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Changing the game with “Embrasures”

I often hear friends, family and new patients complaining about how difficult it is to floss, especially after having a procedure done, such as a dental filling.

These fillings can cause problems, especially when done, with little to no anatomy. Even a little anatomy can go a long way.   

Having no marginal ridge makes it difficult to feel for a groove to guide the floss into. It’s why a little embrasure can go a long way. 

The anatomy of an “embrasure”

In a healthy set, the teeth are aligned in a smooth, curved row with each tooth touching the tooth next to it called “contact” with healthy gum tissue in between them called ‘papilla.”  

The area below the “contact” or between the “contact” and “pailla” is called the “embrasure.” 

The “contact” is the area where two proximal surfaces touch. 

An “embrasure” is visually represented as the dark V-shaped space between two adjacent teeth that extends beyond the “contact” area. 

Types of “embrasures”

“Embrasures” are named according to their location, and from where the teeth are viewed facially (lingually), incisally (occlusally) or cervically from the contact area.

“Incisal (Occlusal) embrasures” and “Gingival (Cervical) embraces” can be viewed facially (lingually). 

“Incisal (Occlusal) embrasures” are the spaces above the incisal and occlusal “contact” areas bounded by the marginal ridges. 

The “Gingival (Cervical) embrasures” occur in the interproximal space and are larger than the “Incisal (Occlusal) embrasures.” 

 When viewing the teeth incisally (occlusally), “Gingival (Cervical) embraces” are named as “Labial (Buccal) embrasures” and “Lingual embrasures” based on their location.

Factors affecting the appearance of an “embrasure” 

The appearance of an “embrasure” is affected by the following factors. 

  1. The Shape Of The Teeth

We will discuss  this factor with a case example. 

When the shape of the teeth is rectangular, the flat sides will lay fused, side-by-side to each other with nil space between them, as shown in the pic below. 

shape of teethFigure 1

So, how is anyone supposed to floss this?

The above image (Fig 1) is an example of tooth contact between #29 and #30 that is too tight.  An ideal contact with these teeth should be 1-1.5 millimeters (mm) in length. This contact spans the entire length of the filling, which is easily 3-4 mm.  

The buccal embrasure is there but it is not deep enough. It should be about 1 millimeter deeper.  We could easily make the adjustment with a fine mosquito bur and a slow flicking motion toward the center of the contact.

The lingual embrasure was also there, but not deep enough. It should be about 1 millimeter deeper. We fixed this problem with a fine mosquito bur and a slow flicking motion toward the center of the contact.

The occlusal embrasure is also not visible in this image and it looks as if #29 DO is attached to #30 MO. Again, we adjusted this by running a fine mosquito bur with very light pressure across the fillings. 

The occlusal embrasure is what leads the floss between the teeth and helps tremendously with flossing as most patients can not see into that area. 

  1. The Shape And Size Of The Papilla

Another critical factor related to the visual identity of embrasures is the shape and size of the papilla between the teeth. 

With aging, the height of the papilla naturally decreases, and the embrasures begin to make a prominent appearance, even in an ideal set of unworn, healthy, and straight teeth. 

On the other hand, misaligned and crooked teeth overlap and allow little room for “papilla” between interdental “embrasures.” In such cases, when the orthodontist corrects the alignment, the problem of the absence of “papilla” gets exposed, and the glaring dark triangles or “embrasures” become evident. Sometimes, the patients actually think that their orthodontist caused the “embrasures.” But this is untrue as there was no “papilla” to begin with. 

  1. Gum Recession

Gum recession can also affect the appearance of the dark black triangles between the teeth. When gums recede, it will happen initially in the interdental papilla. 

There can be many reasons for gum recession, such as genetics, teeth grinding, the position of the teeth, orthodontic clenching, gum disease, or osteoporosis. 

Gum recession can lead to serious problems. When left untreated, it exposes more of the enamel that our gums should protect, causing gum disease, putting the individual at risk for teeth, gum, tissue, and jaw bone loss. 

  1. Poorly Executed Dental Procedures

Poorly executed dental treatments can affect the appearance of “embrasures.”  

It could be anything from dental fillings with little or no anatomy or marginal ridge or an over-aggressive cosmetic procedure such as gum contouring and reshaping, ill-fitted or ill-sized dental crowns and porcelain veneers. 

