Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Caring for Your Dental Implants: Dos and Don’ts

A woman smilesOne of the wonderful things about dental implants is that they have the potential to last a lifetime. While periodic adjustments are necessary, as well as replacement of the crowns attached to the implant itself, the permanency of an implant is one of its most popular features. Plus, the effect of osseonintegration — in which the bone cells attach themselves to the implant’s surface — actually adds stability to your jaw and prevents future bone loss, a benefit you won’t find with other types of dental prostheses or restorations.

The potential of a dental implant to last a lifetime does depend on some factors, like pre-existing medical conditions and the location of the implant, but a large part is up to you. Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to dental implant care.

  • Do – Practice good oral hygiene. A general rule of thumb is to care for implants like you would your normal teeth. That means brushing, flossing and regular check-ups are a must. We also can make recommendations for you on special cleaning aids to incorporate into your daily routine.
  • Do – Remember that recovery takes time. Once your implant is placed, it may be up to several months before we can attach the abutment and final restoration to complete your smile makeover. To help ease this process, you’ll want to take necessary time off of work or school and take it easy for at least several days to allow your body to begin the healing process.
  • Don’t – Keep old habits alive. There are many things that can lead to the need for dental implants. Perhaps your tooth loss was caused by a traumatic accident or even side effects from medications or health care treatments. In some cases, though, just the effect of tooth decay and periodontal disease is enough to warrant a tooth’s extraction. If habits like smoking, frequent consumption of sweets or inadequate oral hygiene may have led to your dental troubles, there is no better time than now to start fresh.

Want to know more about what you can do to care for your dental implants? The cosmetic and family dentist team at DaVinci serving Tarrant County is here to help you every step of the way, from initial consultation and treatment planning to your long-term oral health needs. We’re just a phone call away: 817-251-9333.

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Treating obstructive sleep apnea: CPAP therapy vs. oral appliances

You’ve discussed your symptoms with your dentist. You diligently completed the at-home sleep study. Then there’s the diagnosis. You do indeed have obstructive sleep apnea. Now what?

When it comes to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, you have several options that accomplish the same goal — keeping the airway open to ensure you get the oxygen you need during sleep — but in very different ways. As you weigh your options, it may help to understand two of the most common forms of treatment: CPAP machines and oral appliances.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine

CPAP therapy

CPAP — continuous positive airway pressure — machines operate much like their description. The machine prevents your throat from collapsing when you inhale during sleep by providing a constant stream of air pressure. It consists of prongs that fit into your nose, and a mask that covers the nose or both the nose and mouth. Connected to the mask is a tube through which the air passes from the machine to your throat.

Oral appliances

Similar in appearance to a sports mouthguard, the most common dental appliances for sleep apnea fit over the upper and lower teeth like a retainer. Known as mandibular advancement devices, they have a pole-like attachment that pushes the lower jaw forward and down, propping the mouth open and preventing the throat from collapsing during sleep.

How we can help

When it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea, we at DaVinci Dentistry know there’s no one-size-fits all solution for everyone. CPAP machines may indeed be the best option for some patients. But for those who cannot tolerate them (noise, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, and mask leaks are among the most common complaints), dental appliances provide a viable solution. The fact that they are silent, simple to use and portable is appealing to many patients.

If you experience drowsiness on a regular basis and snore at night (or are told by a bed mate that you snore), talk to us about it. As dentists trained in dental sleep medicine, we can coordinate the sleep studies required for diagnosis and fit you with a custom-made appliance. Call 817-251-9333.

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3 Things to Know about your Dental Implant

Dental Implant If you’re contemplating getting a dental implant or even multiple implants at once, it helps to know a bit more about this incredible technology and growing option for patients.

First, just what is a dental implant? It may help to think of a dental implant as an artificial tooth root. Typically composed of titanium or zirconia, the implant, which resembles a small post, or screw, is surgically placed into the jawbone. With time, the surrounding natural bone fuses to the implant, making it strong and sturdy. Once the crowns (prosthetic teeth) are placed, your dental implant is able to look and function just like natural teeth.

