Dr. Louis Paul Sterling DDS, Dentist

Dr. Louis Paul Sterling DDS


87 Elmira Street Staten Island NY, 10306


Dr. Louis Sterling is a Dentist practicing in Staten Island, NY. Dr. Sterling specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases and conditions associated with the mouth and overall dental health. Dentists are trained to carry out such treatment as professional cleaning, restorative, prosthodontic, and endodontic procedures, and performing examinations, among many others.Dr. Sterling offers pet therapy, special care for apprehensive patients. Dr. Sterling also offers the services of Orthodontics for his patients. This service is provided by Dr. Sara Skurnick, widely recognized as one of the finest orthodontists on Staten Island. As a faculty member of UMDNJ (now Rutgers Dental College), she helped train several orthodontists on Staten Island and in the Tri-state area.

Education and Training

NYU College of Dentistry DDS 1984

Provider Details

Male English
Dr. Louis Paul Sterling DDS
Dr. Louis Paul Sterling DDS's Expert Contributions
  • How long should my child be brushing their teeth?

    This depends upon the age and maturity of your child. Very young children should be encouraged to brush for 60-90 seconds. This should be followed by parental evaluation of mouth cleanliness maybe even parental re-brushing if necessary. Older children should brush for at least 4 minutes or so. READ MORE

  • Dry mouth

    Thyroid meds can help contribute to dry mouth syndrome. Sugarless sucking candies will help encourage saliva flow. Products like Biotene rinse and toothpaste will also help. READ MORE

  • Will I experience any pain after the root canal?

    Not unusual to experience some soreness after RCT. Don't chew on this tooth for a couple of weeks. OTC analgesics (Advil, Tylenol, etc.) will help take the edge off. READ MORE

  • Why do my teeth feel loose?

    Teeth get loose for a reason. You probably have lost some bone around around these teeth. You should see your dentist ASAP for an exam and treatment. READ MORE

  • Is it possible to brush my teeth way too much?

    I am in your camp. I brush at least 4-5 times each day also. I also floss daily to remove debris from between my teeth. Brush GENTLY and thoroughly. Hold your brush loosely and do not transmit force from your arm/hand to your brush. The tips of your bristles are the cleaning part of your brush. Brushing too hard will cause damage. Brushing gently will not damage your teeth or gums. READ MORE

  • How long do I need to wear my retainer for?

    Sorry to tell you but for best results after orthodontics, you should continue to wear your retainer forever. This time can be limited to each night, while you sleep. Your teeth WILL move if you do not. READ MORE

  • Would I need to take opioids after my extraction?

    Most patients do very well with OTC analgesics. For better pain relief, you can take a combination of 2 advil and 2 tylenol (assuming you have no allergies to either), every 6-8 hours. Take them on a regular basis for 1-2 days to stay ahead of the development of pain. READ MORE

  • What's a root canal for the front teeth like?

    There is no difference in the procedure for front teeth as compared to back teeth. READ MORE

  • Do toothaches always mean an infection?

    No. You may have a deep cavity that is close to the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. READ MORE

  • Why does my son have yellow teeth?

    Try seeing a dentist for a professional cleaning. His smile will probably brighten up. He can't clean his teeth the way a professional can. READ MORE

  • Do your teeth hurt after you get the braces off?

    No. Remember to wear your retainers as instructed. READ MORE

  • The tooth where I need a root canal isn't bothering me. Why do I need it?

    Not all medical or dental problems obviously reveal themselves to the person who has the issues. Diabetes and high blood pressure are 2 well known examples of silent significant medical issues. Likewise the need for root canal therapy may be obvious to your dentist, but not at all to you. The pulp of a tooth may deteriorate (die) quickly and painfully (the need for treatment is obvious) or slowly and silently (the need for treatment is NOT obvious). X-rays reveal a silent infection that calls for the tooth to receive root canal treatment. READ MORE

  • Invisalign, dental bonding, and gum grafts?

    Dental bonding needs to be done before your invisalign trays are made. Grafting can be done during treatment. READ MORE

  • What should I do for dry mouth?

    There are different reasons for dry mouth. Are you taking any medications? Do you have any underlying medical issues (diabetes)? Treatments can range from the use of sucking candies or lozenges, rinses (Biotene), special toothpastes, or even medications. READ MORE

  • Are dental veneers permanent?

    Placing porcelain veneers requires the alteration of your natural tooth enamel. So, once you have veneers, you will always need some kind of restorations on your teeth. Your initial set of veneers should last from 10 to 25 years. At that time, they may need to be replaced due to wear & tear, or other dental issues. Be sure of your decision before you have them placed. READ MORE

  • Should I avoid eating certain items with an artificial tooth?

