for the chages. Future appointments will look somewhat different than what you are used to. We might be wearing N95 Respirator masks, face shields, full gowns or scrubs, head coverings and foot coverings. Rest assured that you will get the highest level of care as well as the highest levels of infection control.
As a Dentist, professionally speaking, I have been using my time taking continuing education courses. I have also been actively triaging emergencies from home. Personally, I have never had so much free time at home. My grandfather always told me that ‘the purpose of life is a life of purpose’. This down time has given me the opportunity to experience personal growth and family bonding. I have rediscovered my love of the arts and music.
I wanted to address life stress during this pandemic. I have fielded a lot of emergency issues that were the result of clenching and grinding. Clenching and grinding is one way that our bodies respond during times of stress. This usually involves the squeezing of our teeth and corresponding jaw muscles or the grinding of our teeth while we are sleeping. This can cause headaches, tooth pain, jaw pain, neck pain, and feelings of changes in how our teeth come together. One way that we can assess for clenching and grinding is by asking the patient to open widely in the morning, and if their jaw muscles feel tight that is a strong indication that they have been using their jaw muscles through the night.
How can we deal with clenching and grinding during the pandemic? We must first understand that this pandemic event is unprecedented in our lifetimes. It is perfectly normal to feel uneasy about things. Clenching and grinding is often the result of how we manage life stress. Since we cannot easily make the stress of the pandemic go away, it is helpful to try to manage stress. I have been suggesting to patients to follow a routine as much as possible in their daily lives, and to set daily tasks to accomplish. Personally I have found that following a routine has been very helpful in dealing with anxiety. It is important to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and get enough daily exercise. It is important to also set aside time for rest/relaxation.
The best way to deal with the pain/discomfort related to clenching and grinding is as follows:
In the meantime, stay safe, brush and floss, and try to de-stress.
- Dr. Jordan Klimitz
Today’s Blog is written by Rosie T., who has been an important part of Gasner Dental
as Office Manager, since the very beginning.
I have been fortunate to have the pleasure of working at Gasner Dental for over 27 years, with Dr. Jon and Ellise Gasner. During that time they have managed to build a practice that feels more like a community rather than a Dental Clinic. Together we pride ourselves on creating an environment where each patient feels like a part of our family and we are privileged to feel like we are a part of theirs. Many friendships have been formed over the years that we continue to value today. These friendships mean a lot to me personally.
Over the last few years, while facing health challenges, I have experienced the support of this community and these friendships. Both our amazing patients and staff have been so generous and kind. Most recently after recovering from life changing surgery I witnessed this community in action. I have received many visits to the hospital, numerous phone calls and countless text messages. On one occasion I had a surprise visit from a caring patient with her youngest child in tow! You can’t imagine how grateful I felt after spending time with them. As a way of communicating with me during my last medical leave, our staff set up a "Rosie" book so that patients could leave messages for me. I was able to read so many of your beautiful well wishes which kept my spirits up and helped tremendously with my recovery. Most importantly, it kept me feeling connected to our patients and our practice.
Thank you to all who had the opportunity to leave a note and for all the kind actions shown I feel so grateful to be part of a very special practice made up of extraordinary patients and staff.
To quote Loretta Scot King, "The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members".
Thank you to all for your compassionate actions! I would especially like to thank Dr. Jon and Ellise for building this wonderful community that has made me feel so cherished and loved.
I can't wait to see you all and be able to thank you in person.
As we enter week ‘something or other’ of Isolation, we have learned that in order to cope, we have to put on many hats. We have become stay at home parents, home school teachers, full time cooks, therapists (for ourselves and our friends), exercise instructors, doctors, and yes, even dentists. Our office reception has remained open during this time in order to help triage issues that arise among our patients. As well, all of our dentists are one phone call away.
As we have discussed in previous blogs, dentists are currently only allowed to treat emergencies that fall into the categories of severe pain, swelling, bleeding and any treatment that can’t be managed by medications or verbal instructions.
Let’s take a look at your new role as a triaging dentist during our self-isolation.
There are many times that you may experience acute (quick onset) pain in the mouth that starts suddenly and you notice that it seems to settle down. It may return a few times. This happens quite often and may be related to clenching at night or slightly injuring your teeth during eating. One can also have occasional sensitivity to cold and hot, without it representing a serious problem.
Cold sensitivity is common and may be diet related. Sugar consumption can lead to teeth being more sensitive temporarily. One of the first things that we will instruct in cold sensitivity is to decrease sugar and acidity levels. Examples are coffee with sugar, soda, and citrus fruit. These all decrease pH (an indicator of acid levels) and can lead to sensitivity. To counter this, use toothpastes such as Sensodyne and consume products that are alkaline (less acidic) such as dairy products. Clenching at night can also lead to sensitivity as the teeth are traumatized and the nerves become over reactive temporarily to cold. If you have a nightguard, try wearing it.