The functional and esthetic benefits of “Embrasures” in Restorations

“Embrasures” serve important purposes that demonstrate the indispensable association between function and esthetic. 

They aid in mastication and tooth stability, which promote better grinding of food. While “embrasures” offer a spillway for food to escape during chewing, boosting the self-cleansing process, they are also highly susceptible to the formation of excessive plaque that can lead to more severe orthodontic problems. 

A younger set of teeth has a larger “embrasure” space, enhancing the smile. An older group of teeth has less “embrasure” space, making them look unpleasant and prematurely age the smile. 

But What Does An Ideal Set Of Teeth Look Like? 

As orthodontists, our jobs are not purely technical but also artistic and creative as we set out to mimic nature in our restorative endeavors. The more ambitious ones even outdo nature at its best work. 

Several factors influence our interpretation of what the “ideal” should be in each orthodontic treatment procedure that we embark on. However, one constant remains. 

Before venturing into any dental restorative treatment, it’s vital to know what the ideal set of teeth (however rare to find naturally) look like both from a functional and esthetic perspective. It will help gauge what corners to chip away literally or comprise within the acceptable range during the restorative procedure. 

The ideal set of teeth has a nearly 50:50 relationship between the length of the contact area and the height of the papilla. So, a perfect set of teeth would have 50% of the overall tooth length as “contact” and the remaining 50% as “papilla.” Also, the “papilla” would be at the same height, incisal-gingivally across all teeth. 

On a side note, notice how the anatomy of the filling has recreated the contour of the buccal cusps and the central ridge.  This will help with the overall occlusion and mastication.

Any dental situation that deviates from the above “ideal” set of teeth as per various studies is bound to cause issues for the patient functionally and esthetically. 

Let’s say the papilla completely fits into the space below the “contact,” and there is no visible embrasure. Or the “contacts” touch each other, but the “papilla” doesn’t completely fill enough of the interdental embrasure space. 

Occlusal anatomy here is key to a comfortable and lasting bite.

Let’s discuss this with an example of a healthy embrasure. 

healthy embrasuresFigure 2: Shows an example of healthy embrasures and the right amount of contact. 

Embrasures Figure 3: Shows a different angle, same teeth as Figure 2.  

In this example, the marginal ridge on #18 could have been slightly more pronounced.  

This image most clearly demonstrates the depth of an embrasure. Compared to Fig 1, notice how the lingual embrasure gets much further toward the center of the marginal ridge. A molar to molar contact is typically 1.5-2mm in length.

Please note that the image does not clearly show the buccal and lingual embrasures.  

What Are The Restorative Treatment Options For You? 

Gingival embrasures are great for guiding floss. 

Mesial (forward side of the tooth) and distal (backside of the tooth) embrasures at the right size will ensure that even if food gets impacted, it will come out quite easily, decreasing the chances of developing periodontal disease or affecting the appearance of the smile. 

Before drafting a customized treatment plan, a detailed examination and understanding of the patient’s etiology is a must. 

Various treatment options for gingival embrasures are available such as “interproximal reduction” or “reproximation”, hyaluronic acid, resin composite fillings, bonding, veneers, surgery, deep tissue cleaning and gum grafting, laser gum recontouring and pinhole technique. 

Typically, all the treatment methods comprise a combination of orthodontic, periodontal, and restorative surgery. 

Below is an image before and after our restorative procedure for “embrasures.” The materials used were the garrison matrix ring system and VOCO composite. 

floss shreddingFigure 4: This contact was before we could adjust it. The patient was complaining about the inability to floss and floss shredding! The embrasures need to be emphasized.

This is an example of poorly done contacts. In a case like this, the #2 MO looks like it was adequately bonded to the tooth, but #3 DO looks like there was some contaminant on the buccal side. The filling looks like it is separating on the mesial wall.

If we don’t know the age of these fillings, the most conservative approach would be to adjust the embrasures and monitor the fillings hereon.  

To adjust the embrasures, we would deepen the lingual and buccal embrasures by roughly 1.5mm. The angle of the bur should follow the natural flow of the cusps as shown in the image below.

embrasures Figure 5: This photo is modified and edited on 3 May 2022

The black lines again show the angle of the lingual and buccal embrasures and the blue dotted line shows where the occlusal embrasure should be.

DO NOTE that when adjusting these fillings. The natural tooth should NOT BE TOUCHED. These fillings are EXCESSIVE and there is nothing we need to do on the natural tooth. We just need to trim the fat of the filling.

