Common Signs That You Could be Suffering From Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, a serious condition affecting 18 million Americans, is a condition that occurs when the upper passages of your airways close up. This cuts off oxygen and interrupts your breathing. A sleep test is needed to confirm if you have the condition.

Some of the common signs of the condition are:

Loud and consistent snoring – loud and consistent snoring that is enough to wake up your partner could be a sign of sleep apnea.

Waking up in the middle of the night to breathe – if you find yourself waking in the middle of the night gasping for air, you could have sleep apnea. Those with severe sleep apnea may wake hundreds of times in the night and not be aware of it.

Daytime fatigue – Since sleep apnea disrupts one’s normal sleep cycle, sufferers may experience daytime fatigue. This may result in a lack of focus and concentration.

Sleeping with an open mouth– Since those who suffer from sleep apnea have a hard time getting enough air through their nose, they often sleep with their mouth open and awake with dry mouth.

If you or someone you love regularly suffer from these symptoms, talk to us here at DaVinci Dentistry. There are treatment options, including the use of a CPAP machine. Since untreated sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, liver problems, and other life-threatening health conditions, it is important to seek help. Please reach out to us at 817.251.9333 to schedule an appointment. We gladly welcome patients from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

What are the Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea?

There are several risk factors associated with sleep apnea that you should be aware of:

  • Men are 2-3x more likely to suffer from the disorder.
  • Sleep Apnea is more prevalent in those over age 40.
  • Carrying excess weight increases the risk of this disorder.
  • A family history of this disorder increases one’s chance of suffering from it.
  • Smokers are 3x more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

To reduce your risk, keep a healthy weight and lose weight if needed. Follow a healthy regimen of diet and exercise. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Avoid food high in processed carbs and fat and focus on eating healthy proteins, fresh fruit, and vegetables. If you smoke, try to quit by seeking support, checking out the American Lung Association website for tips, and talking to your doctor. 

Sleep apnea is a serious condition with many complications. Work to reduce the risks that are in your control. There is good news: treatment is available through the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine that fits over your nose and mouth and blows air into your airway while you sleep. Your dentist can discuss this option with you as well as other dental appliances used to treat sleep apnea.

If you or someone you know could be suffering from sleep apnea, we are here to help. Please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule an appointment. We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

The Cost of Dental Implants

Because each dental implant case is unique, your prosthodontist will need to provide you a treatment plan that will include the cost and time needed to complete the installation of your implant(s). The time needed is based on each patient’s needs, jawbone condition, and the materials used in the process. Your prosthodontist must assess whether the implant can be placed directly into the jawbone or on the jawbone but below the gum tissue. This will be done during your consultation.

In order to ensure the implant functions properly like a natural tooth would, most implants will require several appointments. The total time could be as little as a few months to much longer for more difficult situations. In between visits, our patients go about their normal lives with no interruptions. We have financing options to help you pay for any out of pocket expenses that your insurance does not cover.

Over the long term, you will be very happy with the implant(s) as it looks and feels just like a natural tooth and will function naturally as well.

If you are interested in learning more about implants, please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule a consultation where we will assess your situation and come up with a treatment plan for you. We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

The Two Types of Dental Implants

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, there are two main types of implants:

  • Endosteal implants — this type of dental implant is placed directly into the jawbone. The implant is normally made of titanium and is the most commonly used implant. Your prosthodontist will then place a post to the implant and upon the post, an artificial tooth is placed. 
  • Subperiosteal implants — this type of dental implant is placed on the jawbone, but just below the gum tissue. This type of implant is most commonly used for patients who do not have enough healthy jawbone to undergo the procedure. If your jawbone is not able to support implants, there are several options available to you to rebuild the bone, also called bone augmentation. Options to rebuild jawbone will be discussed during a consultation with your prosthodontist.

In order to ensure the implant functions properly like a natural tooth would, most implants will require several appointments. The total time to complete the procedure could be as little as a few months to much longer for more difficult situations. In between visits, our patients go about their normal lives with no interruptions.

If you are interested in learning more about implants, please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule a consultation where we will assess your situation and determine what type of implant is right for you. We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a great option for those patients who have a missing tooth or teeth, but are you a good candidate for the procedure? If you have healthy gums, enough jawbone to place the implant, and will make the commitment to brush twice daily, floss, and see your dentist regularly, you are more than likely a great candidate for the procedure.

Some patients may not be good candidates for implants. Those include women who are pregnant, those who smoke since smoking interferes with the healing process, and those with chronic diseases such as uncontrolled diabetes or immune disorders.

Your prosthodontist will assess your situation and determine if you are a good candidate for implants. To determine if you are a good candidate, your prosthodontist will examine your mouth and review your medical history. He/she may also take X-rays of your mouth so they can determine the amount of healthy, natural jawbone you have and if it will support an implant(s). Your options will be discussed with you and a treatment plan developed for you. The treatment plan will include a timeline and cost.

