Jeff Colquitt, DDS
Cosmetic, Implants, TMJ & Family Dentistry
Creating Beautiful Smiles

Blog Archive

9/21/2015 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

When it comes to getting effective care for irregular breathing caused by sleep disorders, you have options. As an alternative to the traditional CPAP machine, our Dallas dental office offers the benefits of oral appliance therapy for mild to moderate sleep apnea care.

Oral appliances offer patients the following advantages:

No Forced Air: CPAP machines help patients breathe during sleep by sending a steady stream of air through a face mask. While this is successful, it’s often a strange experience to adjust to and can make it hard to sleep. Oral appliances do not force air into passageways – they simply make it easier for you to breathe on your own.

No Masks and Heavy Equipment: As mentioned above, CPAP machines require the use of a face mask, which is attached to another appliance that produces the flow of air. The mask is placed over your nose and mouth and is held in place by a series of straps that wrap around the back of your head. Oral appliances are small, like retainers, and do not create the discomfort that many patients experience with CPAP equipment.

Better Comfort During Sleep: Because using CPAP means you have to wear an appliance attached to the front of your face, it can be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. As they are not attached to bulky machinery, snore guards for sleep apnea do not limit sleeping positions, so you can comfortably enjoy a night of restful sleep.

Portability: CPAP machines can be cumbersome to travel with, as they essentially become another piece of luggage. In contrast, oral appliances are small enough to fit into your pocket, even in their carrying cases, making it easy for you to take your sleep therapy appliance wherever you need to go.

Oral appliances work to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea by holding your jaw in a position that promotes the easy, natural flow of air through passes. There’s no need for forced airflow or for large, uncomfortable pieces of equipment. Oral appliances for sleep disordered breathing make it simple to find a comfortable solution for sleep apnea.  For more information on how you may benefit from comfortable and convenient sleep therapy with oral appliances, contact Dr. Jeff Colquitt for your complimentary consultation.

9/4/2015 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Gum disease problems start off small, but can quickly snowball to cause serious issues for your teeth and overall oral health. In many instances, these problems can be prevented with some better choices about health, wellbeing, and your hygiene routine.

Stopping gum disease in its tracks takes some simple steps, beyond the standard routine of brushing and flossing, which include:

Making Smart Diet Choices – Certain foods, such as leafy greens, create a natural scrubbing effect when consumed that keeps teeth clear of debris, which can settle on enamel and develop below the gum line. Making better diet choices helps to prevent the development of bacteria and acid that damage teeth and soft tissue and is also wise for your overall well-being.

Reducing or Eliminating Bad Habits – Smoking, in particular, or use of any tobacco products elevates your risk for gum disease. While that may seem minor compared to the other health risks of smoking, gum disease directly contributes to tooth loss, which is a difficult health problem for many dental patients.

Asking Your Doctor about Medications You’re Using – Certain hormonal medications can increase your chances for gum disease by creating dry mouth. Patients with dry mouth do not have enough natural saliva to sweep away debris and bacteria throughout the day, allowing these materials to rest on teeth and soft tissue for longer than normal. If you are on medication that could present oral health problems, ask your doctor or our dental office about the best ways to combat problematic side effects.

Increasing Routine Dental Visits – While visiting the dentist more than twice a year might not be high on your priority list, it’s essential if you’re at an elevated risk for periodontal problems. Boosting the number of times you visit the dentist for an exam and cleaning allows us to keep an eye on your oral health and thoroughly clean teeth more often, therefore giving bacteria and plaque less of an opportunity to damage your health.

For patients whose soft tissue health has declined, seeking treatment as early as possible helps you keep your natural teeth and restore your overall oral health.  Treatments like deep cleanings and even periodontal surgery can help you keep your teeth and enjoy improved health.

For more information on how our Dallas dentist, Dr. Jeff Colquitt, helps prevent and treat gum disease, contact our office for your next dental appointment.

8/20/2015 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Patients seeking replacement for missing teeth have many options for completing their smiles. Among the dental restorations frequently utilized are dentures and bridges. While these oral appliances are similar in some ways, the unique differences of each treatment can help meet patients’ differing restoration needs.

