Blog

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Cosmetic dentistry: Giving yourself a refreshed smile for the holidays

Holiday Smile Makeovers with Cosmetic DentistryWe all want to look our best during the holiday season, with all the gatherings, parties and reunions this time of year typically holds. When a refreshed and brighter smile ranks at the top of that list, getting the results you want can mean something different from one patient to the next. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry solutions take many forms, from single-appointment, in-office whitening procedures to multi-step procedures associated with veneers, and much more.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, cosmetic dentistry options will be explained to you during your first appointment, or consultation. It’s then we’ll assess your dental concerns. Perhaps you’re self-conscious of teeth that have been discolored, possibly from previous medications, or even root canals. In other situations, you may want to correct teeth that are worn, chipped, broken, misaligned or even irregularly shaped.

Whatever your focus, we’ll share some cosmetic dentistry solutions available in our office, including:

  • whitening;
  • composite white fillings and bonding;
  • veneers; and
  • Invisalign (helps with misaligned teeth).

Another treatment used to replace missing teeth that also has the potential to improve appearance is dental implant placement, although this therapy has numerous other benefits in addition to cosmetic improvements. On the other end of the spectrum, some patients may find all they need is a cleaning to brighten their smile.

Whatever route you may opt to go this holiday season, at DaVinci Dentistry we’ll take the time to explore all of your options, and, since many cosmetic dentistry options require multiple appointments, we’ll give you an estimate on just how long your procedure will take from start to finish. Contact us at 817-251-9333 or request an appointment online. Serving Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills and Tarrant County.

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What to look for in a dentist

dentist in Southlake - icons for dental care

Whether you’re new to the area, or recently changed insurance carriers, when you’re looking for a new dentist, our Southlake DaVinci Dentistry team has some pointers on how to narrow your search. The ultimate goal is to find a caring, capable dentist who can care for your oral health needs, both emergency and routine.

It helps to consider:

  • Qualifications — You can learn more about the extent of your dentist’s training through your insurance carrier, local dental society and state licensing board. In Texas, the state board website lists all licensed dentists, including information like whether that individual has ever been subject to disciplinary action.
  • Cost — For starters, you’ll want to find out if the specific dentist you’re interested in takes your insurance. If so, other factors to consider are specialist referral capabilities and out-of-pocket costs for certain procedures. When costs are incurred, does the office offer patients the option to use credit cards and payment plans in addition to cash and checks?
  • Comfort and care — The first time you visit the office, think about the office environment. Do the staff and dentists make you feel at home? One of the most important members of any dental team is also you, the patient. You want to assess if you feel comfortable with the dentist or dentists there, and whether you feel you can take the time to ask important questions about your care.
  • Convenience — Location and office hours are important. Not only will it make it easier to be on time for your appointments, when dental emergencies come up, you’ll be able to get the care you need.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we know that you have a choice when it comes to which dentist you’ll go to for your care. We look forward to meeting you and answering your questions: 817-251-9333.

 

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How long does TMD last?

TMD pain treatment SouthlakeTemporomandibular disorders, often called TMDs, affect the temporomandibular, or jaw, joint. As many as 30 percent of Americans may have symptoms of temporomandibular disorder at any given time. Since these problems affect the muscles in your face that are needed for chewing, it can be hard to avoid the discomfort associated with it, which is why it’s very natural for patients to ask us just how long they can expect their TMD flare-up to last.

While no two cases are exactly the same, the length of time that you experience TMD symptoms — pain, tenderness and soreness around the jaw, neck and ears, headaches, clicking and popping sounds when opening the jaw, and more — can vary from just a few weeks, such as with jaw injuries, to months or years, like when arthritis and bruxism (tooth grinding) are involved.

When you’re dealing with problems like jaw clenching and tooth grinding, how well you respond to treatment, usually in the form of a night guard or occlusal splint, can also determine how long you experience uncomfortable symptoms.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we know you want to reduce your pain and get back to life as soon as possible. The first step is to talk to us about what you’re experiencing. You can set up your appointment by giving us a call or requesting an appointment through our online form. During your appointment, we’ll conduct an exam and talk with you about what you’re experiencing. Our goal isn’t just to improve your quality of life through reducing TMD pain, but also to help you feel at ease every time you step foot in our office. We look forward to meeting you soon: 817-251-9333.

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Dental bonding: When this procedure may be right for you

Dental bonding by cosmetic dentist in SouthlakeWhether you’re looking for a permanent solution for the way your teeth look and function, or even just a transitional option before undertaking a more involved or expensive treatment, dental bonding may be right for you.

Dental bonding is most commonly used to correct:

  • chipped or broken teeth;
  • discolored teeth;
  • noticeable spaces between teeth; and
  • teeth that may be disproportionately large or small.

Bonding may also be used over amalgam or metallic fillings, and in some cases, it can be used to replace fillings entirely.

