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For You, About You Dentistry

Need a Crown? What Happens If You Don’t Get One?

Need a Crown? What Happens If You Don’t Get One?

Dental crowns in San Diego are necessary for a variety of oral health situations. At Dental Express, we use them to restore the function and appearance of a tooth. A dental crown is often the best option to extend the life of a tooth. Our team can evaluate all of the options available before recommending a crown to our patients. During a dental exam, we can examine your teeth and gums to make treatment recommendations, such as dental crowns.

What does a dental crown do?

A crown is a cap or covering for a tooth that is custom-made to match surrounding teeth. At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we use crowns to protect worn-down or damaged teeth, restore a cracked tooth, cover stains or discoloration, or treat tooth decay. We offer crowns in porcelain, metal, and metal covered with porcelain. Our team uses porcelain crowns for front teeth since they look the most natural. We also offer an implant-retained crown for a more durable treatment option.

What should I ask a dentist before getting a crown?

At your visit to Dental Express, you can ask our dentist questions to decide if a dental crown is best for you, including:

  1. When are dental crowns necessary? Ultimately, crowns can be used for different oral health situations to strengthen or restore a tooth.

  2. Do I need a root canal therapy anterior before getting a dental crown? Not always. We will take X-rays to look at the root of the tooth to determine if it is infected or diseased.

  3. Does an old metal filling mean I need a crown? If your filling is 2/3 of the width of the tooth or more, yes, you do. The small amount of tooth left is compromised without the filling. To prevent it from cracking, get a dental crown.

What happens if I wait to get a dental crown?

This depends on your situation. For damaged teeth, the chipped tooth or crack more. In some cases, waiting may lead to the need for a root canal before the dental crown procedure. Some worn-down teeth may split, which may require crown lengthening or extraction. At Dental Express, we never recommend our patients in San Diego, CA, delay any dental care.

What to expect after getting a dental crown?

Most patients can continue with their daily activities unless sedation is used. We will discuss the best way to care for your crown from home. During an exam, we will look at your crown and adjust its fit for comfort. With good care, Dental crowns should last 10 – 15 years.

Learn how dental crowns can restore your oral health

A damaged tooth can be repaired with a custom dental crown at Dental Express in San Diego, CA. During a consultation, we can evaluate your teeth and gums to determine if you’re a candidate for a crown. We also can discuss any insurance coverage or affordable payment plans we offer. To keep your smile looking its best, learn more about crowns today by calling our dental office for an appointment.

How Do You Fix a Chipped Tooth?

chipped tooth San Diego

Cracked or chipped tooth, or severe toothaches, require the expertise of an emergency dentist. At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we can provide urgent dental care when our patients need us most. We can treat your dental problem quickly to relieve pain or discomfort. While some instances can wait until regular office hours, many situations warrant the need for around-the-clock care.

When you suspect that you need emergency dental care, don’t hesitate to call our office. If you are in pain, immediate treatment, which is usually quick and easy, will help. Leaving a chip untreated can lead to increased pain or infection, and heighten the need for more serious and costly procedures, like extractions. If you are not experiencing intense pain, you probably don’t require our emergency dental services. Just avoid chewing on the tooth until you can get to our office.

How does a dentist fix a chipped tooth?

Regardless of whether or not there is pain associated with teeth chipping, it should be treated as soon as possible. At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we perform comprehensive dental exams to assess the damage from the chip. From there, we can determine the best treatment option for your oral health. This will aim to restore your smile.

To choose the best treatment choice for you during emergency dental care, our emergency dentist will use x-rays to evaluate and diagnose the problem accurately. Once we understand the extent of your emergency, we can discuss which treatment options are available to you.

Emergency dental care treatment options

Depending on the size of the chip and your existing oral health, our professional team may recommend one of the following:

  1. Cosmetic Dental Bonding and Contouring: To repair small chips and to completely seal a tooth, dental bonding can be done. Composite resin is used to reshape a tooth to look natural. Several layers of resin will be used to match the shape and size of your existing teeth. UV light is used to harden the material. After the tooth looks good, our emergency dentist will polish it, resulting in a smooth appearance.