If on the other hand you lose a filling, or have a deep cavity, these may not resolve on their own and you would need treatment. Generally, initial signs of nerve issues are related to cold sensitivity that prolongs in duration and intensity. Later signs are sensitivity to hot. These issues should be brought to our attention so that we can direct you further.
Often, one may call in with a chipped tooth. At present, if the chip is not causing pain, then we may need to observe it until the office reopens. This may pose a sharp edge and you could use an emery board (nail file) to sand down any sharp corners. A chipped edge close to the tongue can cut or rub the tongue and cause pain in the tongue or throat. Of course, if you are unsure, then call the office. We may ask you to take a photo to send to us.
Stressful times can lead to clenching at night while you are sleeping. This activity can lead to a whole host of symptoms from sore jaws, pain in teeth and sensitivity. If the muscles are overactive at night, they will stiffen and tighten. You can try to place warm compresses on them and take an appropriate anti-inflammatory or pain medications. Consult your doctor for what medications are appropriate for you.
Bad smells and taste can arise from bacteria trapped in gums, tongue and throat area. Ideally, everyone should have their teeth scaled regularly, but at this time, we have to make an exception. Try to use an electric toothbrush, floss, brush your tongue and rinse with an antibacterial mouth rinse.
In children, the call that we most often receive is either related to broken baby teeth or adult teeth coming in behind or beside. In these cases, unless there is pain involved, it may be part of the normal process of tooth eruption (growing in). Keep us posted if you have any concerns, and we may ask for photos to confirm that all is okay.
If you notice that you have pain that cannot be relieved with these methods discussed above, or swelling of the mouth or gums, then you must call our office and we will guide you to treatment. This may involve medications prescribed from a pharmacy or a referral to one of our amazing specialists, who are remaining open to care for our patients.
We hope that we are able to return to normal function in the near future, but in the meantime, we welcome you as “deputy” dentists and we are always here to help.
Stay safe and healthy!
Many of us may have experienced this before…an annoying, nagging pain that wakes us in the middle of the night and just won’t stop? No, I’m not talking about a toothache, I’m referring to our children likely asking us for yet another snack. We as parents are now expected to be teachers, caregivers, nutritionists, psychologists, housekeepers and now dentists! In today’s world, a routine trip to the dental office is something we do not have the luxury of experiencing. The high rate of aerosols distributing respiratory droplets into the air poses a health concern for the spread of COVID-19, therefore, it is best to limit the exposure during this time. I hope to clarify how to best care for your children’s teeth to prevent problems and how to deal with them if they arise.
The best way to avoid difficulties with our teeth is to prevent them. This has always been our practise philosophy and holds true now more than ever. Here are some tips to keep your family’s teeth in top shape for your next check-up. Remember that we are our children’s teachers – it is our role to model healthy habits.
The Royal of College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has limited us to treating only true dental emergencies until the state of emergency in the province has been lifted. Therefore, it is important to identify which situations are emergencies, and which can be managed best from home.
Dental Concerns that are NOT emergencies:
Dental Concerns that are emergencies:
Please contact us so that we can provide advice based on your specific symptoms and dental history.
The goal is to prevent problems from arising and to manage mild conditions from home until it is safe to treat them. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have questions and require advice, we are always here for you! You are doing a fantastic job with your children and please don’t forget to take care of yourselves (and your teeth 😊)!
We hope to see you all again very soon,
Who could have imagined one year ago that a microscopic creation could have taken such a tremendous hold on the entire world? We have all been greatly affected by the spread of Covid-19 and are now working together worldwide to put an end to it.
Dentistry is one of the closest connected professions affected by this new Pandemic as the virus is spread through the saliva and can be contracted by coming in contact with an infected person. As a precaution, our governments have introduced the measures of isolation and social distancing in order to “flatten the curve” alongside promoting research towards medications to control and to prevent.
Dentistry is considered an essential service, however, due to the transmissibility of this virus, extra precautions are being taken by our governing councils to prevent risk of transmission.
The government has implemented a “state of emergency” and our college, which mandates our profession has stated that dentists and specialists are limited to only treating what they define as “true emergencies”. They define emergencies, as “trauma, significant infection, and prolonged bleeding or pain that can’t be managed by over the counter medications”.
Most “emergencies” that we see in our office on a daily basis, thankfully, don’t fall into these painful categories. Many people come in with some mild sensitivity, or a chipped tooth, or a sore area in the gums or jaw. Compared to the listed emergencies from the college, these seem mild, but when you are the one who is experiencing the discomfort, it is not so easy to hold off for an indeterminate period of time. So, the question becomes, what do we do?
