Dental Care for Veterans

we offer dental care for veterans in Dallas County

DENTAL CARE FOR VETERANS IN DALLAS COUNTY, TX

Giving back to those who have sacrificed so much for us.

At Desoto Family Dentistry, our commitment to the community transcends the confines of our dental office. We are exceptionally proud to be the only dental provider in Dallas County partnering with the Community Care Network and VA Dentistry program to provide veterans with affordable dental care where a large portion or all costs are covered. This collaboration enables us to offer life-changing dental treatments to DeSoto and Dallas County veterans to make life a bit easier after what they have done for our country.

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What is the VA Dentistry Program? 

The VA Dentistry program is a remarkable initiative under the Department of Veterans Affairs aimed at providing affordable dental care for veterans. The program defines eligibility criteria based on various factors, such as disability rating, prisoner of war status, and service-related conditions affecting the oral cavity. Once approved, veterans can receive an array of dental treatments funded by the program, thereby significantly reducing or eliminating out-of-pocket costs.

How Veterans Can Apply For This Program

It is important to know that the VA must first approve veterans interested in benefiting from these programs. Luckily, at DeSoto Family Dentistry, we’ll take care of the paperwork and directly coordinate with the VA, making the process seamless and stress-free for you. Through these programs, eligible veterans can access various dental treatments, providing quicker access to the dental treatment veterans need!

The Importance of Dental Care for Veterans

Dental health is crucial to overall wellness, especially for our veterans. That’s why we put in the work to become the only dental office in Dallas County offering a pathway for veterans to receive affordable dental care. 

Dr. Varkey is one of the only dentists in Dallas County offering free dental care for veterans

Our Dental Services for Veterans

Dental Cleanings

Regular cleanings are foundational for oral health. For veterans, routine dental cleanings facilitated through the Community Care Network and VA Dentistry programs are essential to maintaining a healthy smile.

Root Canals

Often feared but critically important, root canals are vital for saving decayed or infected teeth. Eligible veterans can have this procedure covered, preserving their smiles for years.

Bridges

Missing a tooth has far-reaching implications, affecting your ability to eat, speak, and maintain a confident smile. Dental bridges, approved through the VA, can restore function and aesthetics.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures offer a flexible and removable solution for multiple missing teeth. Custom-crafted to fit your mouth, these appliances bring comfort and functionality back into your life.

Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep appliances alleviate sleep apnea symptoms, ensuring a more restful night’s sleep. Veterans approved through the VA program can sleep easier with this treatment option.

Limitations and Financing Options

The VA Dentistry program does not cover orthodontic treatments and dental implants. However, we offer flexible financing options for veterans interested in these services. Veterans can learn more about our financing options here!

Veterans, Contact Our Office to Learn More!

If you’re a veteran needing affordable dental care or know someone in need but can’t afford treatment, please contact our DeSoto dental office. We’re here to make your journey to dental wellness as seamless as possible. Your service to our nation is immeasurable, and it’s our honor to serve you in return!

Disclaimer: Although Desoto Family Dentistry will do everything we can to get a veteran’s application accepted, we can’t guarantee dental treatment for veterans in every case. Treatment is subject to approval by the Community Care Network and the VA Dentistry program.

Get a Healthy Smile Today!

Contact us & plan your visit

To schedule a visit, fill out our appointment request form or call our office. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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Sleep Apnea Treatment

SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT IN DESOTO, TX

Rediscover a restful night’s sleep

Do you always feel tired or find your partner complaining you’re constantly snoring? Then it may be time to speak to a professional. But where should you turn first? Your doctor? A pulmonologist? Wrong! Your first port of call is in fact your local dentist! 

At DeSoto Family Dentistry, our trusted dentist Dr. Varkey specializes in sleep apnea treatment in DeSoto, TX. His unique approach ensures that each patient receives the attention and care they deserve.

Dr. Varkey talks about diagnosing sleep apnea, common and uncommon symptoms, and how to monitor it both in-office and with a device you can use at home.

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What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. The most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.

Recognizing the Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is often difficult to diagnose because most of its common symptoms occur during sleep. It’s crucial to be aware of these signs and seek professional help if you experience several of them frequently. We urge you to pay attention to the following symptoms:

1. Loud and Chronic Snoring: This is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. It’s important to note that not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. However, if your snoring is paired with gasping or choking sounds, it could indicate this sleep disorder.

2. Exhaustion After a Full Night’s Sleep: Individuals with sleep apnea often wake up feeling tired, despite sleeping for an appropriate amount of time. This can be due to the disruption in the sleep cycle caused by apnea episodes.

3. Daytime Fatigue or Sleepiness: This symptom is a direct result of interrupted sleep at night. If you find yourself excessively sleepy or fatigued during the day, sleep apnea might be the culprit.

4. Difficulty Concentrating: Frequent disruptions in sleep can lead to difficulty with focus and concentration during daytime hours.

