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February 7, 2016

Good dental care starts early

Filed under: General Family Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:26 pm

early dental careIt’s never too soon to start good dental hygiene habits. Your child can start visiting the dentist as soon as the arrival of her first tooth, and you can start instilling good habits even before that. Encouraging your child to take care of her teeth is the best way to ensure she will have strong teeth and a bright smile into adulthood.

Beginning Good Dental Habits

Before your child’s first tooth arrives, you can get him used to cleaning his gums by wiping them gently with soft gauze. This will help reduce the amount of bacteria in his mouth and will also help him get used to having his mouth cleaned on a regular basis.

When the first teeth arrive, you can start using a small, soft toothbrush, preferably one designed specifically for babies. If you use toothpaste, also use a product designed for babies, and follow the directions carefully. You won’t need a large amount of toothpaste, so use the recommended amount. Excess fluoride in your baby’s diet at this young age can cause permanent discoloration of his teeth. Consult with your dentist if you have any questions about what kind of toothbrush or toothpaste to use.

As Your Child Grows Older

As your child gets older, she’ll want to start brushing her teeth on her own. Special toothbrushes for the younger set are easier to grip and maneuver. With a special toothbrush, she’ll be more able to brush thoroughly and effectively. You’ll still want to help her, or even give her another brushing after she’s brushed on her own to be sure her teeth are nice and clean.

Flossing is more difficult for children, and can take time for them to learn. Your family dentist can help you find floss sticks that make it easier for children to maneuver the floss. These often come in fun shapes and bright colors that appeal to children, helping make sure they’ll use them regularly.

If you need ideas for how to teach your child to brush and floss, or guidance regarding the best toothbrushes, toothpastes, and floss, please contact us at the office of Joseph R. Loftus today!

January 5, 2016

How to prepare for dental emergencies

Filed under: General Family Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:23 pm

emergency dental careIf you’ve ever fallen and injured your mouth or teeth, you might have needed emergency dentistry. Just in case of injuries to the mouth, you should always be prepared for a dental emergency so you can apply first aid before heading off to the dentist for more comprehensive treatment.

Responding to Dental Injuries

Immediate emergency dentistry can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth. Dental first aid can also help prevent infection and keep the wound from becoming more serious, particularly if you can’t get to the dentist right away. If you’re prepared for this kind of injury, you’ll be able to respond that much more quickly.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a dental first aid kit ready to go. The necessary materials can be kept along with your standard first aid kit, or in a special, separate kit specifically for oral injuries. It should include:

  • Gauze to stop bleeding
  • Mouthwash to help clean wounds
  • Toothpaste or denture adhesive to temporarily hold lost crowns or fillings in place
  • A small cup or a special kit to preserve a knocked-out tooth

A knocked-out tooth should be seen to by a dentist as soon as possible. If you don’t have a kit specially designed for preserving a tooth that’s been knocked out, you can fill a small cup with water or milk and use it to transport the tooth to your dentist.

When to See the Dentist

Some injuries to the mouth are not severe and don’t require a trip to the dentist. However, if any teeth are loose, broken, or have been dislodged, you should see the dentist right away. With immediate care, these teeth might be salvageable. Without professional medical treatment, though, they’re more likely to be lost permanently.

Lost crowns and fillings should also be attended to promptly. In the meantime, you can use toothpaste or a denture adhesive to hold them in place. Other injuries, such as lacerations, bruises, tears or cuts, can be treated at home if they are minor, but if they require stitches or other special care, see a doctor as soon as possible.

Keep our office on speed dial in case of a dental emergency! Call us and our caring staff will be ready to help!

December 3, 2015

Are you prepared for a dental emergency?

Filed under: General Family Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:21 pm

dental emergencyParents, caregivers and babysitters alike have at one time or another been faced with a dental emergency involving a broken tooth, bloody lip or worse. When these problems occur, it would be to turn to that could take care of the situation.

Having access to a dental provider during normal business hours is wonderful. But many dental emergencies occur after your dental office is closed for the day or week-end. Having a dentist that has an emergency number to reach them after hours is certainly a plus in the event of an emergency.

Posting that after-hours number in a conspicuous place inside your home would aid all family members and those responsible for their care. Carrying that same number in your wallet is also wise because accidents don’t always occur at home.

If a tooth is knocked out, it is critical to reach your dental provider and be seen within one hour if possible. But what should you do between an accident and reaching your dental office? The tooth should be rinsed off being careful not to handle the root of the tooth. If possible, the tooth should be replaced in the socket and held in place during transport to the dental office.

