What to do If You Have a Dental Emergency Over Summer Vacation

June 29th, 2022 by

Summer is one of the busiest seasons for dental emergencies in Garland . Not only are kids on summer break, but adults and children are more likely to participate in outdoor activities and recreational sports. As a result, they are more likely to be involved in situations where accidents, falls, hits, and other injuries occur frequently.

Summer usually brings an increase in dental emergencies at Dooley Dentistry, including:

Toothaches: A severe toothache may indicate a serious problem. If your tooth pain prevents you from eating or going to work, we recommend that you see our emergency dentist.

Abscessed Teeth: Dental abscesses are not only painful, but the infection can spread quickly if endodontic therapy is not used (root canal treatment.)

Fractured Teeth: Broken or chipped teeth are extremely sensitive and require immediate treatment to prevent pain, further decay, and infection.

Tooth Avulsion (Knocked Out Teeth): While a knocked-out tooth cannot always be
saved, Dr. Dooley will do everything possible to replace it. Endodontic treatment is
usually required.

Prevent Emergencies Before They Happen

Fortunately, the majority of dental emergencies are avoidable. In addition to maintaining your routine exams, it’s important to remember to wear your sports mouthguard whenever you are outside with the kids, on the trampoline, or doing your usual exercise routine.

Start flossing daily, even if you haven’t done so previously. Food can get lodged beneath the gums or between the teeth, where it can cause swelling and discomfort.

Popcorn kernels are a common example. Tie a knot in your flossing string and run it through your teeth from one side to the other to remove stuck-on food. Flossing is commonly thought to pull out dental work, but this is simply not true. If flossing moves a crown or filling out of place, it is already loose and will fall out. It’s not flossing that you have to worry about!

Treating Pain Until You Can See Our Dentist

In the unfortunate event that you do experience a summertime dental emergency, here are a few things you can do to reduce pain until you can visit our office.

Take ibuprofen (Motrin) or other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication as directed.

● Every 20 minutes, alternately apply a cold compress to that side of your mouth.
● Eat on the opposite side of your mouth as much as possible.
● Rinse with warm salt water several times per day to aid in the removal of
infection and inflammation.
● Clean and floss around your gumlines on a daily basis, as this is where plaque
bacteria tend to congregate the most.
● Make your own “miracle mouthwash” without the prescription lidocaine for soft-
tissue injuries like rashes, ulcers, or trauma.

Please keep in mind that none of these do-it-yourself toothache/emergency dental therapies are intended to provide long-term relief. The goal is to relieve your pain until we can see you in our office.

Don’t Wait! Call Us Today

It may appear impossible to find an emergency dentist on short notice, but that is not the case at Dooley Dentistry. Call our office right away if you need to see an emergency dentist.



Four Reasons to Professionally Whiten Your Smile

May 31st, 2022 by

Brightening the color of your smile is an excellent way to improve its appearance or to kickstart your journey to a makeover. Professional whitening is an ideal choice if you simply want to make your teeth look better or if you need an affordable cosmetic treatment.

Are you considering having your teeth whitened but feeling a little unsure? At Dooley Dentistry, we whiten hundreds of smiles each year for a variety of reasons. If you’re still debating the benefits and drawbacks of professional teeth whitening in Garland , consider the following four reasons before passing up the opportunity:

Before Restorative Treatments

Assume you’re about to get a new dental implant and crown to replace a missing front tooth. Or maybe you need a filling that will be visible when you smile and you want it to match the tooth around it. If you ever want to whiten your teeth, you won’t be able to do so unless you replace the dental work you’ve had done. Why? Because whitening products do not work on dental restorations.

Instead, it’s best to whiten your teeth professionally first, Dr. Dooley can match the
material to the new luminance of your teeth. Your teeth will begin whiter, and you can
continue to whiten them over time.

Prior to a Smile Makeover

Are you ready for something dramatic, such as dental veneers, or to add bonding to uneven areas? We recommend that you whiten your teeth first.

Here’s why: teeth whitening complements other cosmetic treatments, and in some cases eliminates the need for otherwise unnecessary treatments. Perhaps you want a few teeth bonded but also whiter, so you choose veneers. Instead, you could combine professional teeth whitening teeth with a small amount of matched composite shaped over the problem spot.

As a Mini Smile Makeover

Brightening your teeth is an effective cosmetic treatment that can also be used as a stand-alone smile makeover. The best part is that it is quick, efficient, and inexpensive. If you aren’t ready to commit to gum recontouring, dental veneers, or bonding, teeth whitening is a great place to start.