First, we hope that we are able to return to open our offices as soon as we can. But we don’t have a crystal ball. In the meantime, we have made sure that our office is always staffed to receive calls from patients. In some cases, an explanation or a conversation with the dentist by phone can help to alleviate the issue. Some dental problems are temporal, meaning that they come and go, either from something that happened related to the gums, or trauma to the teeth. In these cases, we can monitor the problem over the phone and follow through until there is a resolution. In other cases, some attention is required. One common issue that arises is a chipped tooth. This can pose either a cosmetic or a discomfort issue as it scratches the side of the tongue. We have to gauge the seriousness of the issue on an individual basis. Some cases can be helped by simply smoothing the tooth with an emery board to remove the sharp spot.
In the case of ‘serious’ emergencies such as those listed by the college, our office triages patients over the phone and works closely with specialists who are able to remain open to treat them, in order to stabilize the patient until further treatment can be undertaken.
Our goals are to keep close communication with our patients during this unprecedented time and ensure that there are protocols in place to treat and relieve emergencies while following the guidelines presented to us.
As soon as we are allowed to resume our practice, we will ensure that all precautions are in place for us to deliver dentistry to the highest level of infection control and protection. Our pledge at Gasner Dental is to help all of our patients manage their dental issues during this time and to ensure continued care, management and support. You can reach Gail or one of the Dentists by contacting the office.
Wishing everyone continued health and safety.
- Dr. John Gasner
Dr. Jon Gasner is a graduate of the University of Toronto. Graduating with Honors, he received the
Pediatric Dentistry Award from U of T and then went
on to complete a General Practice Residency at
the Mount Sinai Hospital. He worked as Acting Chief
of Dentistry at Baycrest Hospital for several years.
In December 2013, Dr. Gasner was awarded the “Heritage of Healing Award” by Aish Toronto at a Gala dinner
for his service to the community.
Dr. Gasner established Gasner Dental Associates in 1993 and has taken special pride in developing a dental team that focuses on community based dentistry for the whole family in a warm, caring environment.
Dr. Gasner takes special measures to prepare young children for lifelong positive experiences in the dental office. He enjoys spending time schmoozing with patients both in the chair and in the waiting room, and has guided the practice to develop a warm ‘family’ atmosphere.
His wife Ellise, spends time in the office helping to guide the smooth running of the practice. Together, they have 8 children, 5 of whom are married, 1 grandson and the cutest dog, Lucy.
Dr. Gasner enjoys being involved in many community activities and spending time trying to keep up with the family. His hobbies include, piano, swimming, hiking, calligraphy and creative writing.
Dr. Jordan Klimitz graduated from the University
of Toronto in 2000 with an Honours Bachelor of Science, and then completed a Masters of Environmental
Studies in 2002 from York University. He graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University
of Manitoba in 2002, while receiving awards
in Academic Achievement, Periodontology, and
the Alpha Omega of Canada Award.
Dr. Klimitz enjoys providing high quality comprehensive oral care and has been an Instructor at George Brown
College since 2006, as well as being an Associate in Dentistry
at the University of Toronto.
He is married with three children and enjoys baseball, hockey and spending time with his family. Dr. Klimitz is known for entertaining children in the office with magic tricks. He provides a gentle approach to oral care, building confidence and positive experiences while offering the highest level of dental treatment possible.
Dr. Jessica Temple graduated in 2009 from the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University
of Western Ontario where she won the award in
Oral Radiology. Over the past 11 years, she
has completed additional training in sedation dentistry, orthodontics and Invisalign, implants and
Having three young children of her own, she takes a special interest working with the paediatric community and providing preventive care for the entire family. She strives to help her patients establish healthy habits from an early age and focuses on providing a warm and nurturing dental home.
Jessica has been with the Gasner Dental team since 2019 and continues to enjoy forming relationships and providing dental care to this wonderful community.
Outside the office, Jessica takes part in numerous charity and fundraising initiatives, and enjoys spending time with her husband and children.
Dr. Aaron Yaffe joined the Gasner Dental Associates
Clinic as an Associate Dentist in September 2019.
He earned his DDS at University of Minnesota School
of Dentistry and completed a one-year
General Practice Residency at the University of
British Columbia. Prior to his dental training,
Aaron completed a Bachelor of Nursing at
the University of Manitoba.
Aaron’s goals are to provide a safe, comprehensive, and rewarding dental experience for all of his patients. He understands that every patient is unique and requires individualized care. Given his background in Nursing and hospital-based dental care, Aaron has gained valuable experience in working with medically complex patients and understands the importance of excellent communication. Aaron believes in a holistic approach to care, emphasizing positive chair-side manner in his treatment of people of all ages and needs.
Aaron grew up in Winnipeg, where he continues to visit his family and friends. His hobbies include fitness, video editing, and exploring the great outdoors with his partner, Alexa.