If you are dealing with a very young child or the patient is very upset, placing the tooth in a glass of milk during transport might be a better alternative than trying to replace the tooth.

Some dental emergencies might appear worse than they are. If you chip a tooth, but there isn’t any discomfort or swelling, this likely is not an emergency. You should contact your dentist and be seen during normal office hours, but an after-hours call would not be necessary.

A child that has punctured the soft tissue inside their mouth or their lip can bleed making the wound look very serious. Generally rinsing the mouth and applying ice and a compress will be sufficient unless it is obvious that sutures are required. This is a judgment call, but if the bleeding is controlled, seeing your dentist immediately is usually not necessary.

Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency can make you a hero if the need arises. And having access to your dentist after office hours guarantees you will be prepared for any dental emergency.

To learn more tips on how to handle a dental emergency in Dallas, TX, contact our experienced team at Joseph Loftus, DDS.

November 6, 2015

Why do I need root canal therapy?

Filed under: Restorative Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:18 pm

Root canalRoot canal therapy retains a bad reputation as a difficult and uncomfortable procedure, but in reality, it is similar in many ways to having a tooth filled. It can also be the only way to save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

The root canal is the name for the space inside the tooth where the tooth pulp and the nerve are found. When these nerve-rich, sensitive tissues become inflamed or infected, root canal therapy may be necessary in order to keep the tooth. To perform this treatment, your dentist or periodontist uses special tools to remove the infected tissue from the tooth interior. The cavity is then sterilized and filled with a special gel. To ensure the tooth remains usable, it is treated with a crown.

Treating a tooth in this way prevents the infection from spreading out of the tooth and into adjacent areas. An untreated infection in the tooth can spread into the jaw or facial bones. It can even move into the sinus cavities and, in very serious situations, can affect the brain. With proper treatment, the infection can be eliminated, protecting you from serious side effects.

Why Is Root Canal Therapy Necessary?

A root canal treatment is necessary to treat infection in the tooth’s interior. This can occur under a variety of circumstances, the most common of which are:

  • Severe decay
  • Trauma to the tooth
  • Severe tooth damage

This type of treatment can become necessary when a tooth is broken in an accident or fall. It can also be necessary if a tooth that has already been filled or crowned develops additional damage, such as cracks, that lets bacteria into the tooth’s interior. A seriously damaged tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted, can be preserved and will remain usable with root canal therapy. You will be able to bite and chew normally after your tooth has been treated.

Call our office at 972-587-4020 to speak with one of our caring team about your root canal therapy options.

October 8, 2015

A Smile Makeover: Are Veneers My Only Option?

Filed under: Cosmetic Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:14 pm

smile makeoverCosmetic dentistry is a great way to correct any issues you might have with the appearance of your teeth. It can help you feel better about the way you look and give you much-needed self-confidence. One popular cosmetic option is the smile makeover, which combines a number of treatments to give you your best possible smile.

What is a Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is more than just veneers. Veneers could be a part of your treatment, but you could also choose from several other possible options. The treatments you choose depend entirely upon what you’d like to see improved about your smile.

You and our dentist will work together to decide on the best approach, but some of the most common cosmetic dentistry options employed in a smile makeover include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Invisalign
  • Tooth-colored crowns or fillings
  • Tooth-colored bonding
  • Porcelain veneers

Choosing a combination of treatments allows you to address several issues that might be bothering you. It can also save you time and money, since your dentist can often schedule two or more treatments for the same appointment.

Choosing Your Smile Makeover

Your smile makeover will be designed by you and your dentist to provide exactly the treatment and results you desire. You’ll consult with him to discuss how you want your teeth to look after treatment is completed. There should be before and after pictures of previous clients that you can examine to give you an idea of what your teeth will look like after treatment.

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist is also important. Referrals are the best way to find a reliable dentist you’ll be happy with. During your consultation, ask about anything you’re unsure about. The more knowledge you have about your treatment, the more likely you are to be happy with your eventual results.

Call us at the office of Dr. Loftus to schedule your appointment or a consultation with him to ask any questions you may have.

December 12, 2014

Start the New Year off Right with Preventive Dentistry in Dallas, TX

Filed under: General Family Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:12 pm

preventative dentistryHappy New Year! Yes, 2015 is right around the corner. A new beginning, a clean slate, a fresh start. Why not get 2015 off on the right foot with a visit to the dentist? Dr. Joseph R. Loftus is the dentist Dallas, TX, turns to for preventive dentistry that guards against oral health problems in order to build and maintain happy smiles for your entire family.