This dental procedure has some distinct advantages in that it’s less expensive than other options, such as veneers, and it can usually be completed in just one office visit, allowing you to move on with life immediately. Even so, dental bonding material can break and stain, so brushing your teeth regularly with a whitening toothpaste, protecting them with a mouthguard while playing contact sports and avoiding habits like opening objects with your mouth will help prolong the life of your dental bonding work.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we offer dental bonding in addition to a wide variety of prosthodontic and cosmetic dentistry options. If you have questions about whether bonding is for you, come see us, and we’ll explore your options together. Serving Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, North Richland Hills and much of Tarrant County, the DaVinci team looks forward to meeting you soon: 817-251-9333.

 

 

 

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3 common questions about dental implants — answered

Dental implants questions When you’re considering whether dental implants may be an option for you, it’s likely to start out with more questions than answers. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, it’s our goal to answer any and all questions you may have about dental implants. We don’t just want your mind to be at ease; we want you to be certain and confident about your decision.

Here’s a closer look at some of the most common questions we receive from patients who are interested in dental implants, as well as some answers that may help as you explore your options.

Q: How much do dental implants cost?

A: This number can vary depending on the type and number of dental implants you receive, as well as any additional procedures that may be required, such as tissue grafting or bone augmentation. Once we conduct our initial exam and get a feel for the teeth that you need to replace, as well as the condition of your jawbone and mouth, we’ll provide you with a detailed treatment plan complete with estimated cost and the number of office visits that will be required. While not all insurance plans cover dental implants, some may offer funds to be used toward your implants that would otherwise have gone to a bridge or dentures.

Q: What are the risks associated with dental implants?

A: While dental implants have shown to be safe, predictable and effective, they’re not completely without risk.

Some complications include:

  • infection;
  • sinus problems;
  • nerve damage (numbness and tingling);
  • damage to other teeth; and
  • implant failure.

Q: Who should perform my dental implant surgery and placement?

A: Oral health professionals from several dental specialties can place your dental implant, as well as general dentists with training, skills and experience in this treatment method. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, both Dr. Raed Ajlouni and Dr. Khal Ajlouni, a prosthodontist, are experienced with placing dental implants; so much so that they train future and current dentists on the entire process.

Contact our office at 817-251-9333 with your dental implant questions, and we look forward to meeting you soon at your next appointment!

 

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What conditions does full-mouth restoration treat?

full-mouth restoration in Southlake, TexasFull-mouth restoration, the process of rebuilding and reconstructing every tooth in the mouth, doesn’t just benefit the appearance of your smile. At its core, this treatment is intended to improve a patient’s overall health and quality of life by addressing bite imbalances, chewing limitations and pain. While no two cases are exactly the same, there are some common factors that may require full-mouth reconstruction.

These include:

  • accidents and trauma (teeth may have been injured, fractured or even lost);
  • acid erosion (long-term exposure to acid reflux or acidic foods can substantially wear down teeth);
  • neglect and effects of gum disease (in its advanced stages, gum disease can lead to bone loss, and with it, the teeth themselves); and
  • the natural aging process.

Because full-mouth restoration involves multiple forms of dental treatment, ranging from dental implants and corrective jaw surgery to root planing and bone grafts — among other procedures — having a professional with advanced training and treatment planning abilities can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, Texas, Dr. Khal Ajlouni is a prosthodontist, and Dr. Raed Ajlouni is a general dentist with extensive experience in cosmetic dentistry. Together they will conduct an exam, take photographs and impressions and determine what steps are necessary to complete your full-mouth restoration. The first step is making an appointment. Call us at 817-251-9333 or connect with us on Facebook to learn more about what it’s like to be a patient at our office.

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2 Ways Sleep Apnea is Harmful

Sleep apnea can cause car accidents, as this photo of a man sleeping in a car illustrates. More than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And for those individuals suffering from the condition, in which the muscles in your throat relax during sleep and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, the resulting lack of oxygen has a trickle-down effect, in more ways than one.

Here are just a couple ways in which sleep apnea is harmful to you:

  1. Drowsiness – While the disturbances in breathing cause by sleep apnea may be imperceptible to you — despite the fact that bedmates often deal with snoring — the condition actually causes you to wake briefly. This pause in breathing followed by a split-second waking can occur up to 30 times an hour, cutting into crucial sleep cycles. Drowsiness in and of itself isn’t necessarily dangerous, but get behind the wheel of a car, or try to operate heavy machinery on the job, and accidents can and do occur.
  2. Heart disease – When sleep apnea disrupts the body’s oxygen levels, the brain can have a hard time regulating the flow of blood through the arteries, which can contribute to heart attack risk. In fact, a 2013 Mayo Clinic study revealed that people with obstructive sleep apnea are at a greater risk for sudden cardiac death during sleep. This risk doubles when the sleep apnea patient experiences more than 20 breathing disruptions per hour, coupled with drastic falls in oxygen saturation levels, the amount of air flowing through your lungs.