Professional whitening costs a fraction of the price of more complex aesthetic procedures. So, if a major makeover isn’t in the cards right now, teeth whitening is probably still doable.

Your smile will be several shades whiter after treatment. We’ll show you how to keep the results and touch up your tooth color for months, if not years, after your initial treatment.

For Life’s Special Events

There’s a lot to be said about the appearance of your teeth. Indeed, studies have shown that people with whiter and more beautiful teeth perform better in job interviews, earn more money, appear happier, and have more friends.

If you’re unsure what to wear to your next business presentation or need a pick-me-up when it comes to dating, having whiter teeth may be the perfect accessory to bring along with you. Investing in whiter teeth is an efficient and cost-effective way to help you look your best when it counts.

Ready to Whiten Your Smile?

With just one visit to our office, you can have whiter teeth! Make an appointment with
Dooley Dentistry in Garland today for a teeth whitening consultation.



Why Do I Need a Filling if My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt?

April 28th, 2022 by

Tooth decay isn’t as threatening as it once was. In the past, most dentists treated cavities with typical amalgam (silver) restorations. Now, dentists can detect and treat with less invasive restorations that are safer for teeth.

Even so, most people have concerns about fillings or tooth decay in general. To help you prepare for your next appointment, we’ve produced a list of the most common things the team at Dooley Dentistry wants you to know why you shouldn’t put off having an exam or treating that small filling.

Common Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Not everyone, or every tooth, will experience symptoms of pain when they have decay. If you have a toothache, you’ll know it. But other cavity symptoms might not be as obvious, including:

• Sensitivity to sweet foods or drinks
• Rough edges on your tooth
• Visible holes and discoloration
• Something simply feeling “off” whenever you bite down

Not All Cavities are Visible

During your exam, Dr. Dooley may notice visible cavities. On the other hand, X-rays
are necessary for determining the depth of a cavity and screening for decay that’s between the teeth or below chewing surfaces, which cannot be detected with the naked eye.

Teeth Don’t Respond to Infection the Same Way

Cavities aren’t always painful, and every tooth responds differently. If food gets caught in your teeth, there’s irritation when biting/chewing, or you feel rough/sharp edges with your tongue, you might have a cavity and not know it just yet.

We can check for cavities between and inside your teeth where you might not otherwise see them, thanks to frequent checkups and taking occasional X-rays to screen for infection.

Cavities Will Gradually Spread

Cavities are caused by bacteria. Bacteria can travel from one tooth to the next if there is
an active cavity. This results in the formation of a new cavity in a separate tooth. Early
treatment can help avoid the formation of new cavities. If caught early enough, only a
small tooth-colored filling in one tooth will take care of the issue.

Minimally Invasive and More Affordable

At your appointment, Dooley Dentistry staff will be happy to answer your questions. We’ll set your mind at ease regarding any treatment concerns you may have, as well as talk about which options are ideal for you. Our minimally invasive fillings are designed to fit your budget and preserve the maximum amount of tooth structure possible.

After your exam, you’ll be given a treatment plan that details the procedures and projected costs for restoring your smile. The earlier your tooth decay is fixed, the less money you’ll spend in the long run.

Schedule Your Consultation

Maintain the health of your smile for years to come. Make an appointment for a checkup twice a year. We’ll screen for early symptoms of tooth decay during your exam, giving you the opportunity to prevent cavities with proper home care and fluoride. If you have active decay, we can help you get ahead of it before severe problems arise.

If it’s been six months since your last dentist appointment or you suspect you have a cavity, call Dooley Dentistry in Garland today.



What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea and How Can My Dentist Screen for It?

March 30th, 2022 by

Are you having trouble sleeping? Does your partner or spouse complain about snoring and gasping for breath throughout the night? You could be suffering from obstructive or sleep-disordered breathing, a type of clinical sleep apnea.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

OSA refers to a specific type of sleep disorder caused by the obstruction of your airway at the back of your mouth due to your oral tissues.

If you have a large neck circumference, you are more likely to have your tonsils, tongue, soft palate, back of the throat, and tongue collapse in on each other while you sleep. This causes oxygen to stop flowing to your body and brain.

Sleep apnea can make you feel tired, but it can also contribute to heart disease and stroke. To determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll need to have a sleep study conducted at home or in a clinic. We can also screen for oral symptoms during your dental checkup.