If you are interested in learning more about implants, please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule a consultation where we will assess your situation and determine if you are a good candidate for a dental implant(s). We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

The Benefits of a Dental Implant

If you have lost a tooth due to an extraction, infection, or decay, dental implants are a wonderful option to restore a missing tooth. There are several benefits to a dental implant when compared to other appliances, such as a dental bridge.

An implant looks and feels just like a natural tooth, so no one will ever know you had implant surgery. They are comfortable and do not require specific care. You brush and floss the implant as you do your natural teeth, and because the tooth is implanted, there is no need to remove the implant as you would a denture. Also, there is no need to affect the surrounding teeth as you would a dental bridge.

Implants are durable and can last for a very long time! Bridges and dentures have to be replaced over time. An implant saves you time and money over the long run.

Having an implant also stimulates your own bone growth and prevents further loss to the bone as would happen if the tooth was not replaced. 

Lastly, the implant is permanent, will not shift or move, and allows you to smile with confidence.

If you are interested in learning more about implants, please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule a consultation where we will assess your situation and determine if you are a good candidate for a dental implant(s). We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

Ouch, my tooth!

Experiencing pain or discomfort from a sensitive tooth is a common problem. This pain or discomfort can be felt when your teeth are exposed to cold water, hot or cold drinks, or very cold foods such as ice cream or other frozen foods. Tooth sensitivity can be treated, so it is important to see your dentist if you experience any tooth sensitivity.

You can reduce your risk of experiencing tooth sensitivity by exercising good oral hygiene. It is important to brush twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time, and floss regularly, preferably after each meal. It is also best to try to limit foods that are acidic such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes because the acid in these foods causes enamel to wear away, making your teeth more sensitive. Don’t ignore a sensitive tooth because doing so can lead to more serious issues, especially if the tooth sensitivity causes you to brush less frequently or brush for less time.

Some common treatments for sensitive teeth include the use of a desensitizing toothpaste which your dentist may recommend. A fluoride treatment is another option which involves applying fluoride to the sensitive tooth or teeth to help reduce the pain associated with the sensitivity and strengthen the enamel. Other treatment options that are available will be discussed at the time of your dental visit.

If you are suffering from the pain and discomfort of sensitive teeth, we can help. Call DaVinci Dentistry’s Southlake, TX office at 817.251.9333. We treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.  We look forward to seeing you!

Pregnancy and Dental Visits

Preparing to have a baby is a busy time in any mother’s life. There are visits to your doctor, shopping for the baby’s needs, and setting up the baby’s room that all take time. During this busy time, make sure that you are still seeing your dentist for regular checkups. Dental checkups are safe and important for your oral health, especially when you are expecting a child. They are important so your dentist can identify and correct any pregnancy-related symptoms that may occur.  If your pregnancy is not showing yet, be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant and how many weeks along you are. Advise your dentist of any medications you’re taking, both prescribed and over the counter, and any supplements you take as well. Be sure to disclose any medical conditions you may have so your dentist can work with your doctor.

During pregnancy, some women may experience gingivitis caused by hormonal changes. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation of your gums, and if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, a much more serious gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. When you suffer from gingivitis, you can experience swollen and inflamed gums or gums that bleed when you brush. Your gums can also be tender. When pregnant, you are also at risk of increased tooth decay resulting in cavities. These issues can all be addressed by your dentist.

In addition to seeing your dentist regularly while pregnant, be sure to keep up your good oral routine. It is important to brush twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time, and floss regularly, preferably after each meal.

Call DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule your next checkup. We gladly welcome patients from the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.

You Have Options When It Comes to Dental Fillings

When you have a cavity, talk with your dentist on what type of dental filling is best for you and your situation. According to the ADA, some common filling options include composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings; amalgam, which is the silver-colored fillings used by dentists for decades; or gold amalgam fillings which are also durable and long-lasting but are more expensive and do not look as natural as composite resin. A nice thing about composite resin fillings is that it can be matched to the natural color of your tooth, making it far less noticeable that you had a cavity filled.

The best choice of dental filling for your needs depends on the situation, and this should be discussed with your dentist. Metal amalgam (silver or gold) should not be disregarded as a filling, even though it looks less natural because it has its own benefits. Amalgam does not wear out as quickly as composite resin. Also, if the filling has to cover a larger surface area, composite resin may not be the best choice in this case. Amalgam can withstand the biting forces exerted on it better than composite resin for larger cavities. Amalgam generally costs less as well. 

