Monthly Archives: December 2015

0 624

Understanding the Timeline of Dental Implant Treatment

wall calendar calendar with the number of days and clock close-upIf you are missing one or more teeth, you are not alone. Approximately 178 million Americans — more than half of our population — are missing at least one tooth. As dental implants become increasingly popular, more and more patients are considering this restorative option.

The benefits of dental implants are numerous, including realistic look and function, comfort, and the ability to strengthen the bones in your jaw.

One thing that is important to factor into the decision to pursue dental implants as a form of treatment is the timeline. Unlike dentures, removable partials or tooth-supported bridges, dental implants require between four to six months to complete, and can vary depending on the location where the implant is to be placed as well as the number of missing teeth. While there are some unique circumstances in which dental implants and final restorations can be placed the same day, this is not the case for most patients.

This timeline is important, and it includes several stages, including:

  • Implant placement – The dental implants are placed in the jawbone, typically in the bone socket of the missing tooth.
  • Abutment attachment (approximately two to three months later) – Once the implant has begun to fuse to the bone and the desired bone stability has been reached, an abutment is attached to the implant. It is on this abutment that the final restoration will be placed.
  • Placement of final restoration/prosthesis (approximately two months after abutments are attached) – It may take several weeks for the gum tissue surrounding the abutment to heal so that the final tooth replacement — a crown — can be attached to the abutment. This new tooth is fabricated based on impressions taken of your teeth. Every detail, including color, is tailored to match the surrounding teeth in your mouth.

Depending on the location of your dental implant, temporary restorations during treatment are an option. These are all things we can discuss with you at DaVinci Dentistry during your appointment, as we want to ensure the highest level of comfort and esthetics for you and your smile. Call us at 817-251-9333.

0 530

Prosthodontics: What is it?

Dentures

You may have heard the term “prosthodontics” before, but unless you’re someone who works in the dental profession, it can be easy to gloss over its meaning.

Prosthodontics is unique in that it encompasses many facets of the eight other dental specialties. The end goal is rehabilitation for patients with missing or deficient teeth with regard to comfort, function and appearance. The method: Biocompatible substitutes, which can take many forms, ranging from crowns and bridges to dentures and, most in demand in recent years, dental implants.

When you have complicated issues with your mouth, teeth and oral health, a prosthodontist can often act as the “quarterback” of your care, coordinating treatment — sometimes with general dentists and those who specialize in another arena of the profession.

At DaVinci Dentistry, you can rest assured that Drs. Khaldoun and Raed Ajlouni will work closely together to plan your treatment. They utilize all aspects of their expertise — Dr. Khal is a prosthodontist, and Dr. Raed is a general dentist with a focus on cosmetic and esthetic dentistry — to achieve incredible results for their patients.

To know if prosthodontic work is something that will benefit you, come see us by calling 817-251-9333 so we can diagnose your specific needs and discuss possible treatment options.

0 478

Snoring versus sleep apnea

Annoyed woman covering her ears with pillows to block out snorinWhen it comes to snoring and sleep apnea, some people may struggle to figure out the difference between the two. Snoring is extremely common, and it affects 90 million Americans. It may occur nightly or intermittently.

So what causes it, and how is it different than obstructive sleep apnea?

Snoring occurs when the collapsible part of the airway — where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula — strike each other when breathing, creating a vibration. In this situation, the airway is partially closed.

Some of the most common causes of snoring include:

  • obstructed nasal passageways;
  • excessively bulky throat tissue; and
  • poor tongue and throat muscle tone.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused when the airway completely closes. The tongue falls against the soft palate, and the soft palate and uvula fall against the back of the throat, so when your chest rises to inhale, no air comes in. This can occur hundreds of times throughout one night, and each episode may last mere seconds to more than a minute. Sometimes those with this condition may snore; other times not. In either case, daytime drowsiness is a hallmark symptom.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition, because not only does it prevent you from getting adequate sleep, it can increase the likelihood that you will experience a host of other problems ranging from depression and headaches to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and even stroke.

In Texas, dentists in addition to sleep physicians may treat patients for this disorder. The first step is to talk with us. If you are experiencing frequent snoring, we can order a sleep study, and depending on the results, fit you for a custom oral appliance designed to prop the airway open at night. Whether your snoring is simply that — snoring — or an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, we’ll help you get the answers you are looking for, to get the rest you need. Scheduling an appointment with DaVinci Dentistry is the first step. Call 817-251-8333.

0 463

Caring for your dental implants

Tooth and dental implant isolated on white background. 3d rendering illustrationDon’t underestimate the importance of an established home oral hygiene regimen when it comes to getting the most out of your dental implants. While as a general rule of thumb you can care for dental implants just as you would natural teeth — think brushing, flossing, going to regular check-ups and professional cleanings — there are a few tools that will help you to get the most out of your implants.

These additional tools that may help you when cleaning your dental implants include:

  • Powered toothbrushes – various selections of toothbrush heads in combination with rotating movement can help clear plaque from tissue-implant-prosthetic interfaces.
  • Water flossers – Available at retail stores, they utilize pressurized streams of water to give an extra oomph to your flossing, allowing you to access areas that may be inaccessible by other methods.

Ultimately, a lack of oral hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria and plaque, leading to inflammation in the surrounding soft tissues that could, without intervention, jeopardize the life span of the dental implant. It’s true that implants are not susceptible to cavities like natural teeth. But they need to be cared for, as normal wear and tear is still a reality.

Have questions about your dental implants or are considering whether they are an option for your needs? Contact us at 817-251-9333 to set up an appointment.