  2. Crowns: When a large piece of the tooth breaks off, or the tooth has severe decay, we may choose to file a portion of the tooth away and cover it with a crown. The crown is custom-made to fit over your existing tooth according to your bite. It will require two visits to our office. In the first visit, we will remove the decayed part of the tooth and place a temporary crown. During the second visit, we will remove the temporary one and place the final restoration. Adjustments are made to accommodate your bite, so it feels natural.

  3. Porcelain veneers: For individuals who have many aspects of their smile that they don’t like, veneers may be a good choice. Porcelain Teeth Veneers are thin shells that are adhered directly to the front of the teeth. They are custom-made to make a smile look natural and to instantly improve Cosmetic Dentistry Grants concerns. In terms of emergency dental care, they aren’t usually included and can be addressed at a future visit.

  4. Root canal therapy: When a chip or crack is large enough that it exposes the pulp, a root canal is required. Root canal therapy at Dental Express in San Diego, CA is performed by removing the dead material and thoroughly cleaning the canals of the tooth. The remainder of the tooth is covered with a crown to seal it off and to protect, what is now, a weak tooth.

Treat your chipped tooth pain with an emergency dentist

At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we specialize in emergency dental care. We want all of our patients to know that we are available to help relieve them of any chipped tooth pain or discomfort related to a dental issue. Our goal as emergency dentists is to restore your smile with various treatments. To learn more about our emergency dental care services and to schedule an appointment, call our office today.

How to Know If You Need a Root Canal

Root Canal San Diego

Root canal therapy is used by Dental Express in San Diego, CA to repair and save teeth that are badly infected or decayed. Many patients fear that a root canal will be painful. However, the discomfort that occurs before treatment is said to be much more uncomfortable than the treatment itself. Dental Express uses modern solutions to help improve and restore our patients’ oral health with endodontic treatments.

Causes for a root canal

A tooth’s pulp becomes inflamed, infected, or irritated due to cracked, chipped tooth, or damaged teeth as well as large fillings. Untreated cavities allow bacteria to work its way to the center of the tooth infecting the pulp. This pulp contains nerve cells, blood vessels, and connective tissue that causes pain to signal that there is a problem in the tooth. While pain may go away, the infection itself won’t. This can lead to the development of a dental abscess that can systemic health problems throughout your body. Any opening in a tooth will give bacteria a chance to access the pulp. When someone feels this pain, it’s important to visit Dental Express in San Diego, CA for immediate dental care.

Signs you need a root canal

There are many symptoms and signs that you need a root canal. They include:

  • Prolonged tooth sensitivity

  • Discolorations on a tooth

  • Severe tooth pain while biting or chewing

  • Swollen or tender gums

While these are signs that a root canal may be needed, in some cases, there aren’t any symptoms at all. This makes it important to have regular comprehensive dental examinations and routine dental cleanings to make sure your oral health is at its best.

How long does a root canal take?

At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we take care to provide the most comfortable and professional dental experience for our patients. This means that we take the time needed to perform all of our treatments properly. An x-ray allows us to see whether or not you require root canal therapy.

When we determine you need a root canal, we will numb the area with a local anesthesia. Once you are numb, we will make an opening on the crown of the tooth. Next, we thoroughly clean the pulp from the pulp chamber and root canals. Next, we shape the space for the filling material. This adhesive cement is placed there to ensure that the root canals are sealed off so no other bacteria can get inside the tooth. A temporary filling is placed to close the opening. A crown is used to restore the tooth completely, which will take a few weeks to create. Once it is ready, the temporary is removed and the permanent restoration is cemented in place. This will save your tooth.

Is a root canal painful?

Getting a root canal won’t cause any more discomfort or pain than a filling. The pain leading up to visiting Dental Express can be more severe than any felt during or after endodontic treatment. A root canal is known to relieve this pain.

Alternatives to root canal therapy

An alternative to root canal therapy is extraction. However, our professional team at Dental Express in San Diego, CA believes it’s better to save our patients’ teeth. We have a high success rate with root canal therapy and saving a tooth helps to prevent other problems such as loss of bone or teeth shifting. The best way to avoid root canals is to keep the teeth free of tooth decay with regular brushing and flossing.

