How Dental Crowns Can Save Your Teeth

As you age, so do your teeth. Tooth decay, trauma, fillings or even the way you chew can make your teeth wear down as well. As a dentist, my endeavor is for you to have your natural teeth for as long as you can. Thankfully, we have restorative dentistry procedures that deal with the preservation and maintenance of natural teeth. 

Here are some signs of dental trouble that you should watch out for before the problem escalates into a more severe condition and your natural tooth is not salvageable. 

  • Toothache because of cavity; broken, cracked, impacted, an abscessed tooth; and gum disease. 
  • Cavities
  • Sensitive Teeth
  • Broken, Cracked, Chipped, Lost, or Impacted Tooth 
  • Stained Teeth

The aim of this article is to educate you about crowns, one of the popular teeth restorations that help in preserving your natural teeth.

What Are Crowns And Its Benefits?

Your tooth can be cracked, broken, or fractured because of an injury or accident. It could be caused by eating a hard substance like a popcorn kernel or breaking open a bottle lid with your mouth. Damaged teeth cause sensitivity, discomfort, and toothache. 

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap, made of ceramic, porcelain, or cement, that covers your damaged tooth entirely above the gum line. 

Crowns improve your teeth structure, functionality, and appearance. Usually, a crown is used to: 

  • Provide attachment to bridges
  • Cover stained, odd-shaped teeth and implants
  • Fix a damaged tooth, cavity and chipped or worn out fillings
  • Reconstruct weakened, fractured and broken teeth to prevent them from falling apart
  • Cover a weakened tooth that requires a large filling but there aren’t many portions of the natural tooth to hold the filling in place

Placing a crown over a weakened tooth can help the tooth from breaking or wearing down even more. Crowns are also used to restore stained or misshapen teeth, as well as to shelter a tooth that has had a root canal. 

However, as beneficial as crowns are, they should be used minimally for aesthetic purposes and more for restoring severe tooth damage purposes only. This is because crowns remove much of the natural enamel, leaving behind only the already damaged portion of the tooth. You should discuss with your dentist any queries about crowns so that you can preserve and maintain your natural teeth for as long as possible. 

What Is The Procedure for Dental Crowns?

If you are in need of a dental crown in Palo Alto, you will need a couple of visits at your dentist’s office to complete this treatment. For your first visit, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth to help with any discomfort. They  will use a dental instrument to form and prep the tooth, so the crown will fit properly. 

Sometimes an additional procedure may need to be completed to ensure a good fit for the crown. This procedure is generally what’s called a Core Build up and the purpose is to help support the crown. Next, a mold of your tooth will be taken and the temporary crown is placed to guard the prep tooth. The mold is sent to a dental laboratory where a customized crown is made just for you. 

Once the dental office receives your crown from the lab, you will get an appointment time for your next visit. If you are satisfied with the shape, color and fit, then the crown will be permanently cemented on your second visit.

What You Need To Watch Out For After Your Crown Procedure

Sometimes, the crown received from the laboratory may not fit as well as the doctor, and you would like it to. To achieve optimum results, another mold will be taken and sent to the lab for another crown to ensure a proper fit. 

Once the numbness has worn off and the crown is permanently placed, you may experience some soreness. There may also be slight pain when you bite down, or the change in temperatures may cause sensitivity for three to four days. 

If you are having any discomfort you may take over-the-counter pain medication, as directed by your dentist. If, after a few days, you’re still experiencing discomfort and sensitivity, please call the office to make an appointment. 

Sometimes the crown may feel too high when you bite down, please make an appointment to get your crown adjusted. This can also cause you to become sore. You would think that you could just get a filling. Unfortunately, when a tooth is in need of a crown, the tooth is not strong enough to support a filling. If your dentist places a filling instead of a crown, you could do more harm to that tooth in the long run and your dentist may not be able to salvage it. 

A crown is meant to last a lifetime with proper care. However, just like real teeth, it is prone to injury, accidents, and damage because of poor oral care. Sometimes, the dental cement may loosen and wash out. 

Remember, a crown may not last forever. It may need to be replaced if it has become faulty or worn down. 

