Why I do I need a crown?

March 15th, 2019

Why do I need a crown?

If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown, sometimes called a "cap" to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.

A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling.  We often see this on the very back molars when a corner or cusp of the tooth breaks away.  Crowns can also be placed proactively to protect a weak tooth  and prevent it from breaking.  A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored  from an injury or tetracycline staining or  are badly shaped, too small or too large. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.

If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.  At Duvall Family Dental, we will show you photographs of your tooth, explain it's condition and why a crown may be recommended for you.

Crowns are made out of a variety of materials at a dental laboratory.  The dentist will choose the material that is the most appropriate for the individual situation depending on whether the need is strength or esthetics or a combination of both.

The Process:

The crown procedure consists of two separate visits. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for the crown with local anesthetic. An impression or imprint of the prepared tooth is taken, and a temporary tooth-colored acrylic crown is placed over the tooth. The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the dental crown will be manufactured.  During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed, the fit and esthetics of the final crown are evaluated.  The crown is then placed on the tooth with a permanent dental adhesive.

A crown is the definitive royal treatment for a broken tooth. For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 318-7689. Dr. Jessica Chen at Duvall Family Dental is a caring and compassionate dentist looking forward to answering your questions.

Is it a toothache or a sinus infection?

March 15th, 2019

If you're like the 28 million adults who suffer from sinus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you know how painful they can be. The addition of sinus infection tooth pain caused by pressure in your nasal cavity can be all the more distressing if you're unaware of this side effect.

It's important to determine whether a sinus infection is the cause of your toothache, though. Reach out to your doctor if you have a cold turned sinus infection, or contact your dentist if the pain originated in your teeth.

The American Rhinologic Society (ARS) defines sinusitis as the inflammation of your nasal passage lining, and a cold that persists longer than two weeks can develop into an acute sinus infection. This begins in your maxillary sinuses, located just above your molar teeth roots, and can swell with the buildup of bacterial or viral mucus. The pressure it puts on dental nerve endings can cause a painful sensation on one or more of your teeth.

If you have a sinus infection, the best way to get rid of your tooth pain is to target the backlog of mucus. Try these five tips for relieving sinus infection tooth pain:

  1. Drink Fluids and Use SteamWater helps hydrate the mucus membranes and decreases mucus buildup. So, have fluids on hand to stay hydrated.

If you've become dehydrated, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) electrolytes affect the amount of water in your body, and water doesn’t naturally contain electrolytes. You may therefore want to add coconut water to your diet, which contains electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and sodium. Likewise, magnesium supports your immune system, which helps to fight both bacterial and viral sinus infections.

Add a steamy shower or a peppermint steam solution to your daily care, as well. Peppermint and steam both help cut decongestion and pain (all the more reason to drink tea when it's cold).

  1. Eat Spicy Foods

Even if you have a sensitive palate, don't be afraid to stock up on foods that have a kick, such as horseradish or chili peppers. The ingredients in both of these have mucus-thinning properties. But not all spicy foods work equally; check with your doctor first to be sure you're not causing more harm than good.

  1. Use an Expectorant

The key to relieving sinus infection tooth pain is to drain the mucus, decreasing the pressure in your sinuses. Over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants and expectorants can provide fast relief, but in different ways. Baylor College of Medicine advises that expectorants "melt" mucus, whereas decongestants effectively dry out the passages to relieve the pressure. Look for a nasal expectorant, but take some time to read the instructions on how to flush the area and how many times per day you should do so. If symptoms persist past the prescribed usage, however, you should always consult your doctor.

  1. Hum Yourself to Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important means to increasing your body's general resistances. During sleep, your body has an opportunity to produce white blood cells and cytokines, which "enhance immunity," according to the Pflugus Archieve - European Journal of Physiology. But when you have a painful sinus toothache, it's hard to relax enough to rest.

Surprisingly, humming has been linked to a decrease in sinus pain. Air flow in the area acts similarly to water in helping to clear and drain mucus buildup, as observed by two studies reported in The New York Times.

If you've taken an expectorant but still find yourself up at night, try humming at different tones. Humming naturally vibrates your facial "mask," and you can softly hum the tone that best engages the inflamed area. Infants are calmed and lulled to sleep by similar rocking, and this can also help you relax enough to get much-needed rest.

  1. Position Your Head for the Best Drainage

When resting, keep your head in a propped, tilted position. Laying horizontally can cause blockage and continued pressure, but sleeping with some of your upper body propped up is a better way to drain the pain.

It is always important to contact your dentist if you feel that the toothache you are experiencing is severe and persistent. Also contact your physicians office if your cold/flu or sinus symptoms isn't being relived with over the counter medication.

Contact Dr. Jessica Chen at Duvall Family Dental for your dental check up! We are your dental home in Duvall!




