Blog

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TMD Dos and Dont’s

TMD pain treatment in SouthlakeIf you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and the orofacial pain that comes with it, there are several things you can do — and avoid doing — that can help keep the severity of your symptoms at bay. After all, the pain associated with TMJ, ranging from difficulty chewing and talking to tenderness and aches around the ear and face, can get in the way with your ability to function to the best of your ability each day.

Here’s a closer look at some TMD dos and don’ts:

  • Do learn to stifle yawns by holding your tongue on the roof of your mouth, which limits how wide your mouth can open.
  • Do try to rest your jaw by allowing teeth to stay slightly apart, with your tongue relaxed and lips together. Clenching teeth together when you are nervous only aggravates the TMJ.
  • Do eat softer foods, and chew with both sides of your mouth.
  • Don’t chew gum for extended periods of time. Just take a couple minutes to freshen breath, so you don’t exhaust the jaw muscles.
  • Don’t clench your teeth when swallowing.
  • Don’t sleep on your stomach, which causes the jaw to be pressed into the pillow.

In addition to making some minor changes to your daily routine, you may need additional help with your TMD. At DaVinci Dentistry, we offer treatment for TMJ pain, which can range from night guards and dental splints to dental treatments that help adjust your bite. Talk to us today to set up an appointment and discuss your options: 817-251-9333.

 

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Navigating Insurance Concerns with your Family Dentistry Care

Family dentistry insurance questionsSometimes care at a family dentistry office can seem out of reach without dental insurance. Or in some cases, when you want to go to a specific office that your insurance carrier deems “out-of-network.” At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we know that getting treatment opinions and care that you can trust is so important. It’s for this reason that we offer a variety of alternatives when insurance concerns arise.

While we are in-network for most PPOs, patient with plans that don’t include treatment at our office do have a few alternatives. For starters, many insurers will offer reimbursements, depending on their pay schedules. We are happy to look into your options for you; all we ask is that you contact our office and let us know about your insurance questions.

When insurance isn’t an option, we do accept several forms of payment to ensure you can get the care you need, including:

  • credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and Discover);
  • Care Credit and Citi Card (18 months no interest);
  • cash; and
  • personal checks.

DaVinci Dentistry is an implant, cosmetic and family dentistry practice committed to your oral health needs. We will do what is necessary to ensure your smile is functional as well as beautiful, and we’re willing to go the extra mile to help you get there — including navigating tricky insurance questions. We serve patients in Southlake, Grapeveine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills, Keller and the HEB corridor: 817-251-9333.

 

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Recognizing TMJ Disorder Headaches: 5 Key Symptoms

TMJ headache caused by TMDOne of the most common symptoms for those suffering from disorders of the tempromandibular joint (TMJ) are headaches. This is because if your bite is misaligned, too much stress can be placed on the muscles surrounding your TMJ, leading to headaches.

But what sets TMJ headaches apart from regular tension headaches? If you have what appears to be a tension headache coupled with these additional symptoms, the pain could be radiating from your temporomandibular joint:

  • facial tenderness;
  • facial pain;
  • earache;
  • crackling/grinding sounds when you move or open your jaw; and
  • stiffness.

While TMJ headaches are not identical to migraines, they can trigger one. The symptoms of those headaches, ranging from nausea and light sensitivity to fatigue, are severe.

It can be common for health care providers to misdiagnose recurring headaches, not discovering the underlying problems within your jaw joint. At DaVinci Dentistry, we will work with you to get to the root of your headaches and facial pain to determine if temporomandibular joint dysfunction may play a role. When it does, we can offer solutions through a variety of oral devices that can help to alleviate pain caused by undue tension and bruxism (tooth grinding) often associated with TMJ. Call us to schedule your appointment and discuss next steps. We are conveniently located in Southlake and serve surrounding communities within Tarrant County: 817-251-9333.

 

 

 

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Dental Bonding: Things to Consider

Tooth bonding in Southlake, TexasWhen you’ve cracked or chipped a tooth, there’s one immediate, quick and inexpensive option at your disposal: tooth bonding. This procedure, in which we apply a composite resin to the affected tooth, can typically be done in one office visit. It can be a great option for an immediate treatment while you consider other long-term options.

Some downfalls of tooth bonding include:

  • Shorter shelf life – A typical dental bond lasts up to seven years, but long-term options, such as a dental crown, can last several decades.
  • Durability – While composite resin is strong, if you bite down on hard foods without caution, you can chip or break the bond. In some cases, filing it down can fix the issue, but other times the bond will need to be replaced.
  • Staining – Composite resin stains more easily than enamel or porcelain used for crowns or veneers, so coffee, tea and red wine drinkers, watch out! A whitening toothpaste and consistent oral hygiene routine can help limit staining.