    I also have a dental implant on one of my top, front teeth. I avoid tearing or ripping into hard foods. I won't bite into a sandwich on hard, crusty bread. Be careful biting into fruit that contains a hard pit in the middle. Other than that, enjoy. READ MORE

  • Should I get all of my wisdom teeth extracted in one appointment?

    If your Oral Surgeon is putting you to sleep to remove them, I recommend that you have them removed in one visit. This limits your exposure to the general anaesthesia to one time only. If you are staying awake, you may want to have them removed, one side at a time. This will give you one normal side to chew on while the first side heals. READ MORE

  • What happens if my son's baby teeth don't come out?

    Baby teeth provide a valuable service to your child. Usually nature provides a schedule for them to be lost. If they fail to be lost at the proper time, adult teeth can become impacted and require significant treatment to be brought into their proper place. Proper X-rays (panoramic) taken at the proper time can help determine if baby teeth need to be extracted to enable the adult teeth to properly line up (in the bone) and erupt on time. READ MORE

  • My son is sucking his thumb with adult teeth. What can happen?

    Thumb (or finger) sucking can alter the shape of the upper jaw causing functional, dental, skeletal and cosmetic problems. This habit should be dealt with ASAP. READ MORE

  • What are the best ways to get rid of cankersores?

    True canker sores are typically caused by a virus. Once they develop, they run their course and resolve in about 14 days. Over the counter treatments (Abreva) work well to make you feel better. Avoid acidic foods that will cause pain because of the open sore. READ MORE

  • When should I follow up with my dentist after my root canal?

    Usually a three month follow up is good. READ MORE

  • Are soft or hard toothbrushes better?

    Hard brushes are great! BUT only to scrub your bathroom tiles!!! Your gums are very soft and sensitive. Use of a hard toothbrush will cause gum recession and may also cause excessive wear of your tooth structure. Soft brushes are the rule. The only exception is when you are recommended to use an extra-soft brush! READ MORE

  • Should I stay away from certain foods after a root canal?

    I advise my post-treatment patients NOT to eat on the Root Canal tooth for a couple of weeks. This is because the ligament around the tooth may be tender due to the newly filled root canal. Biting pressure may cause pain, even though the Root Canal Therapy is complete and well done. READ MORE

  • What should I do if my dentures feel loose?

    Dentures should be reevaluated for proper fit every year when you go to your dentist for your oral cancer examination. With excessive gain or loss of weight, the fit will change. The material also wears and changes with time. Your dentures may need a reline or replacement. READ MORE

  • What medications are prescribed after a root canal?

    Root Canal Treatment treats the INSIDE of the tooth by removing the source of the infection. If there is bacteria remaining OUTSIDE of the tooth, this needs to be treated with antibiotics. READ MORE

  • Do dental sealants need to be reapplied?

    Dental sealants are a great way to prevent cavities on the chewing surface of teeth. The diet and hygiene of the patient will help determine how long they last. Nothing lasts forever! They can be reapplied when they wear or are lost. They are a worthwhile investment in your daughter's health. READ MORE

  • How long is the recovery for a wisdom tooth extraction?

    Recovery time depends on how drastic the surgery is to remove your wisdom tooth, your age, and your habits (e.g., smoking). I would listen to the advice of your dentist. Schedule the extra day off. You will look like a hero at work if you don't need it! READ MORE

  • Are braces the only way to fix buck teeth?

    Braces are the best, most effective way to correct tooth position. There might be different options for your treatment; invisible braces (like invisalign) or cemented braces. Your options depend on the amount of tooth movement needed. READ MORE

  • How do I know if I have an infection in my gums or teeth?

    Soreness alone is not a sign of infection. You may have an issue due to a local irritation (hard brushing, sharp food). Warm, lightly salted water rinses (1/2 tsp salt in 12 oz water) every couple of hours may help with the irritation. If this doesn't resolve in a couple of days, you should see a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment. READ MORE

  • Experiencing some discomfort in teeth. What should I do?

    Sounds like you should see a dentist for diagnosis and treatment. READ MORE

  • Three cavities at once. Will they all be filled in one session?

    Depends on both you and your dentist. When patients want to, I put enough time aside to treat as many cavities as the patient wants me to. Each area may require you to be numb, so you may not want to numb 3 separate areas of your mouth at the same time, but that is up to you. READ MORE

  • Do I always need a crown with a root canal?

    The amount of solid tooth structure remaining after root canal treatment determines the need for a crown. Teeth in the back of your mouth take a lot of stress when you chew, so they need to be crowned more frequently. Teeth also tend to become more brittle (with time) after root canal treatment, so if there is any question, you are better off crowning the tooth. READ MORE

  • Anything I can do for my tooth gap?