The lifespan of your crown is determined by the following factors:

  • How well you maintain your oral hygiene and how you properly floss and brush your teeth
  • The food and drinks you consume
  • Not biting into cold or hard substances with your teeth
  • The condition of the surrounding teeth and gums

Dentist Check Ups Are Important To Save Your Natural Teeth

Most times, damaged teeth, filling, and crown cause sensitivity, discomfort, and toothache. But sometimes, you may not even know you’ve got a crack in your tooth because it’s not visible to the naked eye. You might go to the dentist too late when your natural tooth cannot be saved. 

Sometimes, your crown can become loose, making your tooth prone to bacteria and causing an infection and toothache. 

The more regularly you visit your dentist, the better it is for your oral and overall health as waiting too long can lead to more serious health conditions.


Five simple steps to save a knocked-out tooth

According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), 5 million-plus teeth are knocked out every year. 

Contact sports and car accidents are among the most frequent causes of knocked-out teeth. Other events that may result in a tooth being knocked out include playground accidents, fights, bicycle or motorcycle wrecks, or falls of any kind. Advanced gum disease and something as normal as eating a hard or sticky candy can also cause a permanent tooth to fall out.

In medical terms, a knocked out tooth is referred to as “avulsed” and means complete dislodgment of a tooth from its socket. It doesn’t, however, mean that the tooth is permanently lost. There are several ways you can save a knocked-out tooth even after an injury or accident. 

When your tooth is broken, cracked, or knocked-out, follow these tips to increase the chances of your Palo Alto dentist saving it. 

Steps to follow if your tooth gets knocked out

Step 1: Locate the tooth immediately

Locate the tooth right away – the moment you detect it is missing. Don’t leave it at the accident scene.

Pick up the knocked-out tooth by the crown, being cautious not to touch the root since the root can be easily damaged. The crown is the tooth’s chewing surface, while the root is the bottom part under the gum.  

Step 2: Rinse the tooth

Rinse the teeth gently with saline water or milk while still holding it by the crown. If you don’t have either, clean water will suffice. 

Do not dry, scrub, or wipe the tooth or attempt to get rid of any fleshy parts. Also, avoid wrapping the tooth with a cloth or tissue at any time.

Step 3: Gently put the tooth back in its socket

Try to gently reposition the clean tooth in the empty socket right away to improve the chances of having the nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments reattach and heal. 

Use your fingers to push the tooth while still holding the crown. Close the mouth slowly and now hold the teeth gently by biting down. 

Step 4: Keep the tooth moist 

If you are having problems repositioning the tooth, don’t force it. Rather, preserve it in safe, PH-balanced liquid until you get to a dentist near you. Safe liquids include saliva, saline solution, and cold milk

Milk is highly preferred because it is easily available and contains growth factors. Also, the fluid pressure and PH of the milk is conducive to that of the cells in the roots of the tooth. This minimizes the chance of damage to the tooth.   

Step 5: See a dentist as soon as possible

To improve your chances of saving the tooth, visit a dentist as soon as possible. The American Association of Endodontists recommends seeing a dentist within 30 minutes. There are many family dentists in Palo Alto, so seeing one closest to you after an accident is worth the effort. 

What do top dentists in Palo Alto do in the case of a knocked-out tooth?

You have a higher likelihood of successfully reattaching your tooth if you arrive at the dentist in time and when the tooth is whole.

Your dentist will employ one of the following methods:

  • Splint: In this treatment option, the dentist uses a small splint to secure the tooth to its neighbor. Your tooth will regrow its roots over time. It takes around three months for the tooth to re-establish its root in the jawbone.
  • Root canal: In this procedure, your Palo Alto dentist will extract the nerve of the tooth to preserve its viability. 

What options do you have if your tooth cannot be saved?

When a tooth is severely cracked or too much time has elapsed since it got knocked out, chances are you will not be able to save it. In that case, your dentist will have to replace it, either with: 

  • A bridge: A dental device consisting of one or more false teeth made from porcelain or resin replaces the missing natural teeth. 
  • An implant: A dental implant is a metal screw that replaces a tooth root. It acts as an anchor for artificial teeth such as bridges, crowns, and dentures. 
  • A denture: Artificial teeth custom-made by your dentist to replace removed or lost natural teeth. 

Treatment for knocked-out teeth is possible, particularly if you act fast and follow the first aid tips listed above. And if the teeth can’t be saved, there are other treatment options for restoring a lost tooth, as you have seen above. 