When you have cracked or chipped a tooth, calling the DaVinci Dentistry team in Southlake is a great first step toward restoring the appearance and function of your tooth. We’ll first examine the tooth to see if more intensive work, such as a root canal and crown, is required. When it’s not, you may choose from among several options, including dental bonding and veneers in addition to crowns. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about what may be best so that your goals are met and you feel comfortable and satisfied with your smile. Serving Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills and much of Tarrant County: 817-251-9333.

 

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Does getting veneers hurt? What to expect

Dental Veneers can be placed by a Southlake cosmetic dentist at DaVinci DentistryIf you’re thinking about getting veneers, a Southlake cosmetic dentist at DaVinci Dentistry can discuss with you whether you’re a candidate for the procedure. Healthy gums and teeth are necessary, and those with structural or cosmetic issues like chips, cracks, minor misalignment and discoloration are most drawn to this option. When patients choose to get veneers, our team will outline the treatment process and answer any questions you might have.

It’s actually pretty common for patients to ask if getting veneers hurts. While discomfort is typically minimal, every patient is different, so we give you an idea of what to expect at each phase of treatment.

For starters, in order for porcelain veneers to fit tightly against your teeth, it’s necessary to remove a very small portion of enamel from the teeth. If you’re concerned about discomfort during this stage, talk to us about options for anesthesia. Afterward, if soreness persists because of pressure on the teeth, over-the-counter medications can be used.

Veneers at DaVinci Dentistry in SouthlakeWhile digital imaging allows for same-day restorations in many cases, temporary veneers may sometimes be necessary. Sensitivity to pressure, heat and cold is more common with temporary veneers but should dissipate once they are replaced with your veneers, which are sturdier and more insulated.

Porcelain veneers may hold the key to giving you the stunning smile you have always wanted. When uncertainties about discomfort occur, we’ll be available to discuss your options so that you feel confident about your decision. Contact us at 817-251-9333. We’re here to serve residents throughout Tarrant County.

 

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Dental bridges vs. implants: The right option for you

When you’re missing a tooth, multiple factors may be considered when deciding what treatment option is best for you. As dental implants rise in use and popularity, patients most often find themselves weighing whether this newer technology or dental bridges are the best option for them.

Weighing the options

Dental Bridges in Southlake, Texas

Dental bridge

The main difference between a dental implant and a dental bridge is that a dental implant replaces just the missing tooth. A titanium post is implanted into the jaw and eventually fuses to the jawbone, resulting in a strong, typically permanent solution. A dental bridge, on the other hand, requires the enamel of neighboring teeth to be largely etched away so that crowns may be adhered, connecting both teeth with a “floating” crown in the middle. Most dental bridges last approximately 10 years.

While many are drawn to the concept of dental implants for their protection and durability, they’re not an option in all cases.

Dental implant placement in Southlake, Texas

Dental implant

Some of the following must be taken into consideration:

  • Time frame of your tooth loss –  If it’s recent, bone levels should still be adequate to support an implant, but if the tooth has been gone for a long time, procedures such as bone grafts may be necessary to account for recession of gums and bone.
  • Condition of neighboring teeth – Will the surrounding teeth need crowns in the future? Do they have large fillings?
  • Cost – Dental bridges can cost less than implants at the outset, but dental implants may never need to be replaced. Whether insurance covers some or all of a dental implant procedure could impact a patient’s decision.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, brothers Dr. Raed and Khal Ajlouni can guide you through this process. Dr. Raed has substantial experience in cosmetic dentistry, and Dr. Khal is a prosthodontist, specializing in the replacement of missing teeth. Our goal is to give you a healthy, confident smile, and we look forward to meeting you soon. Serving Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills and much of Tarrant County: 817-251-9333.

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Invisalign: When all you need is a little realignment

Getting Invisalign at DaVinci Dentistry family dentistry in Southlake

In some cases, the path to a brighter smile may not require substantial dental work. When missing teeth is not the primary concern, but straightening your smile and aligning your bite is the focus, Invisalign may be an option for you.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a system that uses a series of custom-fitted aligners to shift your teeth into place. Instead of metal wires and brackets associated with braces, it allows the patient to use a new set of aligners every two weeks until treatment is complete. The trays are clear in color, allowing for a more discreet way to straighten teeth. Plus, they can be removed when eating, and office visits occur only every four to six weeks.

What conditions can Invisalign correct?

Not just for moderate cases; serious dental problems can be addressed through this alternative form of orthodontic treatment.