Treat your tooth pain with a root canal

When you’re experiencing tooth pain, tender or painful gums, and tooth sensitivity, our knowledgeable team at Dental Express in San Diego, CA can perform a thorough dental exam. We will determine the cause of your pain and offer you appropriate treatment methods, which may include a root canal, that can resolve your pain. Routine dental care will allow you to feel your best all of the time. Make an appointment at a convenient Dental Express location near you to resolve your toothache with a root canal.

Could Your Smile Be Better? Answer These Four Questions

On Broadway, Little Orphan Annie proudly sang “you’re not completely dressed without a smile.” But what if your smile doesn’t give you a lot to sing about? A good smile is about much more than looking great—straight, white teeth often indicate good oral health. Of course, it’s also a huge boost to self-esteem. Studies show that those with white straight teeth tend to be seen not only as more attractive, but smarter as well.

how do i get a better smile and straighter teeth

Could your smile be better?

We’ve compiled this useful quiz, along with some practical tips to help you. Print this list, answer the questions, and then show it to one of our Dental Express professionals.

1) Look in the mirror. What color are your teeth?

  • Brown
  • Off white
  • Perfectly white

If your teeth are stained, the biggest offenders are coffee, tea, and tobacco. If you don’t stop using these products, you won’t be able to maintain a white smile—even if you’ve had treatment. Tobacco use is one of the worst things for your health: it not only damages your teeth, but it also increases your risk of oral cancer. There are several Smile Brighter Teeth Whitening options available. While over-the-counter whitening trays are easily accessible, the bottom line is that they aren’t as effective as treatment from your dentist. Even worse, some of these home treatments can cause sensitive teeth, gum irritation or less-than-stellar results. Dental Express offers options such as in-office tooth whitening and customized trays that are specifically designed to fit the shape of your mouth.

2) Are your teeth crooked or misaligned?

In the past, braces were primarily used by junior high and high school students. But now, adults have realized the value of having a straighter smile. Newer technology is making it easier and more affordable than ever. Dental Express offers SmileCorrect, an affordable way to get a straighter smile for only $200 a month. Why are straight teeth so important? Crooked or misaligned teeth make it difficult to floss and clean between teeth. As a result, bacteria accumulate and multiply, leading to plaque. Plaque build up in turn leads to cavities. If cavities are too deep, you may need a root canal.

3) Are any of your teeth chipped or discolored?

A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored, chipped tooth, or cracked teeth. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken.

4) Do you have missing teeth?

Missing teeth not only present cosmetic dentistry grants concerns: They can also damage healthy teeth. Constant chewing can eventually shift your bite over time, causing healthier teeth to move out of place to fill the gap. Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. Surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. Made of titanium and other materials, implants are designed to hold restorations like Dental Crown and Bridges. Dental implants are a long-term option and also blend in with your other teeth, helping to restore your smile.

Can you afford cosmetic dentistry?

The cosmetic dental crowns may be more affordable than you think. Many dentists offer payment plans. Our SmileCorrect offers low monthly payments with no credit check. Depending on your individual dental insurance policy, some procedures, such as crowns, may even be partially covered. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. Dental Express offers dental care for the entire family, including SmileCorrect, implants, emergency dental care and maintenance services. With two convenient locations in San Diego, our practice features compassionate care coupled with state-of-the-art technology. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

Sources: Oral Cancer Foundation. “Risk Factors.” Online. American Dental Association. Mouth Healthy. “Ways to Improve Smiles.” Online. American Dental Association. Mouth Healthy. “Crowns.” Online.

Your Complete Guide to Dental Emergencies

dental emergency same day appointment san diego

Your Complete Guide to Dental Emergencies: If your child participates on a school sports team, we know you’re busy taking them to soccer or baseball practice. We’re also sure that you’re cheering them on from the sidelines — we do the same thing! Several members of our Dental Express family have children actively involved in all kinds of sports. This means we know firsthand the importance of being prepared in case of a dental emergency. We’ve seen it all in our offices — broken teeth, cracked teeth, even teeth that have been completely knocked out. Sadly, many dental emergencies are the result of sports injuries. So, while we hope you’ll never need it, we’ve compiled this handy guide on what to do in case of a dental emergency just in case you do.