5. Morning Headaches: These are often a result of reduced oxygen levels in the blood during apnea episodes, which can cause dilated blood vessels and subsequently result in a headache.

6. Frequent Night-time Urination (Nocturia): This is a lesser-known symptom but can also be an indicator of sleep apnea.

7. Depression or Mood Changes: Sleep deprivation, a common occurrence in sleep apnea patients, can lead to feelings of depression, irritability, or other mood changes.

If you or a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek professional assistance. 

How We Identify Sleep Apnea

At DeSoto Family Dentistry, we follow a systematic approach to diagnosing sleep apnea. Dr. Varkey begins with a comprehensive review of your medical history and a discussion of your symptoms. This initial evaluation may involve a simple, yet critical questionnaire about sleep habits, quality of sleep, and daytime sleepiness.

Following this, Dr. Varkey conducts a thorough oral examination. He checks the mouth, throat, and teeth for any abnormalities or physical factors that could contribute to sleep apnea, such as enlarged tonsils or a recessed jaw that might obstruct the airway during sleep. He will also look for signs of bruxism, worn-down dental work, and a wide neck circumference.

If sleep apnea is suspected based on the clinical evaluation, patients are typically referred for a sleep study, which is the gold standard for diagnosing sleep apnea. Unlike traditional sleep studies, Dr. Varkey provides an at-home sleep study kit so you can take the test in the comfort of your own home. The sleep study monitors various functions during sleep including heart rate and oxygen levels in the blood. This comprehensive test can accurately determine the presence and severity of sleep apnea.

After a diagnosis is confirmed, Dr. Varkey takes a collaborative approach by consulting with sleep medicine specialists and your physician to develop a personalized sleep apnea treatment plan. The objective is always to alleviate symptoms, improve sleep quality, and prevent the potential health complications associated with untreated sleep apnea. 

Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea

Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to various health complications such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Worsening of ADHD

It also results in poor sleep quality, leading to daytime fatigue, irritability, and decreased productivity. As such, treating sleep apnea is crucial not just for the quality of your sleep, but also for your overall health.

Oral Sleep Appliances

As a leading expert in sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Varkey employs various dental solutions to help patients breathe easily and sleep better. These include oral appliance therapy, in which a device is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the airway from collapsing by holding the tongue in position or sliding the patient’s jaw forward to open up the airway.

Unlike CPAP equipment that forces air into your lungs, an oral sleep appliance opens your airway naturally. When you wear your oral sleep apnea appliance, there’s no bulky equipment to get in the way of a restful night’s sleep. Instead, you can breathe normally and see an improvement in your sleep quality as quickly as the very first night you use your device.

As a leading expert in sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Varkey employs various dental solutions to help patients breathe easily and sleep better. These include oral appliance therapy, in which a device is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the airway from collapsing by holding the tongue in position or sliding the patient’s jaw forward to open up the airway.

Advantages of Oral Sleep Apnea Appliances

  • Discreet
  • Quiet
  • Doesn’t bother others around you
  • Easy to travel with
  • Can be combined with CPAP
  • Ideal for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • May eliminate the need for a CPAP

Why Choose DeSoto Family Dentistry for Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dr. Varkey is personally invested in your sleep apnea treatment because his very own family was deeply affected by this common sleep disorder. Dr. Varkey lost his dad to a heart attack linked to untreated sleep apnea, so he is dedicated to finding solutions that will restore your health and sleep quality.  

Our sleep apnea treatment in DeSoto, TX is tailored to meet your unique needs, ensuring an effective, comfortable solution. Dr. Varkey will work closely with your specialist physician to determine the best course of action for your case. 

Common Questions about Sleep Apnea Treatment 

Q: What symptoms suggest that I may need sleep apnea treatment?

A: Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, morning headaches, insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, attention problems, and irritability.

Q: How can a dentist help with sleep apnea?

A: A dentist, like Dr. Varkey, who is trained in sleep medicine can provide oral appliance therapy. This therapy involves custom-fitted oral devices that help keep the airway open during sleep, hence reducing sleep apnea symptoms. You can read more about how dentists can screen for sleep apnea here.

Q: Is oral appliance therapy comfortable?

A: Yes, oral appliance therapy is comfortable. The devices are custom-made to fit your mouth and should not cause discomfort.

Q: How soon can I expect results from the treatment?

A: Results from sleep apnea treatment can often be noticed within a few days to a week of starting therapy. However, the exact timeframe can vary from person to person.

Q: Are there any side effects of oral appliance therapy?

Side effects are generally minor and temporary. They may include excessive salivation, dry mouth, or mild discomfort.

Q: Does insurance cover sleep apnea treatment?

A: Many insurance plans do cover sleep apnea treatment. We recommend checking with your insurance provider for the specifics of your coverage.

Get Help for Sleep Apnea in Desoto, TX

If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Varkey at DeSoto Family Dentistry. We are committed to providing the best sleep apnea treatment in town and helping our patients lead healthier, happier lives.