The Differences between Dentures and Bridges

Full dentures are recommended for patients who need complete arch replacements. If there are healthy natural teeth left in the arch, partial dentures may be recommended. Complete dentures are held in place by denture adhesives, while partial dentures utilize a retainer-like attachment system to stay in place and can be removed for cleaning. Both types of dentures are removable for maintenance and can last anywhere from 7-10 years with proper care. 
In contrast, porcelain fixed bridges are used for patients who are missing only one or more teeth in concentrated groups. Unlike dentures, bridges use the surrounding teeth to support the restoration and are permanently fixed with dental bonding materials.
Bridges use two crowns, placed on the natural teeth adjacent to the gap left by missing teeth. Between the crowns are pontics, which act as replacements for missing teeth. 
Like dentures, there are different types of bridges to meet diverse needs. The three most popular types of dental bridges include:
  • Traditional bridges: utilize two abutment teeth on either side of the gap to support the pontic in between.
  • Cantilever bridges: Are used when abutment teeth are only on one side of the gap. Cantilever bridges are usually recommended when only one tooth is missing.
  • Maryland bonded bridges: Also known as resin-bonded bridge, this type of restoration uses a metal foundation. Metal wings extend from the prosthetic and are bonded to the adjacent teeth.
Receiving Bridges and Dentures|
When being fitted for bridges, the supporting abutment teeth are contoured to allow for the connecting crown. Impressions of the dentition are then made and the models are sent to a dental lab to create your bridge. In the meantime, Dr. Colquitt will place a temporary bridge to close the gaps in your smile until the permanent bridge is ready to be placed.
Once ready, the permanent bridge is cemented in place, leaving you with natural looking smile and restored dental function.
When fitted for dentures, patients have several options. Individuals who need extractions for damaged teeth can have dentures made beforehand, so that they are ready for placement immediately following extraction. Patients can also wait until after their teeth have been extracted to have their dentures fitted. This method is often recommended, as the dentition is allowed to heal before fitting, meaning that fewer final adjustments will need to be made.

For more information on dentures and bridges, contact Dr. Jeff Colquitt at our Dallas dental practice to schedule your complimentary consultation and learn more about which restorative treatment is right for you.

8/12/2015 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

If you’re missing a tooth and need a restoration, it’s important to know the benefits of each restorative method available to you. At our Dallas cosmetic dental office, Dr. Jeff Colquitt offers patients a variety of therapies to replace missing teeth, such as permanent dental implants and bridges, as well as removable full and partial dentures. 

Expectations for Long-Term Care

Bridges are bonded in place to surrounding teeth and dental implants are surgically installed to bond with bone in the jaw. Unlike full and partial dentures, bridges and dental implants are not removable. Bridges can last many years before needing repair or replacement, and dental implants can last a life-time with proper care.

As removable appliances made of either acrylic or porcelain and metal, full and partial dentures may sometimes need repair or adjustment over their lifetimes. For patients who are interested in swapping one restoration for another, dental implants can also be used to permanently support prosthetics for any number of missing teeth, thereby replacing removable dentures or traditional dental bridges. 

Benefits for Oral Health

Dental implants benefit overall oral health by protecting bone volume and stimulating tissue like a natural tooth root would. Implants are also an excellent choice for improved biting and chewing function, and therefore digestive health.

Dental bridges are also able to improve oral function when patients are missing one or more teeth. Because bridges replace lost teeth with a prosthetic that is securely bonded in place, patients do not have to worry about loose dental appliances inhibiting oral function.

If you are missing all of your natural teeth in an arch, a full denture can provide you with improved chewing power and allow your smile to look full and complete.

Comfort and Aesthetic

The appearance of your restoration over its lifetime can depend on materials used. All-porcelain or tooth-colored materials tend to keep their natural appearance for the longest amount of time and are ideal for teeth in your smile zone.  Dental bridges and dental implants prove to provide patients with a comfortable treatment experience, as they are meant to be permanent restorations and remain securely in place.

Some patients with full dentures may require occasional readjustments to ensure the highest level of comfort. Dr. Colquitt is able to expertly tailor the fit and feel of your dentures so that you can enjoy comfortable teeth replacements that look their best.

Dental implants, bridges, and dentures are an investment in your health, wellness, and the appearance of your smile. If you have questions about what restoration will work for you, please call our Dallas cosmetic dentist, Dr. Jeff Colquitt, for more information.