As awareness about obstructive sleep apnea continues to grow, and with it, the knowledge base on ways to treat it, patients have more options at their disposal. Since sleep apnea involves the mouth and throat, the team at Southlake’s DaVinci Dentistry can fabricate an oral appliance designed to prop the mouth open at night, customized specifically for you. Drs. Khal and Raed Ajlouni are experienced in dental sleep medicine, and they can combine an accurate diagnosis coupled with oral appliance therapy to help treat your condition, decrease risks and improve your quality of life. Contact us by calling 817-251-9333, filling out our online appointment request or connecting with us on Facebook.

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Dental Bridge: Pros and Cons

Dental Bridge and Prosthodontic EquipmentWhen you are missing one or more teeth, a dental bridge is a tried-and-true method for not only restoring the missing teeth but also keeping remaining teeth in place, distributing forces in your bite and regaining — and maintaining — the ability to speak and chew properly.

That being said, there are benefits and risks associated with getting a dental bridge.

Here’s a closer look.

The positives:

  • Not everyone can undergo surgery – Whether it’s due to medical concerns, bone levels in the jaw or another reason, not every patient is a candidate for dental implants. In these situations, a dental bridge is a viable alternative.
  • Bridges are considered pleasing in appearance – In fact, before dental implants surged in use and popularity, dental bridges used to be the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.
  • Dental bridges are nonremovable.

The negatives:

  • Existing teeth are impacted – In order to place a dental bridge, the surrounding natural teeth to which the bridge is affixed must be filed down.
  • Higher risk for decay and gum disease – Because an artificial crown is literally attached to the natural teeth, you’re not going to be able to get between the margins of the teeth to clean them.

Dental bridges take less time to replace, and their initial cost is less than with other options such as dental implants, but many factors go into deciding whether a dental bridge is the best option for you.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, our prosthodontist Dr. Khal Ajlouni, as well as our entire team, understands well that decisions like these can make a significant impact on your wellbeing, comfort and confidence. We look forward to visiting with you soon to work toward making your smile as healthy and strong as possible. Contact us by calling 817-251-9333 or connect with us on Facebook.

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Sleep apnea treatment: Maintaining your oral appliance

Illustration showing areas impacted by sleep apnea treatmentSleep apnea is a big deal. The more people begin to understand the impact of this chronic sleep disorder, the more they seek solutions for the condition. In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, patients are often pleasantly surprised to learn of a simple form of sleep apnea treatment: a custom-fitted oral appliance.

Oral appliances — similar in appearance to a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer — work by gently holding the jaw forward, which keeps the airway open during sleep when soft tissues could otherwise relax and block the airway.

The benefits of an oral appliance compared with a CPAP machine or even surgery are numerous and include:

  • comfort;
  • quiet;
  • portability; and
  • convenience.

Oral appliances must be maintained, however, to ensure their effectiveness with sleep apnea treatment. This includes not only cleaning your appliance but coming in for follow-up appointments (at least once every year). During this appointment, the dentists and team members at DaVinci in Southlake will assess whether the appliance needs to be adjusted.

Maintaining an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea is pretty simple; it just requires a bit of initiative on the part of the patient. At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, we’ll go over the details of what to expect and what to do to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your night’s rest. Have questions? Feel free to contact us at 817-251-9333.

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Why are TMJ problems more common in women?

TMJ pain treatment in SouthlakeMore than 10 million Americans experience TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and muscle disorders, according to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research. While the institute recognizes that these issues seem to affect more women than men, it doesn’t offer exact numbers. By some estimates, like those offered by dental insurance carriers, women are twice as likely as men to be affected by TMJ. So what accounts for that vast difference? Is it simply that women are more likely to seek care for TMJ symptoms, or are other factors at work?

One of the prime reasons that women — particularly those of childbearing age — may experience TMJ disorders is hormones. Dental research has pointed to a link between estrogen and pain in the jaw joints. This can take on increased relevance for women taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.

While not as well researched, some commonly held beliefs about females’ susceptibility to TMJ problems include vitamin deficiencies due to menstrual cycles as well as differences in joint structure.

Arthritis, a misaligned bite and trauma or dislocation can lead to TMJ problems in males and females.

Whatever the cause, TMJ disorders can range from mildly aggravating to severely debilitating. Patients may not just experience jaw pain, clicking and popping when eating or talking, but headaches and neck pain can also be commonplace. If you experience any such symptoms, talk with the DaVinci Dentistry team. Getting to the root of TMJ pain can be a time-consuming process, involving taking an intensive health history and having willingness to try multiple solutions. We’ll do whatever we can to try to find the solution that works for you. Set up an appointment online or call 817-251-9333.