    No simple answer. Solutions can range from braces (to close the space), to bonding or laminates (to alter the tooth size), to a removable tooth colored space filler that you just use for pictures. See a dentist for a cosmetic evaluation and your best solution. READ MORE

  • Why does a cracked tooth have to be pulled?

    If a tooth cracks above the gum line, usually it can be saved. Teeth that crack down the root, into the bone, cannot be saved because the cracked tooth: (1) cannot support a crown or filling without the restoration continually coming off (2) will be a constant source of infection as the crack leaks bacteria. There is no treatment for seriously cracked teeth other than extraction READ MORE

  • A huge gap in dental treatment. What should I expect?

    Depending on how long it's been, you will be pleasantly surprised at all of the new technology your dentist has and how painless dentistry is now, a true reality! READ MORE

  • Why is my tooth discolored after treatment?

    You are seeing the remnants of the pulpal tissue inside of the tooth. I'd compare this to a bruise you see under your skin when you suffer trauma. The pulpal tissue has a blood vessel. When this tissue is removed during Root Canal Treatment, some of the pigments from the blood can penetrate the tooth structure resulting in discoloration inside of your tooth. This can be treated with internal bleaching of the tooth. READ MORE

  • How is acupuncture an alternative treatment in dentistry?

    If your pain is truly from a problem tooth, acupuncture will NOT resolve your problem. Resolution can only be achieved by treating the tooth. READ MORE

  • What should I do with a crooked tooth?

    The best long term treatment is to have some kind of orthodontics to straighten the tooth (and any other teeth that you might not be aware of). Any cosmetic alteration of the tooth (bonding, laminate, shaving away enamel) will change your tooth structure and may need future continued maintenance. READ MORE

  • Can drinking water prevent tooth decay?

    For water to help you cut down on cavities, it must be flouridated (contain flouride). READ MORE

  • How can I strengthen my teeth?

    The best way to prevent enamel loss is a program of proper hygiene that might include a fluoride rinse and an enamel supporting toothpaste like Pronamel by Sensodyne. I have had patients that enjoy sucking on lemons. Do NOT do this. The acid will demineralize and weaken your enamel. READ MORE

  • If I have mild tooth pain, should I be going to the dentist?

    Absolutely yes! You are lucky enough to be receiving a warning (from your teeth), before you have major pain. Don't ignore this warning!! READ MORE

  • What questions should I ask my surgeon about jaw corrective surgery?

    Before corrective jaw surgery, you should consult with an orthodontist. All orthognathic surgery is a team event. The orthodontist and oral surgeon work hand in hand. The Orthodontist is seen first! READ MORE

  • How often should I mouthwash?

    Normally, I recommend that my patients use mouthwash in the morning and evening. Twice per day. Regardless of the product, swish around for 45-60 seconds before spitting out to get the full benefit of the product. READ MORE

  • Are there any warning signs of gingivitis?

    Gingivitis is simply inflamation of the gums. Like any other kind of inflamation it can range from mild to severe. Therefore symptoms can range from none to red, swollen, bleeding gums. Gingivitis can be easily remedied by a dental cleaning followed by good home care (daily flossing and brushing several times each day). If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease and result in pain, bad breath, gum recession, shifting of teeth or the loss of teeth. READ MORE

  • Is root canal the only way to treat a tooth cavity?

    Teeth are normally hard structures. Because they are hard, they enable you to chew your food. A cavity is a soft and sticky area in the tooth structure. The cavity is caused by bacteria that invade a defect in the enamel surface of the tooth. The bacteria "eats away" at the healthy tooth structure leaving decay (soft tooth) around it. When the decay and the bacteria reach the pulp of the tooth, you usually (but not always) feel pain. The only way to treat the bacterial invasion into the pulp is with Root Canal Therapy. During this treatment , the pulp is removed from the inside of the tooth, the pulp canals are cleaned out, enlarged, sterilized and filled. This is all done from the inside of the tooth. it would be nice if the bacteria could be killed with antibiotics like anyplace else in your body, but the limited blood supply to the tooth, makes this treatment unsuccessful as a long term fix. READ MORE

  • My tongue is white. Is this really bad?

    Depends. You may just need to brush your tongue better (but not hard enough to make it bleed), or you may have a fungal infection that requires medication. Check with your dentist for a diagnosis. READ MORE

  • Is gum disease hereditary?