Remember, though, none of these measures will help a tooth that has been lost due to gum disease. So, ensure that you visit your Palo Alto dentist for regular checkups to avoid serious gum diseases. 

At Cambridge Dental Studio, Dr. Alex Yen & Dr Jessica Sheu are both known for their gentle touch, their steady hands, and their calm and comforting demeanors that put our patients at ease. There is no dental fear that they have not experienced and they are very diligent about explaining the procedures so you know exactly what to expect!

Article resources:
Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:

5 Reasons to consider root canal treatment

The phrase “root canal” can spark anxiety in people’s minds. Nonetheless, root canals can be exceedingly helpful in saving your teeth if they get infected. This pain-free treatment is recommended in several dental situations. 

Some of these situations include:

  • Decayed teeth 
  • Infection of the pulp
  • Loss of tooth nerve
  • Tooth fractures or trauma
  • Red or swollen gums around a tooth
  • Teeth sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  • Chewing pain when biting down

Root canal treatment at a glance

A root canal treatment (endodontic therapy) entails cleaning out the decay and saving the infected tooth. During a root canal procedure, your Palo Alto dentist will: 

  • Assess the degree of damage to your teeth  
  • Take an X-ray to analyze the infected area further
  • Use local anesthesia to numb the section around the infected tooth so they can commence with the procedure.
  • Get rid of the decayed tissues and disinfect the tooth properly
  • Perform the tooth restoration procedure. This can be done on the same day or scheduled for a later day. It depends on the complexity of the infection or the location of the tooth. 

Why you should consider root canal treatment

There are 5 more compelling reasons to consider a root canal: 

  1. Prevent infection of surrounding teeth

When your pulp or tooth’s nerve tissue gets damaged, it breaks down, allowing the upsurge of bacteria in the pulp chamber. Usually, this may cause gum infections, bones loss, and swelling. It could also cause a dental abscess, spreading the infection past the ends of the tooth roots. A root canal treatment is required to take out the infected pulp that houses the bacteria, thus preventing the spread of the bacteria. 

  1. Prevent tooth loss

There are several ways of treating a decayed tooth. Some people prefer tooth extraction to get rid of the tooth in question. Usually, this provides a permanent remedy in dealing with cavities or further toothaches. 

However, at Cambridge Dental Studio, we also lean toward protecting and preserving your natural tooth over extracting, whenever possible. Tooth extraction leaves gaps between teeth, which requires cosmetic or restorative procedures, such as implants or bridges to close the gap. With root canal treatment, patients don’t have to be concerned about losing their teeth or requiring another procedure. After the procedure, your tooth will be restored and will function like any normal teeth.   

  1. Prevent jawbone degeneration  

Unlike tooth extraction, a root canal treatment preserves the infected tooth. When you have missing teeth for an extended period, your jawbone begins to degenerate, causing premature sunken or aging appearance. Root canals, thus, help preserve your jawbone structure by preserving your natural teeth.   

  1. Improve teeth aesthetics 

Root canal entails removing the infected tooth pulp. The area is then cleaned and restored with a dental filling or a crown that restores your natural smile!  

  1. Improve oral and overall health 

Severe tooth decay has a significant impact on a person’s oral and overall health. People with poor dental health are likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, and many other complications.  Treating tooth decay through a root canal can help boost your oral health, which in turn improves your overall health

What to expect after a root canal procedure

For the first few days following a root canal procedure, your tooth may feel a little sensitive. You might also experience mild inflammation. If that is the case, your dentist may prescribe some pain medication to help ease the discomfort. 

While you can resume normal activities after a root canal procedure, it is best to avoid sticky, chewy, hard, and crunchy foods to ensure proper healing.  

Do you need a root canal procedure in Palo Alto?

There is plenty of misconception surrounding the benefits of root canal treatment. However, most Palo Alto dentists will agree that getting a root canal procedure is the ideal option for saving a severely infected tooth. So, how do you know you need a root canal done?  The only way to tell is by visiting a dentist in Palo Alto and getting evaluated. Don’t put your oral and overall health at risk. Schedule an appointment soon.

Latest Solutions for Common Dental Problems

Advances in medical techniques are significantly changing the way dental treatments and procedures are performed. Constantly at the forefront of advancement, the top dentists are going all-out to meet their patients’ needs by using the latest procedures that result in more comfortable experiences, less pain, and shorter recovery times. This post will explore several modern solutions and procedures that general dentists in Palo Alto use to manage common day-to-day dental problems.

