Monthly Archives: June 2016

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How to Care for your Dental Bridge

An illustration of a dental bridge A dental bridge can be a welcome change for many patients who have had to live with the effects of a missing tooth. We have had many patients come through the doors of our Southlake dental practice tell us firsthand: “It’s difficult to speak.” “It’s hard to eat.” “Just biting down is a challenge.”

In these scenarios, a dental bridge can help patients regain not just a missing tooth, but proper bite alignment and face shape. It operates much like its name. It connects adjoining natural teeth with a false tooth. This is done by placing dental crowns on the teeth on either side of the empty space, effectively making them anchors, or abutments, for the false tooth.

When you opt for a dental bridge you are literally investing in the health of your mouth and smile, and as such, you’ll want to do whatever you can to maintain it for as long as possible. A good rule of thumb when caring for your dental bridge is simply to care for it as you would your permanent teeth.

In addition to proper brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, you’ll still want to floss between the anchor teeth and false tooth, and an antiseptic mouthwash can help prevent decay. In some cases, patients find proxy brushes preferable to flossing for cleaning out debris from around the bridge. Following good oral hygiene practices also serves to help maintain your dental bridge by keeping surrounding teeth strong and healthy. After all, they serve as its firm foundation.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, whether we are preparing your dental bridge, placing your dental implant or even giving you a single dental crown, we’ll provide you with guidance every step of the way. Coming to see us for your regular check-up helps us catch potential problems early, in order to keep you on the right track. Contact us at 817-251-9333.

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Effects of sleep apnea: How much sleep do you need each night?

 

For anyone who has ever suffered from sleep apnea, insomnia or other disruptions in sleep, the adage that we all “need a good night’s rest” is probably one you understand well. Even so, the amount of time recommended to devote to sleeping each day, per the National Sleep Foundation, may surprise you.

Recommended hours of sleep per night

Here’s a closer look:

  • Newborn (0-3 months) – 14 to 17 hours
  • Infant (4-11 months) – 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddler (1-2 years) – 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschool (3-5 years) – 10 to 13 hours
  • School age (6-13 years) – 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenager (14-17 years) – 8 to 10 hours
  • Young adult (18-25 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Adult (26-64 years) – 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adult (65+ years) – 7 to 8 hours

When sleep apnea is to blame

Three sheep jumping over the fence. Count them to sleep.Even if you allot enough time for sleep, conditions like obstructive sleep apnea — when the muscles in your throat relax and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway as you sleep — could be robbing you of the rest your body needs, as well as vital oxygen for all of your organs, including your heart and brain. Unless you have a spouse or bedmate who tells you about persistent snoring (snoring can be but is not always symptomatic of sleep apnea), you may not even know anything is wrong. Other indicators such as waking up frequently in the night, waking up with headaches and excessive daytime drowsiness might be all you experience.

Taking action

If this is the case, and you are allotting the recommended hours of sleep per night, talk to us at DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake about your concerns. Dental as well as medical practices can assist you with diagnosis through take-home sleep studies. And if all signs point toward sleep apnea, dental solutions such as oral appliances can help. By comfortably propping open the mouth, these devices help prevent the tongue and soft tissues from obstructing your airway during sleep. If you still have questions about sleep apnea solutions, don’t hesitate to call our office at 817-251-9333 to schedule an appointment.

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TMJ Treatment: Considering All of Your Options

senior with pain in front of earsIf you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly referred to as TMD or TMJ, treatment options may be more accessible than you think. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, TX, we see patients for TMJ-related concerns on a regular basis.

TMJ Treatment: Mild Cases

For many people with TMD, symptoms are mild, periodic and typically resolve within a few weeks or months when simple remedies are followed, including:

  • eating soft foods;
  • avoiding chewing gum;
  • applying ice or moist heat; and
  • exercising caution when yawning and singing.

TMJ Treatment: Severe Cases

For other patients, TMD symptoms may be more debilitating or persistent, despite at-home therapy. In these situations, a number of conservative treatment options are available. The key here is the word “conservative.” We look at reversible treatment options, per recommendations from the National Institutes of Health, as more studies are needed regarding the benefit and safety of irreversible, permanent options such as bite adjustment and surgery.

