Author : ajlouni

About the Author:

0 379

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.

 

0 442

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.

0 456

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.

0 432

3 benefits of dental implants that you may not have considered

Dental implants in Southlake Dental implants are one of the most popular dental treatments available today, and for good reason. While dental implants can be a crucial part of a smile makeover, they are not merely a cosmetic treatment. In the absence of a healthy, natural tooth, a dental implant is the next best option, mainly because of the stability it provides. Dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth, but that’s not all.

Here are 3 benefits of dental implants that you may not have considered:

  1. Less damaging to surrounding teeth – Alternatives to dental implants, such as tooth-supported bridges, require grinding away the teeth on one or more sides of the missing tooth. Because dental implants aren’t attached to surrounding teeth, but rather are placed in the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth root, your existing teeth need not be modified or impacted.
  2. Increase stability – Did you know that when a section of the jawbone is no longer being used to support a tooth, strength and firmness can deteriorate? Dental implants, on the other hand, don’t just preserve bone; they help stimulate its growth.
  3. Anchor dentures – Patients with no remaining natural teeth who need complete dentures often face challenges with comfort, stability and changing face shape that isn’t experienced by patients with tooth-supported partial dentures. Opting for even just a few dental implants offers patients more stability and support when wearing dentures.

Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. Many factors must be considered, such as the location of the missing tooth, as well as current oral health and any other medical concerns. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we’ll discuss your complete health history among other considerations to determine if this treatment option is right for you. Talk to a member of our team by calling 817-251-9333.

0 406

Sleep apnea by age

Couple smiling Sleep apnea has become incredibly common in the U.S. Taken from the Greek word “apnea,” which means “without breath,” this condition occurs when you involuntarily stop breathing during sleep. Approximately 80 percent of people affected by sleep apnea have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the muscles in the throat relax, and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to your heart, organs and brain.

It’s estimated to affect upward of 30 million Americans.

So does age make you more vulnerable or less susceptible to this sleep-related breathing disorder? It depends. While most diagnoses of sleep apnea occur in adults age 40 or older, numbers published on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine site pointing to an American Journal of Epidemiology Study reveal that 26 percent of adults ages 30 to 70 have sleep apnea.

It’s not something that just affects adults, either. For nonobese children ages 8 and younger, the rate of sleep apnea can be as high as 5 percent.

Regardless of age, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, memory problems, headaches, job impairment and much more. As the obesity epidemic in the U.S. increases, so too, does incidence of sleep apnea, although it can occur in people who are not overweight.

If you have concerns about sleep apnea, we can talk to you about next steps to get the relief you need. Often, we can order a sleep study and fabricate an oral appliance that will address your symptoms. For sleep apnea relief, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here. Call 817-251-9333.

0 380

Denture care dos and don’ts

dental cartoon vector, denture in glass

When you get dentures to replace the missing teeth in your mouth, there are several things you can do — and avoid doing — that will ensure your dentures last as long as they possibly can. Following these measures should also mean that you’ll feel as comfortable as possible in your dentures, whether they are full (replace all the teeth in your mouth) or partial (are anchored to some remaining natural teeth with a metal framework).

  • Do – Handle with care. Whenever you handle your dentures, do so over a sink filled with water. Consider also stretching out a towel on the counter or floor, as dentures are delicate and can break if dropped.
  • Do – Brush daily. Cleaning your dentures on a regular basis removes food deposits and plaque. (The same is true of your gums, tongue and the roof of your mouth. Brushing not only removes plaque here, too; it also increases circulation.)
  • Don’t – Attempt to fix them yourself. When cracks or chips occur or dentures become loose, do not attempt to adjust them. While it may seem simple, you could damage your dentures beyond repair.
  • Don’t – Let dentures dry out. When your dentures are not in your mouth, they must be kept in water or a denture cleaner soaking solution. When bringing dentures into contact with water, avoid hot temperature settings, which can warp dentures. Cool water is always best.

Dentures are not necessarily a permanent dental prosthesis. They will need to be replaced, relined, and sometimes rebased. Even if you are not having problems with your dentures, an annual checkup provides the opportunity necessary to check your dentures for signs of wear, as well as to evaluate any changes to your mouth, which is a natural part of aging.

The team at DaVinci is only a phone call or click away. We want you to feel and look your best, so if you think it’s time to make some adjustments to your dentures, don’t hesitate to contact us. We serve patients in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine and Tarrant County and provide a wide range of services within family, implant and cosmetic dentistry. 817-251-9333.

0 420

Antidepressants and dental implant failure: What you need to know

Looking down on a group of open prescription bottles with assorted pills closeup horizontal composition shallow depth of fieldWhen patients are considering whether dental implant placement may be right for them, there are many factors to consider. Now the use of antidepressants takes on even more importance on this list.