As a general and family dentist, Dr. Loftus focuses on prevention. The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is no truer than with preventive dentistry. With this in mind, and in keeping with the recommendation of the American Dental Association, Dr. Loftus and his team would like to see you at least every six months for dental checkups. At these regular intervals, we are able to track your oral health and monitor for any changes.

At a checkup, we will clean your teeth, examine your soft tissue for any signs of gum disease, remove plaque and take x-rays when necessary. Of course, if we find any problems, then Dr. Loftus will treat with expediency. For example, in the case of a cavity, a filling is necessary in order to prevent the advance of decay, which can lead to infection, root canal or even the loss of a tooth. Likewise, gum disease may need to be treated with a deep cleaning, root scaling and planing, or the use of antibiotics.

Don’t Forget the Kids!

Children need checkups with the dentist just as often as moms and dads. They will have the same type of checkup, but Dr. Loftus may recommend fluoride treatments or dental sealants for the little ones. Fluoride strengthens enamel, and sealants create a barrier between decay-causing bacteria and their teeth.

Schedule an Appointment Today

To get your New Year off to a good and healthy start, call the office of Dr. Joe Loftus in Dallas, TX, today. We also serve patients from communities throughout North Dallas and the surrounding areas, including Addison, Irving, Plano, Frisco, Richardson and more.

November 10, 2014

Your 75248 Dentist

Filed under: General Family Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:10 pm

Family dentistIf you’re one of the hundreds of new residents who move to north Texas everyday—and we’re glad y’all are here!—then you’ll need to find a dentist that you can trust to take care of your family’s oral health and wellbeing. But even if you’re Texas born and bred, finding someone who cares about you and your family the way you do is important. Dr. Joe Loftus in Dallas, TX, has been looking after his patients with devotion and genuine concern for almost 20 years. Dr. Loftus would be delighted to take care of you and your family, too.

As a family man himself—Dr. Loftus and his wife have one daughter and one son—he can empathize with your desire to provide the best care for your family. And Dr. Loftus is well-qualified to be the dentist your family turns to for general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. After graduating high school, he headed straight for the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry and earned his bachelor’s and doctor of dental surgeries degrees in only six years as opposed to the usual eight years. Dr. Loftus is a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association and has studied with Frank Spear at the renowned Scottsdale Center for Dentistry.

Dr. Loftus loves the way his work allows him to better his patients’ lives by improving their smiles, looking after their oral health and often enhancing their overall health. But Dr. Loftus is not the only one in his office who feels this way. Dr. Loftus’ staff—from the dental hygienists to the front desk staff—feel the same. Patient care and exceptional customer service are the number one priorities. With this in mind, our office accepts several kinds of dental insurance, and we file for you, making sure to maximize your benefits. We also offer financing through Springstone Financial, so you can finance elective treatments with affordable payments. And of course, we accept a number of payment options, including cash, check and credit cards.

Call Our Office Today

So, whether you are new to Texas or are a longtime resident, whether you keep up with dental check-ups or haven’t seen the dentist in, well, a while, Dr. Loftus in Dallas, TX, wants to be your dentist. Schedule an appointment today with your 75248 dentist, who also conveniently sees patients from the surrounding communities of Plano, Frisco, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Addison and Garland.

October 10, 2014

Enjoy the Benefits of Porcelain Veneers in Dallas, TX

Filed under: Cosmetic Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:07 pm

porcelain veneersWhether you are meeting a new person or greeting an old friend, your smile silently speaks volumes about you. Does your smile say what you want? If the answer is “No,” then you may want to consider porcelain veneers. The dental office of Dr. Joseph R. Loftus in Dallas, TX, has helped men and women like you enjoy new smiles that reveal confidence and happiness with porcelain veneers.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers, or dental veneers, fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry and are thin layers of tooth-color dental porcelain or composite that are placed over the surface of one or more teeth. Although veneers are cosmetic, they do provide a protective surface and can sometimes help avoid the need for more extensive repairs. For your porcelain veneers, Dr. Loftus will carefully gauge the color of your other teeth. With this and a mold of your teeth, a dental lab will fabricate your custom-made veneers. Then, Dr. Loftus uses a special dental cement to securely adhere the veneers to your existing teeth.

Porcelain Veneers for Many Reasons

Regardless of how or why your smile needs a boost, porcelain veneers may be the solution to a host of cosmetic issues. Perhaps your teeth show the results of normal wear and tear—chips, cracks or an uneven appearance. Stains to the enamel of your teeth are another common reason why people choose porcelain veneers. This staining may be caused by genetics or the foods and drinks you commonly consume. Porcelain veneers can correct teeth that have gaps or that are made to look worn by teeth grinding and clenching.

