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Palo Alto, CA
2290 Birch St, Ste A, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
(650) 503-6777
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Redwood City, CA
81 Birch Street, Redwood City, CA 94062.
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Santa Clara, CA
1394 Franklin St, Santa Clara, CA 95050.
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Why You Must Schedule Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Checkup Even if They’re Attending Online School

Why You Must Schedule Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Checkup Even if They’re Attending Online School_Redwood City Dentists

For generations in American history, Back to School has been an important time to check children’s general dental health. Call our children’s dentists in Palo Alto to schedule a back-to-school dental checkup for your kids even if they are attending online school.  

Back to school dental checkup offers a fresh chance for a healthy start. It’s time for your children to get school books, cool stationery, and new toothbrushes! 

Starting the new school year with a renewed commitment to dental hygiene puts your children on a winning track throughout the academic year. The American Dental Association estimates that dental diseases cause children to miss over 51 million school hours each year! Dental checkups are especially essential to fight the most common chronic dental condition: cavities. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to avoid untreated dental diseases that can cause pain, trouble eating, difficulty in speaking and school absenteeism.   

The academic year of 2020 presents unique challenges for parents and children. Your child’s dental problems remain the same whether the classroom is in place or online, and when neglected, has a direct impact on his or her school life. However, parents may hesitate to schedule dental checkups to reduce chances of community coronavirus transmission. Bear in mind that back-to-school dental check-ups are even more critical amid the current coronavirus pandemic to avoid easily treatable conditions that might result in dental disease flare-ups and emergency visits later on. 

It’s a great idea to schedule a dental appointment with your child’s pediatric dentist before they start school to ensure they’re maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Some schools in California require your child to get a dental examination before going back to school in the fall. Even if your child’s school doesn’t mandate an appointment, it’s still essential for their overall health to see regularly see their dentist and get their annual dental checkup. 


Why are Back-to-School dental check-ups important? 

Your child cannot afford to miss a dental examination before heading back to the classroom. Dental check-ups are an essential part of your child’s overall health, which could affect his or her academic performance. 

Dental examinations are equally important as immunizations and booster shots as per the American Dental Association.  Back to school is the right time to pay attention to your children’s dental care, among other aspects such as their eyesight, disease prevention, and sports equipment.

Early detection with dental problems can ensure that your child gets treated at the right time and stays healthy throughout the academic year. When you ignore your child’s ‘back-to-school’ dental check-up, dental problems that arise in the course of the year can be painful and affect your child’s life, including his or her classroom performance. For example, tooth cavities, a common dental problem among children, can cause severe pain, difficulties in eating and speaking, poor concentration, and school absenteeism. 

Dr. Alex Yen, one of the best children’s dentists in Palo Alto, CA, says that parents must treat their child’s ‘back-to-school’ appointments as preventive dental services. Children with dental complications get affected physically, mentally, and socially. A healthy mouth leads to improved concentration and classroom performance. Treating minor dental problems and preventing cavities boosts your child’s morale and school performance. 


What happens during back to school appointments

With a recommended two dentist check-ups for children, back-to-school time is an ideal time to have one scheduled for your child. 

At Blue Turtle Dental, our pediatric dentists in Palo Alto, we have been busy with back-to-school dental appointments. We maintain the highest standards of sanitation, health, and safety as per the COVID-19 regulations. If you have not made a Back-to-School dental appointment, please make the time and do it for your child. This appointment is always important, but more so than ever in these times.

The ‘back-to-school’ dental exam will help ensure your child is brushing and flossing correctly. It will help us identify any potential issues before they become an emergency visit and put your child’s mouth in a lot of trouble in the future. We examine your child’s overall dental health, looking for decays, cavities, gum diseases, misalignment, and malocclusions. Based on your child’s dental condition, we suggest the right treatment. Your child’s dental check-up may include the following procedures: 