Invisalign is most commonly used to correct:

  • gaps and spacing issues;
  • overcrowding;
  • underbites;
  • overbites;
  • crossbites; and
  • open bites.

If you’re contemplating whether Invisalign may be the right treatment option for you, talk to our Southlake family dentistry team here at DaVinci Dentistry. Prosthodontist Dr. Khal Ajlouni is trained in this system, so when your smile needs don’t require complex prosthodontic procedures such as dental implants or bridges, we can offer this option to you. Contact us today by calling 817-251-9333 or by submitting an appointment request.

 

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Easing anxieties at your family dentistry office

Easing Dental Anxiety at DaVinci Family DentistryIf you experience anxiety at the thought of even going to the dentist, you’re not alone. At our Southlake family dentistry office, we’ll take the time to find out the cause of your dental anxiety, and we’ll work with you each step of the way to figure out what helps you feel calm and relaxed during your treatment. In some cases, a hand signal for when you want us to immediately stop may do the trick; in other situations, simply having us listen may be all it takes.

As a result of our extensive cosmetic, implant and family dentistry experience, we know that a range of causes can trigger anxiety, including:

  • fear of pain;
  • feelings of helplessness/loss of control;
  • lack of personal space; and
  • concern about injections and/or anesthesia.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, the comfort of our patients is our top priority. We want to do whatever it takes to ensure you get the dental care you need while being sensitive to your anxieties.

That’s why you’ll notice we talk with you and listen, help provide distraction when possible, and do everything we can to ensure you feel secure, whether that means offering a blanket or headphones.

Contact us today to set up your appointment, and don’t hesitate to let us know about your anxieties or concerns. We’ll be ready. Serving Southlake, Keller, North Richland Hills, Grapevine and Colleyville: 817-251-9333.

 

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Dental bonding: Caring for bonded teeth

When you’ve undergone dental bonding, the first person you’ll want to talk to about routine maintenance and care is your cosmetic dentist. Southlake-based DaVinci Dentistry offers dental bonding as part of its services, and our team can talk to you about things to avoid and things you’ll want to do to keep your dental bonding in place for as long as possible.

In general, care for bonded teeth just as you would your natural, nontreated teeth, which means:

  • brush at least twice a day;
  • floss at least once a day;
  • rinse with an antiseptic or mouthwash on a regular basis; and
  • keep up with your dental appointments and cleanings.

Because the composite resin and other dental bonding materials are applied to the surface of the tooth, bonding can be prone to chipping.

This means being mindful of the following potentially damaging behaviors:

  • using your teeth to open objects;
  • chewing ice;
  • biting fingernails; and
  • chewing on pens, pencils and other hard objects.

Another important step in caring for bonded teeth is to pay attention — when biting down feels a bit “off” or you notice rough or jagged edges on your tooth, don’t hesitate to call your cosmetic dentist Southlake team. We’ll examine your teeth to determine the best course of action. Since bonding isn’t a permanent cosmetic option — on average, it can last upwards of 7 years — we may need to perform a new dental bonding treatment. Contact us today with your questions about dental bonding, and we can discuss all considerations with this cosmetic dentistry option: 817-251-9333.

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How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affects You on the Job

Obstructive sleep apnea can impact your job performance.The effects of lack of sleep among U.S. workers made headlines this week, when a study by nonprofit Rand Corp. quantified the economic impact of this concerning trend. A staggering $411 billion and 1.2 million working days were lost due to lack of sleep. In a number of those cases, it is quite feasible that individuals did allot the prescribed 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but that another phenomenon robbed them of their rest: obstructive sleep apnea.

This condition, also known as OSA, occurs when an individual is sleeping, so the person affected may never know it is occurring. It’s characterized by the relaxation of muscles in the throat during sleep, and when the tongue falls back, further blocking the airway, oxygen intake is decreased.

Some of the ways obstructive sleep apnea can affect you at work include:

  • Reaction time – This can have more dramatic consequences for specific jobs, especially ones that require lifting or operating heavy machinery. All workers are affected, though, as decreased reaction time can increase the chance of a car accident during your commute.
  • Decisions – When you’re tired, it’s harder to work through tough judgment calls.
  • Concentration – The ability to focus, and often for sustained periods of time, may be necessary for many jobs. If you’re repeatedly having trouble keeping your attention on a task, it could point to a lack of sleep.

The good news is that patients today have multiple options for OSA treatment. Southlake’s DaVinci Dentistry is just one team that can deal with this sleep-disordered breathing problem through the use of a custom-fitted oral appliance. As patients learn what it is to feel refreshed each day, they’ll likely find that their performance at work improves, too. If you have questions about diagnosing OSA and the solutions we provide, contact us at 817-251-9333.