Sleep Apnea: Signs and symptoms

Dr. Dooley recommends that you look out for these signs of obstructive sleep apnea:

● Snoring
● Fatigue
● Depression
● Weight loss
● TMJ pain
● Headaches or migraines
● Flat, chipped, worn teeth
● Broken dental work
● High blood pressure

If you do not seek professional help, the effects of sleep apnea can have a negative impact on your health, life, and body. Statistics show that people suffering from sleep apnea (or OSA) are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, or other types of heart disease.

How Can Dooley Dentistry Help?

Traditional CPAP equipment works for certain types of sleep apnea, but it does have downsides. Many find that CPAP machines are bulky and loud, which can make it difficult for you to sleep in the position you prefer. Traveling with a CPAP machine can also be cumbersome. Some people complain that the noise bothers their spouse, roommates, or any other family members.

Oral appliance therapy for OSA can be a very effective and minimally invasive way to stop sleep apnea from its source — your mouth. Once we have screened you for OSA and you’ve had a home sleep study to confirm your diagnosis, your physician can prescribe an oral device.

Oral sleep apnea appliances fit over your teeth like any other fitted mouthguard. These special sleep aids are a type of mandibular advancement tool that moves your lower jaw forward. In turn, it keeps your tongue away from the back of your throat. This allows you to lay down and sleep comfortably without the soft tissues at the back of the mouth collapsing against each other.

Although you can use oral sleep appliances in conjunction with your CPAP machine, many people find that they are able to quit using their CPAP completely.

Oral Sleep Appliances in Garland

If you aren’t CPAP-compliant or you find it difficult to wear, call Dooley Dentistry in Garland today. We can perform an evaluation to discuss if an oral appliance could help you get a better night’s rest.



Why it’s Best to Treat Cavities Early

February 24th, 2022 by

Cavities are not always visible. They can develop under old fillings or between teeth, making them more challenging to locate. Unfortunately, cavities can spread rapidly, affecting adjacent teeth and causing more aggressive infections such as abscessed teeth. If you feel sweet sensitivity, tenderness, or get food caught in your teeth frequently, be sure to let Dr. Dooley know.

Dental Fillings Stop the Spread of Decay

A minimally-invasive dental filling can stop the spread of decay as soon as it’s detected. Your small restoration also preserves your overall tooth, as it reduces the chance of the infection expanding into your dental nerves and causing an abscess. Both white (composite) and silver (amalgam) fillings are available, white being the most attractive and minimally invasive to the tooth.

Is it Possible to Get Cavities Around Existing Dental Work?

Yes, decay can form around dental bridges, crowns, or fillings. Good oral hygiene—including flossing—is an important part of preventing recurring cavities from developing.

Over time, the margins around old dental work can begin to leak, allowing new cavities to develop. Retreating those areas as quickly as possible will minimize the extent of treatment your smile needs in the future.

What is a Cavity? What are the Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a bacterial infection inside of tooth enamel that, left untreated, will expand further into the tooth structure. A cavity can manifest in many ways. The most common warning signs include:

 You notice discomfort or pain when you eat or bite into something
 Sensitivity whenever you eat or drink something sweet
 A rough edge that you can feel with your tongue
 Food or floss getting caught between certain teeth
 Something feeling “off” in a specific part of your mouth
 Occasional discomfort or toothaches

Digital X-rays are necessary to detect cavities that may not be visible during an exam. If the decay isn’t treated promptly, it will almost always spread into the adjacent tooth structure. This is why early treatment is important regardless of whether any pain is being experienced. A cavity may never hurt or cause sensitivity, making it easy for an abscess to develop with your knowledge.

What to Expect When You Get a Dental Filling

After numbing your tooth, Dr. Dooley will clean out the decayed areas and prep the enamel immediately next to it. We will match the filling material to your natural tooth enamel, then shape it by hand to fill in the void in your tooth. A bright light cures your filling and bonds it in place. After the procedure, your tooth may feel numb for a few hours.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Keep your smile healthier, longer. Plan to schedule a checkup twice per year. During your exam, we’ll look for early signs of enamel demineralization, providing you with a chance to reverse it through good home care and fluoride supplementation. And if you have active decay, we can provide you with an opportunity to get ahead of it before major issues develop.

Call Dooley Dentistry if it’s been six months since your last dentist appointment or if you suspect you have a cavity.



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