If you have a cavity that needs a filling, or if you have old metal fillings that you would like replaced with the more natural-looking composite resin filling, call your Southlake, TX DaVinci Dentistry office at 817.251.9333. We proudly treat patients from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

Gingivitis, What Exactly is It?

Gingivitis comes from the Latin word “gingiva” which means “gums.” Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes inflammation of your gums, and if left untreated, can lead to periodontitis, a much more serious gum disease that can lead to tooth loss. When you suffer from gingivitis, you can experience swollen and inflamed gums or gums that bleed when you brush. Your gums can also be tender.

The culprit that causes gingivitis is plaque. Plaque is full of bacteria and forms when the food you eat comes into contact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. The plaque can harden causing tartar which requires professional dental cleaning to remove. If not removed, the plaque and tartar start to irritate and inflame the gumline resulting in gingivitis and the swelling and gum bleeding associated with the disease.

This blog speaks often of good oral hygiene, and we can’t say it enough. Good oral hygiene prevents gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis. It is crucial to brush twice a day, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time, floss regularly, preferably after each meal, and see your dentist once every six months for checkups.

If you have gingivitis, it can be reversed or at the least, its progression can be stopped. If you think you might suffer from gingivitis or the more serious periodontal disease, please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 to schedule an appointment where we will assess the situation and come up with a treatment plan for you. We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

Oral Care for Your Dentures

In our last blog post, we debunked some myths about dentures. This week, our topic is how to take care of your dentures once they are placed.

  • According to Colgate, be sure your dentures don’t dry out. Place them in warm water or denture cleanser overnight or when you’re not wearing them. Hot water can cause dentures to warp, so you will want to avoid soaking them in hot water. Dentures need to stay moist to keep their shape, but you don’t want them to warp.
  • You should brush your dentures, even though they are not your natural teeth. Brushing removes food particles and plaque that can build on dentures just as they do natural teeth. Dentures can also become stained, so you will want to brush them well to keep any surface stains at bay.
  • In addition to brushing your dentures, you will want to place your dentures every morning into a clean mouth, so be sure to brush your tongue and gums before placing your dentures.
  • You will also want to continue seeing your dentist on a regular schedule who can check the denture appliance to ensure it fits properly and that the dentures are not causing you any irritation.  If your dentures are ever damaged or become loose, you will want to see your dentist right away.

If you ever have a question about your dentures or need to see the dentist about your dentures, call DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333. We are happy to help our patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas with any questions or concerns they may have. 

Debunking Dentures

Fixodent, the makers of the denture adhesive, published a report that by the year 2020, 37.9 million people will be wearing dentures. Dentures have been around since about 700 BC when they were first made from human or animal teeth. Due to the decay of human and animal teeth, denture material evolved over time to the material used today, typically types of resin and porcelain. 

As we age, dentures become common, but there are some falsehoods regarding dentures that you need to be aware of:

  • You still need to visit the dentist, even if you wear dentures, so they can check the denture appliance and adjust as needed so they fit comfortably, and they also check for any sore spots on the gums the dentures could be causing.
  • Just like natural teeth wear down over time, so do your dentures, so it is recommended they be changed every 5-10 years.
  • It does take some time to get used to wearing your new dentures, but over time, you will adapt to them and feel comfortable wearing them while eating. Adapting to wearing dentures is easier than many people may believe. You can also eat almost all the foods you enjoyed before you wore dentures. With customized and properly fitting dentures, you can eat, talk, smile and laugh with confidence and enjoy a more youthful appearance. 

Partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth while a full denture appliance replaces all the missing teeth on the upper or lower part of your mouth. Prosthodontists, like Dr. Khal, are specialists in tooth restoration including partial and full dentures.

If you are interested in learning more about dentures and if they are right for you, call DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333 for a consult. We gladly welcome patients from the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas.

In the Event of a Loose Tooth

As an adult, if you have a loose tooth, it is natural to be concerned. A tooth can become loose from several factors including an injury to the tooth, gum disease, or bruxism, which is the medical term for when one grinds their teeth. If you experience a loose tooth, it is important to see your dentist right away so they can determine why the tooth has become loose and then decide on the best course of treatment. It is crucial not to try to pull the tooth out though. This will leave an open socket where the tooth once was and could lead to bleeding and/or infection. It is best to leave the tooth alone and see your dentist as soon as you can.

Prevention is key to any dental issue, so practice good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease. Brush twice daily, morning and night, for at least two minutes each time. Be sure to use dental floss, preferably after each meal. Eat a healthy diet and drink eight glasses of water daily. If you don’t like to drink water, try adding fruit slices, which has helped others increase their water consumption. See your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups. If you play sports, wear a mouthguard, and lastly, talk to your dentist about devices that will help with teeth grinding at night.

If you experience a loose tooth, schedule an appointment to come see us DaVinci Dentistry by calling 817.251.9333. We happily treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you!