So here’s a bit more about them:

  • Dental implants do not stain – The materials used to make the crown portion of the implant (the part you see) are made to keep their original color permanently. While there can be rare exceptions in the case of heavy tobacco use, or coffee and soft drink consumption, most patients actually are more concerned with their natural teeth appearing stained in comparison to their implant.
  • Dental implants do require brushing – Just because the dental implant crown is composed of stain-resistant materials such as porcelain does not mean patients have a hall pass to practice inadequate oral health. Bacterial plaque can still build up on the surface of your prosthesis, and flossing is still needed to remove food particles between teeth.
  • How long dental implants last depends on several factors – While a dental implant can last decades — even a lifetime, in some cases — its ultimate longevity can be impacted by patient oral hygiene practices and condition of surrounding teeth. Gum disease or decay that may have contributed to the loss of the natural tooth in the first place could come back into play and negatively impact a dental implant in some cases.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we’ll talk to you about all of the possibilities when you’re considering opting for a dental implant. Contact us: 817-251-9333.

 

 

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When you need a prosthodontist

Gloved dentist hand, holding dental prosthesis on black backgroundModern dentistry is allowing more options for patients and the dentists who treat them than ever before. With advances like digital and 3D imaging, and computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), dentists are able to offer restorations more efficiently than ever before, sometimes even that same day. And as dental implants surge in popularity, more and more general dentists are seeking training to be able to offer this service to their patients.

But there are some cases in which your treatment may require a prosthodontist. As a result of three years of additional training after completion of dental school, prosthodontists possess a deep understanding of the dynamics of a smile. Not just what makes it beautiful, but what is necessary for it to function effectively and feel as comfortable as possible. While general dentists also are trained in how to provide restorations such as crowns, bridges, veneers, dental implants, and more, prosthodontists are considered the experts whenever anything in the mouth needs to be replaced, whether you are missing one or more teeth and need a full set of dentures, removable partial dentures or are contemplating dental implants.

Complex cases requiring several steps as well as teams of dentists and specialists are often referred to prosthodonists.

At DaVinci Dentistry serving Southlake and Tarrant County, the prosthodontist-general dentist team of brothers Drs. Khaldoun and Raed Ajlouni can address your family’s oral health needs in addition to providing cosmetic and implant dentistry solutions. Contact us at 817-251-9333 to set up an appointment. During your visit, we’ll take the time to learn about you, your smile goals and how to get you there.

 

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Resolving to have more energy in the New Year: Investigating whether sleep apnea may be the cause of your daytime drowsiness

Sleep apnea word cloud concept with insomnia snore related tagsDo you often feel tired and lack the energy needed to get through the day? Poor sleep could be too blame, but the problem doesn’t stop there.

Inadequate sleep can put you at risk for myriad health problems and other concerns, including:

  • forgetfulness;
  • inability to concentrate;
  • memory loss;
  • car accidents;
  • weight gain;
  • high blood pressure;
  • diabetes;
  • stroke;
  • heart disease;
  • heart attack; and
  • more.

While getting enough sleep can be a matter of changing behavior and lifestyle patterns, sometimes the answer is not so simple. Even for adults who carve out the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, a condition known as sleep apnea robs many of the rest they need to function and thrive.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway temporarily closes during sleep as a result of soft tissues collapsing in the throat. This can occur for seconds at a time to a minute or more. The interruptions in sleep may not even be noticeable to you, but when it happens hundreds of times a night, the sleep loss adds up.

So how do you know if you have sleep apnea? Among many symptoms, drowsiness can be a telltale sign, but to be sure, a sleep test can be ordered. With advances in modern dentistry, more and more dentists — including your team at DaVinci — play a vital role in diagnosing and treating this condition. If you think you may be at risk for sleep apnea, consider making investigating this condition a part of your 2016 New Year’s resolutions.

During your appointment, we can talk to you about ordering a sleep study and the custom-fitted oral appliances that prop the airway open during sleep. It’s amazing what a huge difference this treatment can make on your life. We’re located in Southlake and serve surrounding communities throughout DFW and North Texas. Call us at 817-251-9333.