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Crowns and veneers: A stain-proof option?

Stain-resistant veneers and dental crowns in Southlake, TX

Chances are, if you are considering dental crowns or veneers as a cosmetic option to refresh your smile, it’s because your natural teeth are stained or misshapen. If staining is the reason, it’s likely you’ll want to do whatever you can to take care of your new smile, and many patients ask us if teeth treated with crowns or veneers will stain.

As a general rule of thumb, dental crowns — which cover the whole tooth — and veneers — which cover just the surface of the teeth, used to conceal minor imperfections — are stain resistant.

A commonly used material in each is a durable porcelain. The good news is, this material should remain a bright, beautiful white for many years to come. Potential challenges come into play when you consider that the edges of veneers are bonded to teeth with resin, which can be more susceptible to staining. In these situations, we can polish the area to get rid of the stain. Another thing to consider is your natural teeth surrounding a dental crown or veneer. You’ll want to continue to take excellent care of your other teeth so that they will not stain and create a two-tone smile when contrasted with the stain-resistant white of your crowns or veneers.

Dr. Raed Ajlouni at DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, TX, is an experienced esthetic dentist with recognition from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and can answer your questions about whether dental crowns or veneers may be right for you. The first step to your new smile is to contact us at 817-251-9333.

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TMJ Pain and Age

TMJ pain, a condition Southlake-based DaVinci Dentistry can treat.

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are estimated to affect more than 10 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. When this joint that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone on the side of the head doesn’t work as it should, simple motions like yawning, speaking and eating can become painful. A limited range of motion may also be accompanied by clicking or popping noises.

The age of those impacted can range from patients in their teen years to their 70s, but a recent survey from the TMJ Association reveals one population particularly prone to TMJ disorders, also known as TMD: Individuals who are, on average, 41 years of age. And 90 percent of them are women.

While this points to a possible connection between female hormones and TMJ disorders, the causes of this condition are not widely understood. Sometimes traumatic injuries are to blame, while in other cases symptoms begin without an obvious reason.

Treating TMJ Disorders

If you are experiencing symptoms of TMJ, you may be surprised to learn that there are dental solutions that can ease the severity of your discomfort. At DaVinci Dentistry, we can talk with you about your symptoms and evaluate your health history in efforts to rule out other conditions that could be to blame. It all starts with a consultation that can be scheduled by contacting us at 817-251-9333. Our dental office is conveniently located in Southlake to serve patients throughout much of Tarrant County.

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After dental implant placement: What to do and what not to do

tooth implant, and two molars on white background

Dental implants are one of the fastest growing cosmetic dentistry options available today. And for good reason: In many patients, the titanium post surgically placed in the jaw can last a lifetime. This post replaces the tooth root, and fuses with bone, actually making the jaw stronger than it was before. And implants don’t decay like natural teeth. While the artificial teeth (crowns) may need to be replaced on occasion depending on wear and tear, if all goes well, the same is not true of the implant itself. With this being said, there are some things you can do — and avoid — after your dental implant has been placed that can make quite an impact on its ultimate success or failure.

Here’s a closer look.

Do:

  • Use ice on the cheek near where your implant was placed to reduce swelling.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Take antibiotics and pain medication as instructed.
  • Talk with us about what oral hygiene tools we recommend (water flossers, interdental brushes, interproximal brushes and antimicrobial rinses may be beneficial, depending on the characteristics of your dental implant placement).

Don’t:

  • Use abrasive products (think toothpaste with baking soda or whitening toothpaste).
  • Eat or drink hot foods or liquids.
  • Attempt to exercise immediately after dental implant placement (throbbing or bleeding can be a common side effect with too much physical activity following this procedure).
  • Attempt to wear any partial or full dentures without first consulting with us. Wearing these too soon can hinder healing.

If you’re considering whether a dental implant is right for you, the Southlake-based DaVinci Dentistry team has the expertise to talk with you about your options and possible outcomes. We serve patients in Tarrant County including Grapevine, Keller, North Richland Hills, Colleyville and H-E-B. You can reach us at 817-251-9333.

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Risk factors for sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea diagram

In Texas, dentists and physicians can diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the tongue and muscles in the throat relax during sleep and fall back against the throat. This can reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart and brain. While these interruptions in breathing may be imperceptible to the individual, they also disrupt sleep, which means that daytime drowsiness is just one of myriad health problems associated with sleep apnea.

Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are staggeringly broad, and include:

  • being male;
  • excess weight;
  • smoking and/or alcohol use;
  • age (while even children can experience sleep apnea, incidence increases with age);
  • family history;
  • nasal congestion; and
  • neck size (risk of sleep apnea is higher in men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or more and in women with a neck circumference of 15 inches or more).

A second type of sleep apnea, known as central sleep apnea, occurs when breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep, not because of an obstruction in the airway but because the brain fails to send the signals to the muscles that control breathing. Dentists do not treat this type of sleep apnea.

If you think you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here to talk to you about sleep studies, diagnosis and treatment with a custom oral appliance. Our goal is to get you the sleep you need and deserve to live a healthy, beautiful life. We are only a phone call away: 817-251-9333.

 

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What to look for in a prosthodontist

Dental care If you’re thinking of seeing a prosthodontist, chances are good that you may have missing teeth or teeth with significant damage. It’s also likely that your general, or family dentist, referred you to a prosthodontist due to the level of expertise and care necessary for complex cases.

Prosthodontic treatment can often require several appointments to complete, and the results can affect not just the look of your smile but also its function, which means you’ll want to ensure you choose the professional who’s right for you.

Some things to consider as you look for a prosthodontist:

  • Board certification – Successful completion of a four-part exam given by the American Board of Prosthodontics means your prosthodontist has the additional three years of training after dental school, and that he or she is deemed highly capable.
  • Reviews – What do current or previous patients say? A simple five-minute search can either confirm your decision to go with a particular prosthodontist, or perhaps steer you in a new direction.
  • Professional affiliations – Is your prosthodontist active in the community, does he or she take a lead in professional organizations or teach at an accredited dental institution? This is a sign that your prosthodontist will be up to date on the latest in advanced dental technologies and treatment trends.
  • Fee structure – Is the prosthodontist’s fee information displayed in an easy-to-understand way, in a visible place? And are there multiple options, regardless of insurance status?

At DaVinci Dentistry, we want to make your choice for prosthodontic care as seamless as possible. Dr. Khal Ajlouni is a prosthodontist and is involved in myriad organizations within his chosen field – including his role as an associate professor at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas. We serve patients in Southlake, Grapevine, Keller and the surrounding Tarrant County communities, and we’re only a phone call away: 817-251-9333.

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Types of TMD

Young woman has splitting headache pain migrainTMD refers to disorders that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the lower jaw to the bones on the side of the head. These disorders can take many forms, but to the estimated 10 million individuals impacted by TMD, symptoms often range from radiating pain in the face, neck or jaw to stiffness and painful popping or clicking when speaking or eating.

When patients talk to us about their symptoms, one goal is to determine the type of TMD they are experiencing, so that we can proceed with the most effective form of TMJ treatment.

The types of TMD include:

  • Myofascial pain – Pain in the muscles that control the jaw.
  • Jaw dislocation – This can take the form of a traumatic injury to the jaw itself, or even a displaced disc in the upper spine.
  • Arthritis – Degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders can often affect the temporomandibular joint as a secondary condition.

At DaVinci Dentistry, we’ll talk to you about the frequency and duration of your TMD symptoms and provide some potential solutions to ease your discomfort. In many cases, TMJ treatment is as simple as using a night guard to prevent tooth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep. Contact us at 817-251-9333 to schedule your appointment. We serve patients in Southlake, Keller, North Richland Hills and the surrounding communities.

 

 

 

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Osseointegration: What separates your dental implants from other cosmetic dentistry procedures

Illustration of a dental implant with crown on a white backgroundThere is one thing that separates dental implants from all other types of cosmetic dentistry procedures: their ability to osseointegrate with the bone. This means that when a dental implant – made of titanium and resembling the shape of a tiny screw — is inserted into a jaw bone, the surrounding cells directly attach themselves to it.

This locks the dental implant into place, and just as important, makes it a strong foundation to support an array of prosthetic tooth replacements, ranging from implant-supported bridges to implant-supported dentures.

There are many factors that must be taken into consideration to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants, such as the volume of bone in your jaw and your oral and overall health, so you’ll want to talk to the DaVinci Dentistry team by calling 817-251-9333. We are located in Southlake, TX, and provide family and cosmetic dentistry to patients throughout Grapevine, Colleyville, Keller, and Tarrant County.

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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.