Article sources from colgate and the aforementioned health and media sources.


Protect Your Teeth During Morning Sickness

March 15th, 2019

One of the hallmarks of pregnancy is morning sickness. (We didn’t say it was the fun part.) Despite its name, morning sickness can strike any time of day…and does.

Over half of pregnant women suffer from the nausea and vomiting that may be caused by a sudden increase in hormones. Degrees of morning sickness range from woozy feelings caused by certain smells (or the mere mention of them) to vomiting several times a day. This makes going to work, traveling and going about the day challenging for roughly the first half of pregnancy.

Morning sickness can also do a number on your teeth. Stomach acid is tough on tooth enamel.

Here are some tips to get you through:

Switch to a bland-tasting toothpaste

Grossed out by toothpaste? Don’t skip brushing. Switch to a different flavor or plain-tasting product instead. Make sure it has fluoride which strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. Your dentist can recommend some. Try changing the time of day you brush, as well. Another trick is to use a smaller amount of toothpaste.


Following bouts of vomiting, rinse your mouth with plain water. Add baking soda to the water to neutralize acids in your mouth and on teeth.

Control triggers

Avoid smells that make you, well, gag. Some use a peppermint lip balm or another calming scent to keep morning sickness at bay. Sipping ginger tea is also an age-old remedy.

Don’t bounce back with sugary foods

Many reach for sugary foods and drinks as energy sources, particularly when feeling depleted. Turn to healthier, tooth-friendly foods instead for longer lasting energy. Cheese, veggies, nuts and lean proteins are good choices.

For more information or to schedule you and your family for a dental exam and cleaning, please call us at (425) 354-3628. Dr. Jessica Chen at Duvall Family Dental is a caring and compassionate dentist looking forward to answering your questions.


Article from the mightymouth.org

How Much Toothpaste Should my Child Use?

February 5th, 2019

On February 1, 2019 the Centers for Disease Control released a study regarding the overuse of Fluoride Toothpaste by young children. What is the bottom line that parents need to know regarding this subject?

Here is the summary from the CDC:


What is already known about this topic?

Fluoride prevents dental caries; however, excessive ingestion by young children can discolor and pit the permanent teeth. Toothbrushing should commence when the first tooth erupts, and children aged <3 years and 3–6 years should use a smear the size of a rice grain and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, respectively.

What is added by this report?

In a survey of toothbrushing practices, nearly 80% of children aged 3–15 years began toothbrushing at age ≥1 year, approximately one third brushed once daily, and nearly 40% of children aged 3–6 years used too much toothpaste.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Health care professionals can educate parents about using the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste under parental supervision to realize maximum benefit."

Children aged 3 and up:

The American Dental Association recommends squeezing a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste onto the brush for kids aged 3-6. Unfortunately, a child’s perception of the size of a pea may differ from a parent’s perception. If the child loads their toothbrush themselves, they are likely to use too much paste. Combined with some children’s inability to spit and rinse well, they are  also at risk for fluorosis (mottling and streaking) of their permanent teeth.

We recommend supervising your children’s daily brushing until they are at least 7 years old. Demonstrate to your child how much toothpaste they should be using or place the toothpaste onto the brush yourself.

Infant children to age 3

For younger children, especially under the age of three, we recommend using a “tiny smear” of toothpaste. Some healthcare sources suggest a “grain of rice”.  Again, the size of a grain of rice can be perceived differently. For toddlers, all that is needed is the tiniest smear of a fluoride toothpaste. This should definitely be done by the parent or caregiver for this age group. Children this age, if left to their own devices, will tend to overload their toothbrush resulting in ingesting too much toothpaste and too much fluoride. Most children under the age of 3 are unable to spit out and will swallow much of the excess paste.

“Can’t I just skip the fluoride toothpaste and use unfluoridated toddler toothpaste?”, you may ask. We strongly recommend the use of fluoridated toothpaste from the time the first tooth erupts in the child’s mouth. Tooth decay is still a very prevalent disease in children and can be prevented or at least significantly reduced by using fluoride daily.

In a nutshell-

We recommend brushing infant and toddler’s teeth for them from the time of eruption (approximately 6 months of age) with a “tiny smear” of fluoridated kid’s toothpaste twice daily. We recommend brushing children’s teeth, aged 2-6 for them with a “pea” sized amount of fluoridated kids’ toothpaste twice daily.

Remain present with the child until the brushing is completed and assist them to rinse out their mouth.

Using these suggestions should minimize the risk of using too much paste yet simultaneously reduce the chances your child will have early childhood tooth decay.

Duvall Family Dental

Dr. Jessica H.Y. Chen


You can find the full CDC report here: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6804a3.htm

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