Embrasures after treatmentFigure 6: Here’s the “after treatment” image of nice flowing contacts. 

If you’re looking for Restorative Dental Services In Palo Alto, contact us or schedule an appointment with the best dentist in Palo Alto.

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 MouthHealthy.org

California Dental Association

American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention



Laser Dentistry

Which Dental Fillings are Best for Tooth Decay?

Which Dental Fillings are Best for Tooth Decay? Palo Alto Dentists

Advances in dental care and hygiene notwithstanding, tooth decay or cavity remains an issue for many Americans. Actually, 26% of adults in the U.S have untreated tooth decay. If not treated on time, tooth decay can lead to more severe dental health issues, including failing and abscessed teeth. This is why it’s vital to visit a Palo Alto dentist regularly so that they check for symptoms of tooth decay.




Dental fillings to treat tooth decay

If you have cavities, your dentist may advise you to have a dental filling done. A filling is a procedure that involves using some combination of materials to restore a tooth’s functional integrity. In other words, this dental procedure strengthens a damaged or decayed tooth by filling it with specific materials.

There are different types of dental filling. A tooth can be filled by composite, amalgam, gold, ceramic, and glass ionomer fillings. The right type of filling will depend on factors such as:


  • Dentist’s recommendation
  • The extent of the repair needed
  • The location of the cavity
  • Your budget/cost of the procedure

Let us explore in detail what each of the above fillings entails.


What type of dental filling is best? 

Amalgam fillings

They are also referred to as silver fillings, despite the fact that they contain more metals than just silver. Usually, they are a mixture or amalgam of silver, tin alloy, and copper, as well as elemental mercury. Dentists have used amalgam fillings for decades. This is mainly because they continue to be the least costly filling type and also one of the most durable.

According to a 2016 study, the average age of an amalgam filling is around 15 years. Another 2008 study placed the survival rate of amalgam dental fillings offered by private practices anywhere from 7.1 to 44.7 years.

Composite filling 

Composite fillings are made from a mixture of resin and acrylic that is carefully applied to the cavity while soft but later hardened by the LED light. It’s a popular choice since it can be color-matched to the shade of the patient’s existing teeth, making them almost indistinguishable. That said, composite fillings don’t last as long as Amalgam fillings. According to a 2014 study, these fillings can last around ten years.

Note: the material used to make composite filling is also used to fill in small gaps between teeth and repair chipped teeth.

Gold fillings 

Gold fillings, as you may expect, are more expensive than composite or amalgam restorations. They are, however, more durable. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), gold fillings can last about 20 years.


Ceramic fillings have a natural look that resembles composite fillings. One main advantage of ceramic is its long lifespan. However, ceramic fillings are usually limited to large cavities as they can be difficult to fit well into small spaces without fragmenting. In terms of costs, ceramic is more expensive than composite.

Glass ionomer fillings

Glass ionomer fillings are made from a mixture of acrylic and fluoroaluminosilicate glass and are ideal for young ones whose teeth are still changing. Glass ionomer fillings release fluoride, which helps to prevent teeth from future decay. That said, they only last a few years, as they are considerably weaker than composite and more likely to wear or tear.


Steps involved in filling a tooth


  1. Examination and treatment plan

Your Palo Alto dentist examines the level of cavity or decay by looking at your teeth. If your dentist believes that the cavity might be deeper, a tiny X-Ray might be conducted to examine that specific tooth. Also, a panoramic X-Ray might be required to check the prognoses of all teeth. Dental fillings are perfect for fractures and minor decay, but your dentist will advise you accordingly.


  1. Removal of tooth cavity 

In case the cavity is deep, your dentist may administer anesthesia to numb the area before they start getting rid of the decay. For the majority of cases, the treatment is performed on the surface and doesn’t require local anesthesia.

The damaged or decayed tooth is prepared using a drilling handpiece. The entire section is cleaned and decontaminated to eliminate lingering bacteria or debris.


  1. Tooth filling and polishing

The filling material is carefully applied to fill the cavity. The finished tooth is polished and any excess material is trimmed off.