    A family history of gum disease can increase your chances to develop a similar problem depending on the cause of your family's disease.  If both your father and grandfather practiced poor oral hygiene in addition to chewing tobacco, the cause might have been more due to their personal habits than genetics.   READ MORE

  • What foods should I avoid with braces?

    In addition to hard foods and snacks like pretzels and chips, sticky, chewy, gummy foods (caramel, gum, licorice, jelly beans) will damage or break your braces. READ MORE

  • Would anesthesia be used during my root canal?

    Usually a local anesthetic is very sufficient for root canal treatment. READ MORE

  • Should I get Invisalign?

    Invisalign is a good option if you have a smile that you are not happy with and you don't want to wear braces. Invisalign may not be an appropriate option depending on the extent of your malocclusion (bad bite) and the amount of correction you need. You may have to be happy with a compromised result if you insist on invisalign treatment an your orthodontist recommends braces. READ MORE

  • My son cracked his tooth and won't get if fixed. Are there any risks?

    Absolutely. He may ultimately experience pain in this tooth. He may end up needing root canal treatment and a porcelain crown. Continued neglect may cause this tooth to require extraction. READ MORE

  • How do I know if I need a root canal?

    Seems like you are already answering your own question. Severe pain whether a reaction to cold, biting or pressure; especially with no stimulus (cause), means you probably need root canal treatment. If your mouth or face becomes swollen you probably also need an antibiotic. READ MORE

  • Do cavities ever need to be refilled?

    Yes. Seems like you should revisit the dentist for a revaluation of this tooth. READ MORE

  • Will asprin help my tooth pain?

    Take whatever pain reliever you take for a headache: aspirin, tylenol, advil or alieve. See your dentist ASAP. Pain is relieved by these medications, but will return unless the cause for the pain is treated. READ MORE

  • I never grew out of my buck teeth. What should I do?

    You are never too old for orthodontic treatment (as long as you are willing to undergo treatment). READ MORE

  • How can I help my child's fear of the dentist?

    Pediatric dentists (Pedodontists) treat only children. They are experts in this area. Speak to friends and get a referral to a trusted pedodontist in your area. READ MORE

  • What can I do to maintain my dental implants?

    Great oral hygiene, frequent vists to your dentist for maintenance (cleanings) and avoiding abuse of the implants (teeth) will increase their life expectancy. Abusing implants include things like chewing ice cubes, bones, rock candy, etc... READ MORE

  • How long will I have to be on painkillers after a root canal?

    Root canal treatment can cause temporary discomfort for several days after the procedure. Do not chew on this tooth, use ice and take over the counter pain relievers as needed. READ MORE

  • I wear dentures. My gums are aching! What can I do?

    Your dentures probably need to be adjusted, relined or replaced. Daily use of an over the counter rinse like "Healthy Gums" will sooth your gums. If your dentures move around, a thin layer of adhesive paste will help keep them in place. If they don't, a very thin layer of vasoline inside your dentures will help sooth your gums during use. READ MORE

  • Are there any medicated pastes for gum health?

    There is a new toothpaste on the market called Parodontax that claims to support periodontal health. But there is no substitute for frequent visits to your dentist for cleanings and exams. In addition, a regular home care program of brushing (after meals and before bedtime), flossing (daily) and rinsing (Listerine or Healthy Gums) will do wonders to help your gums fel better. One last thing. Don't assume that you brush and/or floss correctly. Have your dentist or hygienist give you instructions to make sure that you do everything right! READ MORE

  • My wisdom teeth haven't come in. Is this normal?

    Can be normal FOR YOU. Wisdom teeth develop at various times. I have seen 16-year-olds with fully erupted third molars. Others don't have them erupt until they are in their 20's. Finally, you should have a panoramic X-ray taken to see if: 1) they may be impacted, 2) they may never have developed at all, or 3) they are blocked by some kind of problem (cyst for example). The bottom line is, see your dentist for a panoramic X-ray to check. READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

Cosmetic Dental Procedures, Root Canal Treatment, Crowns, Bridges, TMJ Treatment, Children's Dentistry, Bonded(white) Fillings

Faculty Titles & Positions

  • Dr. Skurnick - Assistant Clinical ProfessorRutgers Dental School2015 - 2018


  • America's Top Dentist2018Consumer Panel

Professional Memberships

  • American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, NY Dental Society, Second District Dental Society

Charities and Philanthropic Endeavors

  • Best Friends Animal Society

Dr. Louis Paul Sterling DDS's Practice location

Dr. Louis Sterling, DDS

87 Elmira Street -
Staten Island, NY 10306
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New patients: 718-980-0006, 718-980-0006

2533 86 STREET -
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New patients: 718-372-0009
Fax: 718-372-0010

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