7/22/2015 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Veneers are a popular treatment in cosmetic dentistry, as they help to correct flaws and greatly improve the way damaged teeth look. There are two kinds of veneers that patients typically receive: traditional veneers and a kind that are called “no-prep.” Applying traditional veneers first requires that natural teeth be polished and buffed, during which a small amount of dental enamel is removed. This process intimidates some patients who opt for the no-prep veneer variety instead.

There are some things you should know if you’re hoping to get natural-looking and stunning results with cosmetic veneer therapy:

Prepped Veneers are Better at Changing the Color of Teeth

Veneers that require tooth preparation are marginally thicker than no-prep veneers. This thickness does not add bulk to teeth, as enamel is shaped prior to placement, but it does allow your cosmetic dentist to more efficiently improve the color of your natural teeth. For some patients, their teeth have turned gray from aging or the use of certain medications, or are discolored to the point that teeth bleaching doesn’t produce results. For these patients, veneers are the appropriate alternative therapy – but because no-prep veneers are thinner, they are not able to mask the color of heavily stained teeth as well.

Only Traditional Veneers can Alter Alignment

Veneers are also sometimes called instant orthodontics, as they are able to make teeth appear straighter. But this is only possible through the preparation process. When teeth are buffed in order to accommodate a veneer, dentists are able to re-create a tooth shape and position that is more even and well-aligned. This is not possible with no-prep veneers.

No-Prep Veneers Add Bulk to Teeth

While it’s true that no-prep veneers are thinner, anything you add to the surface of a natural tooth –without first preparing it– only creates bulk. No-prep veneers can sometimes produce an effect of unnatural looking teeth.

Choosing the Right Veneers Therapy is about Understanding your Goals

Patients who are interested in conservative treatment, which does not require alteration of teeth, select no-prep veneers; however, patients who need complete smile transformations, which include whitening and changing the shape and alignment of teeth, are best matched to traditional veneers.
Our Dallas dental office helps transform smiles with traditional veneer therapy. If you have any questions about getting porcelain veneers, contact our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Jeff Colquitt, for more information.

7/9/2015 12:24:00 PM | Anonymous

TMD or TMJ disorder is a condition that many dental patients have in some form. TMJ issues are often characterized by clicking and popping in jaw joints, and are the cause of bruxism, or teeth grinding. While it’s common, not many patients understand how TMD can have a negative effect on your health and wellness, requiring that it be treated as soon as possible to prevent other dental problems. TMJ issues can create:

Damage to Teeth

The night-time teeth grinding (bruxism) that comes with TMD can present significant problems for your teeth. All of that extra stress wears down dental enamel quickly. This can eventually affect biting and chewing, as well as the overall appearance of your smile. Teeth that have been ground down by bruxism have to be restored by your dentist with a dental crown, which can be costly. However, when caught early, a mouth guard can be used to prevent damage to teeth.

Stress on Jaw Joints

Involuntary jaw clenching and the pressure of persistently grinding teeth means that the joints and muscles connecting both jaw arches are working overtime. This can produce tightness and soreness in your jaw. Clenching and grinding is also the cause of the clicking and popping sounds that many patients with TMD hear when they move their jaw, chew, or open their mouths to take a bite of food.

Aches and Pains

Unfortunately, jaw pain does not remain localized. Soreness or discomfort in jaw joints can radiate outward to cause neck and shoulder pain, with the persistent stress on teeth and muscles also producing more and frequent headaches for TMD patients. Some patients also experience a sense of ringing in their ears as symptoms progress.

TMJ Therapy

Often, the best way to treatment TMJ issues is to establish a healthy bite by obtaining a protective oral appliance from your dentist. Improved occlusion helps properly distribute stress on joints and a mouth guard protects teeth from the effects of night-time grinding.  Dr. Jeff Colquitt at our Dallas dental office helps patients find relief from TMJ pain, restores teeth, and builds healthy bite alignment. Please call our team for more information about side-effects of TMD and how we can help treat them.

7/6/2015 11:17:00 AM | Anonymous

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Jeff Colquitt, DDS blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Jeff Colquitt, DDS, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!


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