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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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Questions to ask before getting dental implants

A dentist and patient have a conversation at the dental chair. Getting one or more dental implants is a decision that can stand to improve your life for the better. While it is considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure, getting a dental implant actually serves to stabilize the bone in your jaw through a process called osseointegration, in which the surrounding bone fuses to the implant. In addition, the dental implant restores the function of natural teeth, allowing you to chew, talk and live life with confidence that your smile is at its best.

While dental implant surgery can be done right at the dentist’s office, it is still a surgical procedure, which means you’ll want to find out some specifics before choosing the dentist or prosthodontist who is the best fit for you.

With this in mind, here are some questions the American College of Prosthodontists recommends you ask during a consultation, whether you’re talking with us here at the DaVinci Dentistry office, or with another dentist.

Dental implant questions

  1. How often do you do this procedure?
  2. How many times have you done this procedure?
  3. What has been your training in this procedure? How long was it? (Weekend course, lecture, 14-20 weeks CE at a dental school, or years of specialty training at an accredited dental school?)
  4. Where were you taught?
  5. Do you take lifelong learning / continuing education credit and if so, when, where, how often and in what area?
  6. What’s the success rate for this procedure for me, and how long will it last?
  7. How long will the procedure take from beginning until I have my permanent teeth?
  8. Will I have to be without teeth for any period of time?
  9. How much will it cost for the entire treatment from start to completion?
  10. How much will it cost for follow-up maintenance of my restoration?
  11. What are alternative treatment options for this procedure?
  12. What training do you have in these alternative options?
  13. May I get my treatment plan in writing?
  14. How do you feel about me getting a second opinion?

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, TX, Dr. Raed Ajouni is an experienced esthetic dentist who has received recognition from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and Dr. Khal Ajlouni is a prosthodontist with three years of advanced training in the design, manufacture and fitting of artificial replacements for teeth, including dental implant therapy. Contact us to set up your appointment, where we look forward to answering all of your questions and working with you. 817-251-9333.

 

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What smokers need to know about dental implants

A man holds a lit cigarette in his fingersIf you currently smoke and are contemplating whether dental implants are an option for you, there is good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the failure rate for dental implant patients who are smokers is twice as high as it is for nonsmokers. The good news: The implant failure rate, even for smokers, is just 6.35 percent. This means more than 93 percent of patients who smoke still experience a positive and healthy outcome with their dental implants.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Dentistry evaluated more than 80,000 dental implant cases to determine the higher implant failure rate of smokers, and an article published in the Journal of Prosthodontic Research, also in 2015, points to the long-term implant success rate. The research also reveals that for smokers, the majority of dental implants that fail do so in the early stages after placement. The primary cause: thicker mucosal tissues, which diminish stability of surgical guide placement.

The success rate of dental implants for smokers may come as a relief to some, considering just 3 to 4 percent of those who try to quit on their own are successful, and 22 percent of those who quit with help from medication and counseling.

But there is always room to change. For many, the investment in dental implants serves as the catalyst they need to make the move toward quitting. For those that struggle, the guidance from a dentist on how maintain oral health will be of prime importance.

Whether or not you smoke, the decision to get dental implants is one that stands to impact your life for the better, but it’s not without potential challenges. At DaVinci Dentistry, Drs. Khal and Raed Ajlouni are well versed in the latest research findings and trends within the profession, so we can offer an informed opinion. If you’re thinking about dental implants, talk to us by calling 817-251-9333, and we can evaluate whether this option is right for you. Our family, cosmetic and implant dentistry practice is located in Southlake, Texas, so we are convenient to residents in Grapevine, Keller, Colleyville, North Richland Hills, HEB, and much of Tarrant County.

 

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Dental bonding, crowns and veneers: Restoring teeth that are chipped or cracked

Gloved hand holding dental tool to teeth x-rayRestoring teeth that are chipped or cracked may require bonding, crowns or veneers, depending on the location and severity of the damage. The reason for these treatments isn’t solely cosmetic in nature. While a crown, veneer or use of bonding will restore your smile, it also protects your teeth from future damage.

At DaVinci Dentistry, brothers and dentists Drs. Raed and Khaldoun Ajlouni are experienced in cosmetic dentistry and prosthodontics, respectively, which means you’ll have skillful artisans behind the end result of your restorations.

Here’s a closer look at each of these restorative procedures and why patients need them:

  • Bonding – This tooth-colored composite resin is applied when just a small piece of enamel from the front of teeth has chipped. The surface of the tooth is etched to help with adhesion, the adhesive applied, and then the bonding material sealed in place.
  • Crowns – When a larger part of the tooth has broken off, porcelain and resin dental crowns can protect teeth and be made to look just like natural teeth. Typically this is a two-part process: After preparing your tooth for a crown (usually by filing away part of the remaining tooth) an impression is taken and a temporary crown is placed while a customized crown is created. At a follow-up appointment, the temporary crown will be removed and the customized one cemented into place.
  • Veneers – Another option to repair a crack or chip to the front of the tooth is veneers. These cover the front of the teeth and are customized to your specific tooth shape by taking an impression.

With any of these restorative options, X-rays may very well be taken to ensure that tooth pulp, consisting of nerves and blood vessels, isn’t exposed. If it is, a root canal may first need to be performed to prevent bacteria from infecting the pulp. At DaVinci Dentistry, we can advise you of your best course of treatment in the case one or more of your teeth is cracked or chipped. We take appointments by phone and through our online appointment request form: 817-251-9333.