  • Professional Tooth Cleaning – This is a must! No matter how well your child brushes and flosses, a professional tooth cleaning removes more cavities-causing bacteria than routine brushing can achieve. Professional tooth cleaning also removes most teeth stains for children.
  • Fluoride Treatment – This is another must. Fluoride is a mineral that prevents caries in their very elementary, microscopic diseases stage. At your child’s dental exam, we will apply topical fluoride to protect their teeth and they may be advised not to rinse, eat, or drink for 30 minutes after the application.
  • X-ray Procedures – Dental x-rays help us observe the development of your child’s teeth and to check on their tooth root health. X-rays also help detect decay, if any. 
  • Mouthguards Checks – If your child plays sports and uses mouthguards, back-to-school dental checkups is a good time to get the mouthguard evaluated for wear and tear and fit.
  • Sealants – Sealants are another way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Dental sealants create a thin protective barrier to prevent growth of bacteria and food accumulation in the molars (back teeth), where most common tooth decay occurs. Once permanent molars start coming in, ask your dentist if sealants are recommended for your child.


It is essential to maintain dental hygiene post the dental check-ups. Ensure your child is brushing twice a day, flossing once in a day, and eating a healthy diet that limits sugar intake. 

Final Thoughts on Back-to-School Dental Checkups with Children’s Dentists in Palo Alto

A back-to-school dental appointment is critical in your child’s health and academic performance. You can trust Blue Turtle Dental services in Palo Alto, CA, for expert dental care. We are enthusiastic about helping your children start their school year on a happy, winsome note.To schedule a back-to-school dental appointment, call our children’s dentists in Palo Alto, CA, now.

Root Canal OR Dental Implant – Which choice is right for me?

Root Canal OR Dental Implant – Which choice is right for me?

Do you have an infected tooth that’s causing a lot of pain? Or do you have extensive tooth decay? 

I’m Dr. Alex Yen, dentist in Palo Alto CA. When a patient’s tooth becomes infected, we must decide whether to save the tooth by performing a root canal or to extract the tooth and then go for dental implants. 

At Blue Turtle Dental, our primary effort is always to save your natural tooth.  This is our first choice for both health and cosmetic results. Ethically if the tooth is salvageable, we believe we should always save it and do the root canal treatment. Saving your natural tooth helps:

  • Maintain efficient chewing
  • Maintain normal biting force and avoid collapse of the bite
  • Maintain natural structure of your jaw
  • Limit the need for more costly, ongoing dental work

However, sometimes the decay is so bad, the tooth cannot be saved. We have no choice but to extract it. The best choice to replace an extracted tooth is implant, which provides permanence and the beauty of natural looking teeth. 

We think about the prognosis of tooth decay, cause of the problem, longevity of the treatment, and other factors, such as the dentin strength and age when deciding on the two treatment options. 

Let us understand the two treatment procedures, the benefits, and risks in detail. 

Root Canal Treatment (RCT) in Palo Alto

When your tooth becomes infected, a root canal treatment lets you keep the tooth rather than extracting it. Keeping your tooth helps prevent the rest of your teeth from shifting out of line and causing jaw problems. 

How does it work? 

Root canal treatment or endodontic therapy is the most traditionally used treatment when a root is infected, or a tooth has severe decay or damage. Root canal procedures eliminate bacteria from the infected root canal. The cavity is cleaned, disinfected, and finally filled and sealed, thereby preserving your tooth.

The RCT is a safe and effective process of removing the infected, injured, or dead nerve and tissue (pulp) from the tooth. This procedure protects what’s left of the tooth and allows normal function.

The space inside the hard layers of each tooth is called the root canal system. The system is made up of soft dental pulp consisting of nerves, tissues, and blood vessels. 

The infected pulp tissue is manually removed with files of various sizes to clean out the canal. With the help of very fine dental instruments, the dentist removes the pulp by cleaning and enlarging the root canal system.

The root canal is the first step in the whole tooth restoration. After the root canal, the tooth is prone to becoming dry and brittle. The goal is to restore or fix the tooth to look, feel, and function just like your natural tooth. 

The final steps are the core build-up and crown. The canal is shaped, filled, and sealed most commonly with a natural replacement material called gutta percha. The opening of the tooth is sealed with a temporary filling first, and then a permanent filling and a crown to restore the tooth. The choice of restoration, such as a crown or posts to support the crown, will depend on the strength of the part of the tooth that’s left. 