High-tech X-Rays for Improved Dental Health 

In many dental offices, digital X-rays are replacing traditional radiographs. The reason for their popularity is simple – they are more efficient and faster than traditional radiographs. 

So, how do digital X-rays work? Usually, the dentist places an electronic sensor or phosphor plate (as opposed to film) in your mouth to capture the image. Instantly, the digital image is scanned or relayed to a computer, where it becomes available for viewing. The process is faster and more efficient than processing conventional film.   

Since the digital images are stored in the computer, your dentist can also compare the present images with the previous ones to determine if there is any positive progress. 

And since the sensor and phosphor plates are more receptive to X-rays than film is, the amount of radiation dosage used is drastically reduced.    

Digital X-rays have multiple uses apart from finding cavities. For example, they are used to observe the bone below the teeth to ascertain if the bone level of support is satisfactory. Dentists also use X-rays to examine the placement of an implant. What’s more, digital X-rays help endodontists to confirm if they have carried out root canal procedures properly. 

Laser Dentistry to Treat Tooth Decay & Other Common Dental Conditions

When it comes to modern dental solutions, laser dentistry ought to be at the top of everybody’s list. Many dental procedures that were previously performed using conventional surgical techniques can now be carried out using a laser. From gum contouring, canker sores treatment, crown lengthening, removal of benign tumors, and teeth whitening. Laser technology can also be used to detect and fill cavities and perform surgery for periodontal disease

Laser dentistry is known to offer faster, more precise, and more comfortable care.

Many family dentists in Palo Alto now use laser technology because they believe it has multiple advantages over traditional surgery, including:

  • More precision 
  • Less pain and bleeding 
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Reduced need for anesthesia 

Invisalign for Straighter Teeth

Until recently, patients seeking discretion only had the option of requesting clear ceramic braces, but even though these were still visible and employed the same technology as conventional braces. 

For patients with crooked or misaligned teeth, a wide range of less visible options are now available. Invisible braces and tray systems, such as Invisalign, have gained popularity because of how discrete and convenient they have become. For instance, Invisalign aligners allow you to remove the trays for brief periods of time (to brush or eat or for a special occasion) and are a lot less restrictive than traditional braces.  

Read all about frequently-asked questions about Invisalign here.

Upgraded Tooth Repair Materials 

Patients who had teeth bonded or filled two or even one decade ago would be shocked to see the repair materials dental professionals use today. Nowadays, modern materials (resin) are stronger, last longer, and are easier to apply than previous versions. 

Even better, unlike the silver filings of yesteryears, resin comes in different shades and thus, can closely resemble the color of your teeth. The texture of filling and bonding material has also changed to mirror the shiny appearance of a natural tooth.

CAD/CAM Technology for Dental Crowns 

CAM stands for computer-assisted manufacture, while CAD stands for computer-assisted design. Together, they translate into fewer visits to the dentist to complete procedures such as bridges and crowns. 

A few years ago, when you needed a crown, the dentist would make a mold of the tooth and then send it to a dental laboratory to make a permanent one.  This process could take weeks. However, with CAD/CAM technology, dentists can now make a crown while you wait. 

CAD/CAM not only allow for faster turnarounds but also provide a high level of precision and superior results.

Thinner Veneers for Preserving Teeth 

Veneers are thin, specially made moldings or shells that are used to cover crooked or unattractive teeth. New materials have made it possible to build even thinner veneers, which are simply as strong. 

More importantly, the dentist can redesign the tooth edges so that the veneer fits snugly to give you an attractive smile.      

New Procedures Make Your Visit as Efficient and Comfortable as Possible!

The field of dentistry continues to evolve at a fast pace. As a patient, it is vital to stay updated on these dental trends. 

Opt for Palo Alto dentists who use the latest solutions to perform routine cleanings, dental implants, root canal, tooth fillings, and other dental procedures. After all, you want every dental visit to be as comfortable and efficient as possible. And these modern solutions and procedures guarantee that! 

At Cambridge Dental Studio, our state-of-the-art technology, combined with friendly, compassionate staff, and a comfortable environment give you a patient experience that is unparalleled in Palo Alto. Contact us for all your dental needs!