With proper care, porcelain veneers are designed to last for years. Brush and floss regularly as with your other teeth, and be sure to avoid biting on hard foods. Your porcelain veneers will speak positively about you!

Call Our Office in Dallas, TX, Today

If you’re ready to talk to the office of Joseph R. Loftus, D.D.S. about porcelain veneers, contact us today. We serve patients in Dallas, TX, Plano, Richardson, Addison, Frisco and throughout the DFW Metroplex.

 

September 10, 2014

Oral Cancer Screening: Protect Your Smile and Your Health with Dr. Joe Loftus

Filed under: General Family Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:05 pm

Oral cancer screeningAn estimated 43,250 men and women are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and only about half of these will successfully fight the disease and continue living beyond the five year point following diagnosis. Because successful treatment is contingent upon early diagnosis and timely treatment, Dr. Joseph R. Loftus provides his patients from throughout Dallas, TX and the surrounding areas with comprehensive general dentistry solutions, including oral cancer screenings.

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Like many other aggressive forms of cancer, oral cancer typically progresses to a state of advanced severity before it presents with obvious symptoms. This is yet another reason that general dentistry checkups are so vital to oral health and continued physical wellness. An oral cancer screening allows Dr. Loftus to closely and thoroughly examine all of the soft tissue surfaces within the mouth using specialized technology to pinpoint areas of potential concern. This is conducive to early detection and the rapid beginning of treatment.

While oral cancer screening cannot be replaced by a simple visual examination at home, there are some signs that you can keep an eye out for between appointments:

  • Red or white patches anywhere in the mouth
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Persistent cough, with or without pain
  • Unexplained bleeding anywhere in the mouth
  • An ulcer that does not heal
  • Lumps or thickening of the skin anywhere in the mouth
  • Pain when chewing or speaking
  • A change in the way your dentures fit

If you notice any of the above symptoms or any other abnormalities, contact us immediately to schedule your appointment. While these symptoms do not necessarily indicate the presence of oral cancer, they are to be considered serious and they do warrant evaluation by your dentist.

Preserving Your Oral Health and Overall Wellness

How long has it been since your last general dentistry checkup? If it has been more than six months, it’s time to contact us to schedule your visit. We look forward to providing you with exceptional dentistry and a kind, caring touch, helping you achieve and maintain optimal oral health for life. Our family-friendly office in Dallas, TX warmly welcomes patients from throughout the DFW Metroplex, including Frisco, Addison, Garland, Plano, Richardson, Irving, Cedar Crest, and beyond.

August 14, 2014

Experience the Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening in Dallas, TX

Filed under: Cosmetic Dentistry — Joseph Loftus DDS @ 9:03 pm

teeth whiteningYour smile is one of a kind, and it’s important that it sends the right message when you show it off. If your teeth have grown dingy and stained over the years, you may feel self-conscious about your appearance, particularly in photographs. Wouldn’t you love to smile freely knowing that your teeth are white and beautiful, free of discoloration caused by foods, drinks, tobacco, and age? Dr. Joseph R. Loftus helps men and women in Dallas, TX and the surrounding areas achieve their most beautiful smiles with a variety of cosmetic dentistry services, including professional teeth whitening.

Choose Professional Teeth Whitening for Real Results

Though it is easy enough to find teeth whitening products at your local pharmacy or grocery store, it’s safe to say that you can’t expect to find lasting results with over-the-counter solutions. While you may see some initial improvement in the color of your teeth with OTC whitening strips and rinses, these formulas simply aren’t powerful enough to provide the long-lasting, brilliant white results you really want. With Opalescence teeth whitening solutions from Dr. Loftus, however, you will see a dramatically enhanced smile that looks years younger in just a single treatment.

At Joseph R. Loftus, DDS, we know that each patient is a unique individual with different needs and expectations regarding their cosmetic dentistry treatment. That’s why we offer a variety of whitening and smile-brightening cosmetic options that can be customized to suit your desires and expectations. We aren’t satisfied until you absolutely love your new and improved smile!

Reserve Your Appointment Today

Teeth whitening is the single most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment performed in America today, and it’s easy to see why. After all, who wouldn’t want a brighter, more beautiful smile? If you’re dissatisfied with the color of your teeth and you’d like to explore the possibilities afforded by professional teeth whitening, we’re here to help.

Contact our office in Dallas, TX today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Loftus and our friendly, experienced staff. Our state-of-the-art practice proudly serves patients from throughout the entire DFW Metroplex, including communities in Plano, Frisco, Garland, Addison, Cedar Crest, Irving, and more.

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