What you should know about root canal treatment in Palo Alto

Considerable advancements in technology allow dentists to complete root canal treatment, even for teeth with complex anatomies, to the highest level of precision.

Most root canal treatments are successful and done in 1 or 2 appointments. After the treatment, your tooth may be tender for the first one or two weeks. If you suffer from severe pain or swelling, you should immediately call your dentist.

A second root canal treatment would be needed in a few rare cases and is called retreatment. During the retreating of a tooth, the root canal filling material is taken out, and the canal system is recleaned, reshaped, and refilled.

Sometimes root canal surgery is needed when a regular root canal treatment cannot be done or has not worked. A root canal surgery is done to check for fractures or cracks in the root, remove parts of the root that could not be cleaned during the root canal treatment, and clear up an infection that did heal after regular treatment.

With proper care and regular dental visits, the restored tooth lasts as long as your other teeth. Often, the tooth that has had a root canal treatment can be saved. However, when nothing can be done further, a tooth must be extracted.

Benefits of a Root Canal

Some top benefits of getting a root canal treatment are: 

  • You don’t lose your original tooth.
  • Minimal pain
  • Less expensive than a dental implant procedure 
  • Takes less time than a dental implant 
  • Less recovery time than dental implant 
  • High success rate

Risks of a Root Canal

While the root canal treatment offers many benefits and has a very high success rate, complications like abscesses can arise if the entire infected pulp is not removed, which underscores the importance of visiting an experienced dentist trained in endodontics.

Call the best root canal dentists in Palo Alto, CA if you’d like to discuss treatment options.

Dental Implants

If the dental examination reveals that saving the tooth is not the best long-term solution for you, only then will we consider a dental implant. Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth and support artificial replacement teeth. 

What are dental implants?

A dental implant involves removing the original tooth, installing a metal post in the jaw, and finally, inserting a porcelain dental crown to the post. 

A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.

  • First, the original tooth is removed. A dental implant, which is an artificial root made of titanium metal, is inserted into the jawbone under the gum tissue. The gum tissue is stitched back into place and takes some time to heal. During the healing process, which can take up to several months, the dental implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. 
  • After the healing process is complete, the dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the dental implant. 
  • An artificial replacement tooth is made and attached to the abutment. It can take several appointments to fit the replacement tooth to the abutment correctly.
  • If the dentist is replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to the dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.

What you should know about dental implants 

You may need several appointments with your dentist during the procedure. Checkups will be scheduled in the following year as well to check if the implants are functioning properly. 

Dental implants look and function like natural teeth. So, they need the same amount of care as natural teeth. Your dentist will demonstrate the proper cleaning technique for implants. Regular cleaning using a toothbrush and floss and dental checkups are essential. 

Dental implants can cost more than other replacement procedures. But they are a one-time cost, unlike other tooth replacement procedures.

Very rarely, there could be possible complications arising from dental implants such as infection, bleeding, numbness, and injury. 

Benefits of a Dental Implant

Here are some benefits of a dental implant: 

  • They are aesthetic, comfortable, look, and function like natural teeth
  • Long-lasting and can last decades with proper care
  • Low failure rate 

Risks of a Dental Implant

Below are some of the cons of getting a dental implant: 

  • Lengthy process
  • Time intensive
  • Costly without insurance 
  • Longer recovery period

Root Canal vs. Implant: Which is the best option?

Making comparisons between the two treatments is like comparing apples with oranges.

The American Dental Association reports that both root canal therapy and dental implants have high success rates. A similar study published by the Journal of Endodontics found no notable difference in the success rates of a standard RCT versus dental implant. 

Root canals and dental implants are equally successful, but implants may need more follow-up procedures. 

The decision to pursue a particular treatment procedure should be based on the complexity of the patients’ individual cases, health, and preferences.

If your tooth is salvageable, we would always work to save it and recommend root canal to preserve your natural tooth.  However, if you have extensive tooth decay, the tooth has a poor prognosis, and you have healthy gums and enough bone in the jaw to hold an implant, then we would recommend extraction followed by an implant.. 

Need more information about the root canal treatment or a dental implant? Call Blue Turtle Dental services in Palo Alto CA, to make an informed decision and find the best root canal treatment in Palo Alto.