What to do for a cracked or broken tooth

Cracked, broken or chipped tooth are the most common dental injuries, according to the American Association of Endodontic Practice. If you’ve broken or cracked a tooth:

  1. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area.
  2. Apply a cold compress to your face to reduce swelling.
  3. If the tooth is broken, cover it with sterile gauze. This will keep it clean and keep bacteria away.
  4. Get to your dentist as soon as possible.

It’s so important to get to a dentist immediately — even the smallest crack in a tooth can allow bacteria to seep into the tooth’s pulp. The pulp is the soft tissue inside your tooth. When the pulp is inflamed, it can cause a nasty infection. If it’s not treated, you may need a root canal.

What to do in case a tooth is knocked out

There are many ways a tooth can be knocked out. Maybe a baseball hits your daughter in the mouth, or your son takes a tumble on the playground. Often, we are able to save the tooth. Just be sure you follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, assess the injury and try to stop the bleeding.
  2. Find the missing tooth. It’s important to find the tooth and bring it to us as soon as possible so that we can attempt to save it.
  3. When you find the tooth, be sure to touch only the white, “top” part of the tooth, called the crown. Do not touch the roots of the tooth. This can damage them.
  4. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it briefly with cold water.
  5. Can you place the tooth back in the socket? If so, carefully place it there and bite on a handkerchief in order to keep it in position.
  6. If you can’t put the tooth in the socket, you can transport it in a glass of milk. If you don’t have milk, do NOT put the tooth in water. Instead, hold it in the cheek or in a container of your saliva. Make sure the tooth isn’t accidentally swallowed.
  7. Get to your dentist as soon as possible.

What to do if a dental crown comes off

Just as a tooth may be damaged by accident or injuries, dental crowns can come loose and fall out. If you realize you’ve lost a crown:

  1. If it’s in your mouth, immediately remove it. It’s far too easy for it to accidentally go down your windpipe and choke you.
  2. Gently rinse your mouth and the crown with water.
  3. Do NOT use any type of glue or paste to replace the tooth. The crown should be fixed by a dentist.

We know it’s tempting to try to replace the crown yourself with some over-the-counter dental paste. However, it’s extremely important that you let a dentist make the repair. If not, you may accidentally cause more damage.

What to do if you bite your tongue or lip

Sometimes, you can bite your tongue or lip so hard that it becomes an emergency. If so, remember:

  1. Gently clean the area with water.
  2. Apply a cold compress.
  3. Get to your dentist as soon as possible.

What NOT to do in case of a dental emergency

We understand that a dental emergency is upsetting and stressful. If someone in your family does experience a one, we want you to be aware of some things to avoid:

  • Do NOT try to repair or replace the tooth by yourself.
  • If an object is stuck in the mouth, do NOT try to remove it with sharp instruments. If the object can’t be removed by gently flossing, you should see your dentist.
  • Do NOT rely on herbal or home remedies during a dental emergency. Even natural products can interact with prescription or over-the-counter medication. Sometimes they may even do more damage!
  • Do NOT rely on home remedies—you may inadvertently make the situation worse. Only follow home care instructions from your dentist.
  • Do NOT use glue to try to secure the tooth in its socket.

How to avoid tooth injuries

Of course, the best way to treat dental emergencies is to avoid having them in the first place. Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

  • Make sure your children wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities. You should wear a mouthguard as well to set a good example.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels or hard candy… all of which can crack a tooth.
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.

In case of an emergency, take advantage of our same day dental walk-in appointments

We know that emergencies don’t occur at the most convenient times. Therefore, we welcome same-day or walk-in dental appointments in all four of our San Diego offices. If the accident occurs outside of office hours, you can leave a voice mail (checked daily) or visit your local emergency room. Contact us for more information or to schedule a same day dentist appointment. __________ Dental Express offers dental care for the entire family, including SmileCorrectimplants, emergency dental care and maintenance services. With four convenient locations in San Diego, our practice features compassionate care coupled with state-of-the-art technology. Contact us to schedule an appointment today. __________


The American Dental Association. “Dental Emergencies.” Online. “Mouthguards.” Online.