Caring for your teeth with fillings 

To maintain your dental fillings, follow good oral hygiene practices such as:


  • Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing at least two times per day
  • Visiting your dentist bi-annually for cleanings

Contact your dentist immediately if:


  • You feel a sharp edge
  • Your teeth are exceedingly sensitive
  • If you notice a missing piece of a filling
  • If you see a crack in a filling,


Visit the best family dentist in Palo Alto for the best advice on fillings

Cavities, if not treated properly, can lead to tooth loss. Dental fillings exist to prevent worse damage from occurring. Your Palo Alto dentist is best positioned to advise you on the best filling type whenever you need a tooth restored. Schedule an appointment today!

At Blue Turtle Dental, most of our patients prefer the composite filling. While traditional fillings are made of metal mixtures, having a mouth full of silver or gold can leave patients dissatisfied with their appearance. White fillings protect the tooth against further decay while also maintaining a natural look.

Learn more about the restorative dental services we provide at Blue Turtle Dental or schedule a consultation with one of our highly proficient dental teams.


What are the Best Teeth Replacement Options?

What are the Best Teeth Replacement Options? Redwood City Dentists

A set of teeth is like a new car; shiny and bright in the beginning but often in need of spare or replacement parts as time goes by. Losing a tooth is sometimes unavoidable. In fact, few will make it through life with 32 teeth.

Let’s explore a few teeth replacement options and how they can contribute to your overall dental health.


Causes of tooth loss

There are many causes of tooth loss. Topping the list is tooth decay and gum disease.

Tooth decay occurs when food particles containing carbohydrates (sugar and starches) are left on the teeth for some time. Bacteria that reside in the mouth digest these particles, turning them into acid. This acid damages and causes cavities. On the other hand, gum disease develops when too much plaque settles on the gum line, leading to swelling and reddening of the gum tissue. If not treated early, it tears down the bone that supports the teeth.

Accidents and sports injuries are other causes of teeth loss. Tooth loss can occur due to a fracture or crack in the bone from an accident. According to American Dental Assistants Association, 5 million teeth are lost yearly in the U.S because of sports injuries.


Impact of missing teeth 

In some instances, there may be little impact. Depending on where the missing tooth is located, others may not quickly notice a gap in your mouth. Usually, this is the case when the missing tooth is at the side or back of your mouth.

However, your teeth are intended to work together, so losing one or more teeth can, to some extent, impact speech, eating, and other dental problems. It becomes uncomfortable and difficult to chew food. You may find yourself having to chew at a much slower pace or on one side of your mouth. This can affect your facial and jaw muscles.

Missing teeth can also change the outline of your face since it can cause your facial muscles to sag. What’s more, your bite may change to compensate or make up for the lost teeth, and the remaining ones (teeth) might move given the extra room. Unfortunately, this can cause tooth grinding, tooth sensitivity, and difficulty in chewing in the long run.


What are the best options if you lose your teeth?

The quick answer includes implants, bridges, and dentures.

A more detailed answer:

The ideal option for teeth replacement largely depends on the scope of dental work and your smile goals. Dental clinics offer different procedures, and each calls for a different amount of time, work, and expertise, along with a different cost.

Consider the following teeth replacement options:

Dental implants

Dental implants are one of the most preferred options when you wish to replace one or more teeth.

This treatment entails surgically mounting a titanium frame or post into your lower or upper jaw. Then, a replacement tooth is mounted to the implant, which helps the tooth remain in place securely.

While treatment costs may vary depending on various factors, the cost of a single tooth dental implant falls between $3000 and $6000.

Some benefits of dental  implants include:


  • They are permanent and durable
  • They have a 95 percent treatment success rate
  • They provide an appealing aesthetic
  • They feel comfortable and natural
  • They require little maintenance other than cleanings, checkups, and good oral hygiene
  • They do not need any modification of the bordering teeth
  • They are an excellent tooth replacement method to prevent jawbone loss

Dental bridge 

Bridges are fixed dental devices that bridge the gap formed by one or more missing teeth. There are three types of bridges – Traditional, Maryland, and Cantilever – but your doctor will help you pick the best option among the three.

A dental bridge gets its support from the nearby healthy teeth on the right or left side of the gap. The teeth that provide support to the bridge are known as abutments, while the ones that cover the gap are called pontics.

The placement of a dental bridge is usually not a surgical procedure; therefore, you will remain awake throughout the treatment. But, if you are uneasy or nervous about the thought of undergoing the treatment, your dentist might offer mild sedation to assist you to relax. Additionally, your dentist will numb the area in question with a local anesthetic by injecting some medication into your gums.

