Tag : dentistry

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Healthy Gums Are Important to a Healthy Smile

When you think of your smile, do you immediately think of your teeth? Pearly whites are generally what people fixate on when trying to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile; yet, the gums are just as important and should not be overlooked. Sadly, many people ignore potential warning signs of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, allowing this condition to progress to the point of requiring more extensive restorative treatment. If you want to protect your whole smile, it’s important to give your gums the preventive care they need.

What Are the Warning Signs of Gum Disease?

Closeup portrait of young woman showing, with his finger, inflamed upper gingiva with pain expression. Dental care and toothache.

There are actually several indicators that your gums could be at risk of gum disease, or even currently struggling with gingivitis. Bleeding gums are one common issue. Many people notice bleeding during flossing, and may even be tempted to blame the flossing itself; however, if the gums are bleeding, it is likely due to irritation caused by bacteria buildup.

Gums that are dark red or purple in color are also likely in need of dental treatment. That’s because healthy gum tissue should actually be light pink. If your gums appear inflamed or irritated, you could also need restorative treatment to improve the smile. Even chronic bad breath can be evidence of bacteria buildup.

How Can a Dentist Help Restore Your Smile?

When the gums are in need of restorative treatment, a dentist can generally help to restore the smile’s health either through a general dental cleaning or in many cases a deeper, periodontal cleaning. This involves breaking up plaque bacteria to clean the teeth and also to remove irritants of the gum tissue.

If you are in need of restorative treatment, it’s important to see the dentist as quickly as possible by calling our Southlake, TX dental office today at (817) 251-9333. We are proud to treat patients in Southlake, as well as Grapevine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills, Keller, and the HEB corridor.

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Introduce Teeth Brushing Through Story Time

Books can help introduce children to teeth brushing

How do you introduce your children to teeth brushing? We have a great tip! Below are 10 awesome CHILDREN’S BOOKS ON BRUSHING TEETH. These 10 lovely stories help encourage the importance of keeping kids’ teeth healthy and happy. Try reading one of these fun books when your little one is introduced to tooth brushing!

  1. Brush, Brush, Brush! This sweet sing-songy board book by Alicia Padron makes brushing teeth fun!
  2. Open Wide, Tooth School Inside. This hilarious book by Laurie Keller combines interesting facts and a quirky story. Open Wide is sure to entertain and inspire children of all ages to take better care of their tooth treasures.
  3. Melvin the Magnificent Molar. Told from Melvin’s perspective, this tooth book teaches little ones how to have happy healthy teeth. Creatively written by Laura Jana and illustrated by Allison Valentine.
  4. Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl. Pony learns to brush his teeth by watching his dad. Tip: After reading this book have your child watch you brush your teeth and see if he can learn just like pony!
  5. Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut. Poor Clarabella! She spends all day brushing that giant mouth of crocodile teeth! This spirited story is a fun way to discuss oral hygiene with preschoolers.
  6. The Tooth Book talks about who has teeth, who doesn’t, and how to make sure we keep the teeth we have!
  7. Have You Ever Seen A Moose Brushing His Teeth? This cute story, written by Jamie McClaine and April Goodman, will inspire children to take care of that smile!
  8. The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums. Author Edward Miller combines straightforward advice with little sprinkles of tooth history and lore. Sure to help answer all those questions that your little one has about their teeth!
  9. Brush Your Teeth Please. Kiddos will love reading this delightful pop-up book by Leslie McGuire! Full of animals and fun this story is an easy way to introduce the importance of brushing your teeth!
  10. I Know Why I Brush My Teeth. Sam learns about molars, canines and incisors, baby teeth and big ones, and how to look after them all. Written by Kate Rowan, this book is ideal for children in kindergarten and older.

 

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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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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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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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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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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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Supporting Dentures with Dental Implants

Dental implant-supported dentures

For patients who do not have any teeth in the lower jaw, the growing use of dental implant-supported dentures may provide you with the lasting solution that you’ve been seeking. While you can have dental implants placed in the upper jaw to anchor dentures, it’s not as common, as dentures that cover the palate add enhanced stability. But, opting for dental implants even in this location makes open palate dentures a reality.

Choosing dental implants to anchor dentures provides patients several benefits, including:

  • increased stability and reduced tendency for dentures to slide out of place;
  • renewed confidence; and
  • ease of chewing.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of implant-supported dentures is the fact that dental implants help increase bone levels in the jaw, allowing you to retain your face shape. This is a common concern among patients who wear dentures, as appearance can be affected when bone resorbs and shrinks away.

At DaVinci Dentistry in Southlake, prosthodontist Dr. Khal is a specialist in replacing missing teeth and can talk to you about whether dental implants may be a good fit for you. For starters, we’ll have to assess whether current bone levels in your jaw would support implants. Be prepared to complete a full medical and dental history, exam, X-rays, impressions and in some cases, CT scans. We can talk to you about each step in the process, and give you a realistic timeline for completion. Contact us today to get started: 817-251-9333.