According to a study released this spring from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, antidepressants are linked to dental implant failure. While SSRIs — selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — help to manage mood and emotions, one side effect is the decrease in regulation of bone metabolism. This directly impacts the success or failure of a dental implant, as new bone must form around the implant to secure it in place. The research found the use of antidpressants increased the odds of implant failure by four times. Each year of antidpressant use doubled the odds that dental implant failure would occur. Considering that 11 percent of Americans age 12 and older take antidepressants — and that more than half of those individuals have taken them for two or more years — it’s an issue that can and will come up when considering whether to get dental implants.

Other side effects associated with antidepressants that stand to impact the healing process after a dental implant is placed include:

  • osteoporosis (when bones become brittle and are more susceptible to fracture);
  • dry mouth; and
  • akathisia (disorder characterized by the need to be in constant motion, including grinding of the teeth).

If you’re considering whether to get a dental implant, the Southlake-based DaVinci Dentistry team will take a detailed health history, including all medications you take. We want your dental implant placement to be successful, and we’ll do everything possible in efforts to achieve a positive outcome. Whether antidepressants or other concerns come to light, you’ll be a central part of the decision-making process in your care. Contact us at 817-251-9333. We are convenient to patients in Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, North Richland Hills and Hurst-Euless-Bedford.

0 422

Do dental implants ever need to be replaced?

Mature senior coupleIf you are missing one or more teeth, the decision to get dental implants is likely one you have thought long and hard about, while seriously weighing the benefits and potential downfalls. Among the many questions you may have is how long dental implants last. This is important, as dental implants are both a financial investment and a time commitment; the process from implant placement to final restoration can take several months.

The answer to this question of whether dental implants ever have to be replaced — as is often the case with extensive dental restorations — is it depends.

While some dental implants may need adjustments from time to time, when they are properly placed and dedicated oral hygiene is followed, they can last a lifetime.

When it comes to whether your implant itself will stand the test of time, the most pressing factors include location (the back of the mouth endures more strain from chewing), pre-existing conditions and disease.

What is important to remember is that while the implant itself can last a lifetime, the crown attached to it may need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years or so, depending on wear and tear.

If you have questions about dental implants for the DaVinci Dentistry team, we can take the time to explore whether they are a good fit for you, taking your oral health, surrounding teeth, overall health and many other factors into consideration. Contact us today by calling us at 817-251-9333 or completing our appointment request online. We’re here to help.

0 432

When it’s TMJ and when it’s just another headache

TMJ headacheIf you experience chronic tension headaches or migraines, getting to the root of your symptoms could provide relief in more ways than one. There can be many triggers for these headaches, including problems in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint).

Other common triggers for tension headaches, caused by muscle contraction, and migraines, which affect blood vessels and nerves, include:

  • fatigue;
  • medication and substance overuse;
  • poor posture;
  • not eating on time;
  • intense physical activity; and
  • more.

But how do you know when TMJ is to blame when so many factors contribute to headaches? The answer isn’t always obvious, which is why having a dentist well versed in pain management can help you either identify or rule out TMJ issues as the cause.

At DaVinci Dentistry, we know that TMJ pain can occur in areas you might not necessarily expect, including in the:

  • cheeks;
  • ears;
  • shoulders;
  • temple; and
  • neck.

When these areas become knotted and tight, pain can result in other parts of the body, including the head.

When you make an appointment with us, we’ll look for signs of temporomandibular joint dysfunction that may accompany headache, including jaw clenching and teeth grinding. We’ll also take a detailed health history, to discover whether you may have other symptoms that point to TMJ disorders. If we find that to be the case, we’ll discuss the TMJ treatment options available to you, which can often be as simple as physical therapy or oral appliances such as night guards and oral splints. Contact us today to share what TMJ symptoms you may be experiencing. 817-251-9333.

0 479

Who is more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea – men or women?

Sleep Apnea Word CloudAs awareness of obstructive sleep apnea grows, chances are you have heard about this serious health concern. And if you snore or someone in your household snores, you may even wonder if you’re at risk for this condition.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, men are more likely than women to have obstructive sleep apnea. But that doesn’t mean if you’re female that you are completely in the free and clear. Risk for obstructive sleep apnea, a chronic, potentially life-threatening medical disorder that is characterized by interruptions of breathing during sleep, increases with age. But in some instances, even overweight children are at risk.

Other sleep apnea risk factors include:

  • family history of sleep apnea;
  • obesity; and
  • people with small airways (noses, throats, mouths).

While not necessarily a risk factor in and of itself, sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and heart problems.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be at risk for sleep apnea, talk to the team at DaVinci Dentistry. The field of dental sleep medicine has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and we can discuss options to diagnose and manage obstructive sleep apnea. Oftentimes, the solution is as simple as an oral appliance. Talk to us today: 817-251-9333.