How to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

As we kick off the month of May and National Dental Care Month, here are some ways to achieve optimal oral health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day. Brush in the morning and at night, for 2 minutes each time.
  • Use proper dental equipment. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably.
  • Utilize good brushing technique. Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle focusing on the areas where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with short back-and-forth motions.
  • Keep your toothbrush clean. Always rinse your toothbrush with water after brushing. Store your toothbrush in an upright position so it can air dry. You can store a toothbrush in a closed container for travel, but don’t do this routinely so as not to encourage the growth of bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush periodically. Invest in a new toothbrush every three to four months. Toothbrushes are provided at your bi-annual dental cleaning as well.  
  • Floss for good oral health – Since a toothbrush can’t reach the tight spaces between your teeth, it is important to floss daily, one tooth at a time.
  • Be sure to visit your dentist once every six months.

If you haven’t scheduled your bi-annual dental exam and cleaning as yet, May is a great month to do that! Call DaVinci Dentistry to make an appointment at 817.251.9333. We happily treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you!

Prevent Bone Loss with a Dental Implant

A dental implant is a way to restore a lost tooth and has the highest success rate of any implanted device. When a tooth is lost, bone is also lost as it needs stimulation from the tooth itself in order to maintain its volume. The bone surrounds and supports the tooth, but when a tooth is lost and not replaced, further damage to the bone will occur over time. This can be prevented with a dental implant. An implant is the only way to stop the loss of bone and preserve what is left of the bone. A dental implant is made of titanium, which fuses well to the bone and is not rejected by the body. The implant is secured to the jawbone and can then be covered with a dental crown. It is completely natural looking, and no one can tell from looking at you when smiling that the tooth is a dental implant. The implant can help you smile, eat, and talk as you normally would.

To determine if an implant is right for you and where and how the implant needs to be placed, you need a prosthodontist who will then conduct an assessment. A dental implant is placed by a prosthodontist as it requires more education, training, and skill than a general dentist. The dental implant must be placed in the bone in exactly the correct position, and a prosthodontist can also access if you have enough remaining bone to place the implant. Dr. Khal is one of only 3500 practicing prosthodontists in the US, according to the ADA, and he is board-certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics. He is the only board-certified prosthodontist in the Southlake area. 

To discuss whether an implant is right for you, call DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333. We happily treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you!

Why See a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontics is a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association. A prosthodontist not only completes his/her dental schooling but continues for three more years to receive further training and education. Prosthodontists are experts in the field of restoring missing teeth through the use of dental implants and crowns, dental bridges, and full and partial dentures. They use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to restore your smile to its natural state.

Dr. Khal Ajlouni is board-certified by the ABP, the American Board of Prosthodontics, and the only board-certified prosthodontist in Southlake. The ABP governs the discipline of prosthodontics and the certification of its prosthodontists. According to the ABP website, their mission is to certify individuals who have demonstrated special knowledge and skills in orthodontics and seeks to certify those who are committed to life-long learning and a lifetime of ethical practices as well as to the advancement of prosthodontics. Certification requires a lengthy examination, and the prosthodontist must recertify every eight years by obtaining 240 continuing education hours over the eight years to continue their proficiency in the field of prosthodontics. Their continuing education requires they attend courses, meetings, conferences, or lectures to maintain their knowledge and skill. 

Whether you need a dental implant, bridge, crown, or dentures, DaVinci Dentistry can help. To discuss any of these options, call DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333. We happily treat patients in the Southlake, TX and surrounding areas. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Out With Old Metal Braces, In with Invisalign!

If you suffer from teeth crowding, misalignment or an over/under bite, it is time to discuss the Invisalign option with your dentist.

Invisalign acts in the same capacity as metal braces, but the aligners are custom made from clear plastic, which means they are practically INVISible. Adults and teenagers who need braces opt for Invisalign over traditional metal braces to avoid altering the appearance of their smile. The aligners are transparent, so most people you meet won’t know you are wearing them.

The aligners are quite comfortable to wear, and since the aligners are made of plastic, they do not irritate the inside of the cheeks like metal braces can. Also, unlike traditional metal braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed! You are asked to wear them between 20-22 hours a day, but they can be removed prior to eating and prior to brushing and flossing your teeth. This is impossible with metal braces. The aligners must be changed every two weeks, but even traditional metal braces need adjustments.

The treatment plan is individual to each adult or teenager, but the course of treatment usually takes a year for adults and up to 18 months for teens. This also depends on how diligent the adult or teenager is in wearing the aligners for the needed time each day.

The best way to determine if Invisalign is right for you is to schedule a consult. Please reach out to DaVinci Dentistry at 817.251.9333. We gladly welcome patients at DaVinci Dentistry from Southlake, TX and the surrounding areas.

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