Some conservative TMJ treatment measures we can explore to help alleviate your symptoms include:

  • pain medication;
  • injections;
  • splints; and
  • night guards (to prevent further grinding and clenching during sleep).

From treatment for TMD symptoms to dental implants and full mouth reconstruction, the Southlake, TX, team at DaVinci Dentistry has the training and expertise to guide you through your oral health needs. We provide cosmetic, family and implant dentistry for residents throughout much of Tarrant County, including Grapevine, Colleyville, Keller, North Richland Hills, and Hurst-Euless-Bedford. Contact us at 817-251-9333.

 

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Preparing for dental implants

Preparations for dental implants SouthlakeWhen preparing for dental implants, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry has its own set of responsibilities to fulfill, but that doesn’t mean that you, the patient, don’t also have an important role to play in the process.

On our end, we first must complete a comprehensive dental exam, which includes X-rays and models of your face and mouth. From there, we can create a treatment plan. In certain instances, we may need to partner with other dental specialists, such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons and periodontists. In either case, careful precision and attention to every detail is necessary to ensure that we follow each step of your treatment with the end goal in mind: a restored, functional smile.

There are some things you can do to ensure placement of your dental implant or multiple implants goes as smoothly as possible.

These include:

  • Carefully review your customized plan leading up to surgery (this contains instructions on medication changes and dietary restrictions, such as when to stop eating the day before, etc.).
  • Designate a driver to take you home (whether you receive general or local anesthesia, having someone else to operate a motor vehicle is the best bet to ensure your safety).
  • Follow dietary restrictions (soft food is conducive to healing, and if you purchase what you need in advance, you’ll be able to rest and relax following your surgery).

Placing dental implants is not a one-step process. Once adequate healing has occurred after the implant is placed, anther appointment is scheduled, during which a restoration, or crown, is connected to the implant via an abutment. Of course, the partnership doesn’t end there. We’ll establish a recall schedule to ensure your dental implants are functioning as comfortably and naturally as the teeth they are replacing. And whenever you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re only a phone call away: 817-251-9333.

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Cool off with these foods that are also good for teeth

Southlake Dentist Advice on Tooth-Healthy FoodsAs a dentist and prosthodontist, we’re sure you’ve heard about foods to avoid to safeguard the health of your smile. Sodas, candies and chocolates probably enter your mind. But what about foods that give your oral health a bit of a boost while also helping you cool off in the heat of summer?

Here are some easy-to-find foods in the produce aisle that can give you something to smile about:

  • Carrots – That satisfactory crunch associated with eating raw carrots also carries a benefit. The chewing action actually helps stimulate saliva production in your mouth, reducing risk of cavities. These babies are also rich in Vitamin A and fiber.
  • Celery – High in Vitamin A and C, this veggie helps remove food particles and bacteria from the teeth, acting as a natural toothbrush.
  • Apples – Just because they’re sweet doesn’t mean they’re (necessarily) bad for your teeth. A special exception to the rule, apples are loaded with water and fiber, and just like carrots and celery, they help produce saliva, which rinses away food particles. Even gums are stimulated as a result of the fruit’s texture.
  • Leafy greens – Low in calories and high in calcium, you can have spinach or kale in a salad or even throw them into the blender for a savory twist on your summer smoothies.

Some other key ingredients include calcium and Vitamin D, which help strengthen teeth and bones. While milk is a source of this, many juices are now fortified with calcium, which means you can cool off while doing something good for your teeth. Do bear in mind, though, if the juice you’re sipping on contains a good deal of citric acid, you’ll want to swish with water after and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. This is because the acid in these types of drinks temporarily softens enamel, and saliva, which helps to remineralize teeth, requires a bit of time to take effect.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, no question is too simple or too complicated for our dentist, Dr. Raed Ajlouni, and prosthodontist, Dr. Khal Ajlouni. So whether it’s in regard to learning more about refreshing summer foods that are also good for your teeth, or perhaps a complex matter, such as whether you may be a candidate for dental implants, we’re here to help. Contact us by completing our online appointment request form or calling 817-251-9333.