One of the best parts about dental bridges as a treatment option for missing teeth is that the recovery process is minimal. Actually, you can eat normally as soon as the dental bridge has been mounted in your mouth. A large majority of patients have no difficulties adapting to the bridge.

The cost of a dental bridge will depend on several factors, such as the materials needed, the type of bridge chosen, and any dental work required before installing this dental device.  When it comes to materials, the charges for an all-porcelain bridge are higher than a porcelain-fused or metal-fused bridge.

Advantages of dental bridges include:


  • Feel and look like natural teeth
  • Don’t require removal for cleaning
  • They are usually cheaper than dental implants
  • Last for many years before calling for replacement
  • Easy to maintain and can be flossed and brushed just like ordinary teeth


Dentures are a perfect tooth replacement option for people who are missing many of their teeth. A full or complete denture replaces all the missing teeth in either the lower or upper jaw. On the other hand, a removable partial denture is recommended when the patient still has some teeth left.

The procedure for a partial denture consists of replacement teeth being fastened to a natural-looking pink base. Generally, your natural teeth secure the removable plastic base in place. However, some dentures have a tiny clasp that connects to natural teeth.

Although the cost varies, pricing calculators estimate the cost of dentures to range from $1,500-$3,000.

Advantages of dentures include:


  • They are pretty affordable and take a minimal amount of time to create.
  • Look and feel natural in the mouth
  • Easily removed for cleaning
  • Allow patients to eat more comfortably

Consult your dentist for the best tooth-replacement option 

There are many practical options to remedy a lost tooth, regardless if it was lost via injury, decay, or gum disease. Each option has its share of advantages and disadvantages, which your dentist can help you evaluate based on your budget and specific needs. All the best as you strive to improve your dental health and restore your smile.

Consult our Palo Alto dentists for all restorative dental procedures, including implants, bridges, and dentures. 

Article resources:

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


  1. https://www.webmd.com/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu
  4. https://www.ada.org/en
  5. https://mouthhealthy.org/


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. 

Restoring Chipped Teeth with Crowns

A chipped or broken tooth not only looks unsightly, but it can also be very painful. A crown is one way your tooth can be restored to its original shape, appearance, and function. Other uses for a crown are if you have a root canal or a tooth that has a very large filling that is not very strong.

A crown is also called a cap and is a hollow, artificial tooth that is used to cover the damaged tooth. It can also be used to replace a severely stained or misshapen tooth.

Crowns require a procedure by a dentist. First, the dentist will take an impression of your chipped tooth and the surrounding teeth. This impression will be used to make a temporary crown. You’ll be given a local anesthetic before the broken, or chipped tooth is filed down to a stub or base on which the crown will be fixed. After it is prepared, another impression will be taken to be used to make your permanent crown.

The crown is built from restorative material based on the impression creating a tooth that is the right shape for your mouth. While your permanent crown is being made, you’ll have a temporary crown to cover the filed tooth. The temporary crown may not look like your former tooth, but you won’t have it for long.

When your permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary and put the final one on the filed tooth. After making sure the crown fits and is comfortable for biting, the dentist will cement the crown into place. If you require other treatments such as a root canal or gum treatment, it may take more than two visits to complete the procedure.

There are several different types of crowns. The type of material used to make the crown usually depends on which tooth requires a crown. We’ll make sure you get the right material or combination of materials that is right for your mouth. Some of the most common materials are:

  • Metal – gold alloy and other alloys are used to make metal crowns. They are very strong, but gold will wear down after some time. The main drawback is they don’t look natural especially on front teeth.
  • Composite – composite crowns look natural and are stronger than porcelain crowns. However, they wear down more quickly from chewing. After some time, regular brushing will remove the highly polished surface, which will cause them to become stained more easily.
  • Porcelain – porcelain crowns look the most natural. They are more brittle than composite or metal and will chip more easily. This is why they are not usually placed on back teeth.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal – these crowns look natural and are much stronger than either composite or porcelain crowns. They don’t chip easily. Depending on the design of the crown, the metal base may eventually show if your gums recede.

Crowns are strong and can last more than 10 years with proper care. If you have a chipped tooth, contact Blue Turtle Dental. We offer a variety services to help patients attain the smile they want, and we can help you choose the right crown to return your tooth to its original appearance and function. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.