Article resources:

Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:

How to choose the best dentist for you and your family

best dentists in palo alto

“Who are the best dentists in Palo Alto?” This is a question that will frequently come to your mind when searching for dental services in Palo Alto. 

Indeed, not any best dentist will do when it comes to you and your loved one’s dental health. And, while the term “best” can be subjective, there are several factors you should consider when searching for a family dentist.  

Well, use the tips outlined in this post, along with your own judgment, to find your family’s next oral care provider.  

Experience and technology

The adage “experience is everything” is true when choosing a dentist you can trust with your family’s dental health. When you find a Palo Alto dental office you are interested in, it’s good to visit their website to find out more about the dentist’s experience and educational background.

The best dentist will have years of experience providing his/her patients with first-rate dental care using the latest in planning, diagnostic, treatment, and technology. At Cambridge Dental Studio,  our state-of-the-art technology, combined with friendly, compassionate staff and comfortable, spa-like environment gives you a patient experience that is unparalleled in Palo Alto.      

Location and opening hours

Location: another important factor to consider when assessing whether a dentist is right for you and your family. Opting for a dentist who is near your residence, work premises, or child’s school makes it easier to honor appointments.  

Considered the dentist’s operating hours, as well? The best dentist should offer flexible and convenient timings to meet your busy demands. Besides being available for emergencies, make sure they are open on weekends, early mornings, afternoons, as well as late afternoons. 

Do they provide comprehensive dental services?

Want a dentist who can only provide the best routine cleanings, cavity fillings, and general dental checkups in Palo Alto? That wouldn’t be bad, but it’s advisable to select a dentist who can do little more than that. 

Go for a dentist that provides a range of dental services that you and your family will ever require. Do you intend to get high-quality dental implants in Palo Alto? What about teeth whitening and pediatric dentistry services? Your preferred dentist should be able to offer that and much more! 

Learn all about the wide-range of dental services, latest in dental technologies that ensure a comfortable and precise treatment, and the amazing prices on Invisalign and teeth whitening that we offer at Cambridge Dental Studio.

Cost and insurance 

Some dental procedures are quite expensive. Just Google “cost of Invisalign in Palo Alto,” and you will realize what we are talking about. Not everybody is comfortable paying thousands of dollars for a single dental operation. 

That said; you definitely don’t want to choose a dentist just because they are inexpensive. You want to choose a dentist that is upfront about his/her dental fees. Most importantly, you want to pick a dentist who will provide you with reasonable dental payment plans. 

Additionally, if you are lucky enough to have dental insurance cover, make sure your preferred dentist accepts your policy. How he/she handles deductibles and co-pays are valid questions to ask upfront too.  

Office culture and atmosphere 

Take time to weigh up the atmosphere and culture of your preferred dental office. In short, before you opt for a particular Palo Alto dentist, you should visit his/her office to see how it actually looks. Is the office clean? How comfortable is the waiting area? Are the employees friendly and welcoming?

If the whole family feels safe and welcome in the office, dental visits will be less worrying and stressful for everyone. Notably, you will help eradicate your kids’ fear of the dentist – introducing them to a lifelong commitment to oral hygiene.   

Check reviews and testimonials online.  

Check reviews and testimonials for different dental offices to see what past clients had to say about their services. If you see many positive reviews about a particular dentist, he/she will likely offer you the attention and care you deserve.

There are various places where you can check for these reviews: Yelp, Google+, Facebook, HealthGrades, Zocdoc, just to mention a few. While reading through tons of reviews might appear quite boring, spending the time now will minimize unnecessary hassles in the future.   

Ask about teledentistry capabilities.

Dentists nowadays can diagnose and treat dental patients virtually through electronic information and communication technologies such as video conference calls, emails, and phone calls. 

Note: Teledentistry doesn’t replace in-person visits; however, for you and your family, it means reduced trips to the dental clinic. Being the busy person you are, you can always make routine dental follow-ups from the comfort of your home or office. 

The takeaway 

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to choosing a dentist in Palo Alto. The good news is that you and your family’s dental issues will be a thing of the past once you find an experienced and compassionate dentist. 

All the best as you make that crucial decision!

Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article may be drawn up from multiple public health sources, including:

American Dental Association’s

California Dental Association

American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention



Laser Dentistry