Get a Healthy Smile Today!

Contact us & plan your visit

To schedule a visit, fill out our appointment request form or call our office. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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TMD/TMJ Treatment

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TMD/TMJ Treatment

TMD/TMJ Treatment

TMJ Problems? Let Us Help!

Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJ) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people of all ages. People who suffer from TMJ experience moderate to severe pain and suffering that in many cases are avoidable through several treatment options to correct what is commonly called a “bad bite” but refers to the misalignment of teeth.

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What Is the Difference Between TMJ and TMD?

Although often used interchangeably, TMJ and TMD are not technically the same, even though they are indeed related. The temporomandibular joint, TMJ, acts like a hinge that slides in your mouth and connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ is the actual part of the body. TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorders, defines the actual problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMD can cause pain in those muscles that control jaw movement and your jaw joint. 

Because the terms are often used interchangeably, one can assume that TMJ and TMD refer to the same thing – a disorder in the jaw joint that leads to pain and discomfort.

While more people know it as TMJ vs. TMD, that is how we will refer to it going forward in addressing your TMJ questions.

If you think you might have TMJ, schedule an appointment with Dr. Praveen Varkey. He will happily discuss the treatment process that is best for you.

What Causes TMJ? 

The exact causes of TMJ  have not been discovered; however, dental professionals believe that symptoms arise from various issues with your jaw muscles or with parts of the joint area itself. 

If you have had an injury to your jaw, jaw joint, or the muscles surrounding your neck and head, such as a heavy object blow or whiplash, this can lead to TMJ.

Other causes of TMJ include:

  • Movement of the soft disc between the socket and ball of the jaw joint
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth causes pressure on the joint
  • Stress which causes clenching
  • Arthritis of your joint
  • Stress and anxiety that leads to clenching and grinding
patient with severe jaw pain who needs urgent TMJ treatment in DeSoto

What Are the Symptoms of TMJ?

TMJ can cause severe discomfort and pain, and it can be temporary or last for a few years. It can also affect either one or both sides of the face. It is most common among people aged 20 to 40, and studies suggest that it occurs mainly in women than men.

TMJ symptoms include:

  • Tenderness or pain in your jaw joint area, face, neck, and shoulders, 
  • Pain around your ear when you speak or chew
  • Lock or stuck jaw when in the open-or closed-mouth position
  • Fatigue feeling in your face
  • Headaches
  • Popping, grating, or clicking sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This might not be painful.
  • Swelling on your face
  • Uncomfortable bite or trouble with chewing. This might feel like your teeth do not fit together correctly.
  • Problems with opening/closing mouth
  • Toothaches

How Is TMJ Diagnosed?

Dr. Praveen Varkey will conduct a physical exam and talk to you about your medical health history to figure out if you have TMJ or not. Many other conditions cause similar symptoms to TMJ symptoms, such as sinus issues, arthritis, and tooth decay, so it’s important to see a professional to address the root problem. 

Dr. Praveen Varkey will check your jaw joints for tenderness or pain and listen for pops, clicks, or grating sounds when you move them. They will also ensure that your jaw works well and doesn’t lock when you close or open your mouth. They will also check for issues with your facial muscles by testing your bite.

You may require a full facial X-ray so that Dr. Varkey can better view your temporomandibular joints, jaws, and teeth to rule out any other potential oral problems. Other tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computer tomography (CT) may also be required. 

dentist in DeSoto doing a full facial X-ray in order to better view the jaw for tmj treatment

If your TMD is severe, Dr. Varkey may need to refer you to an oral surgeon (maxillofacial surgeon) for further treatment and care. This type of surgeon specializes in surgery in and around the entire face, jaw area, and mouth.

At-Home Remedies for TMJ 

Treatments for TMJ can cause pain relief, and there are various treatments you can do at home to relieve some of the TMJ symptoms. Dr. Varkey may suggest that you try some of these remedies together before seeking further medical help:

  • Heat or cold packs to soothe the painful area
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Eat soft foods
  • Don’t rest your chin on your hand
  • Keep your teet apart slightly
  • Avoid extreme jaw movements
  • Learn jaw relaxation techniques

Treatment for TMJ in Desoto

Apart from self-care treatments for TMJ, Dr. Varkey may also recommend the following treatments that can be done at our dental practice in Desoto:

  • Medications such as NSAIDs (anti-anxiety, anti-depressants) that are only available by prescription but can help ease stress which relives jaw clenching
  • Dental work such as braces or overbite correction surgery
  • A splint or night guard
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Trigger point injections
  • Deep heat ultrasound
  • Radio wave therapy
  • TMJ Surgery

Botox for TMJ

Botox treatment for TMJ can be highly effective. Botox treatments have been found to significantly decrease pain and increase mouth movements for three months following the treatment. Another study found that TMJ symptoms improved in 90% of participants with TMJ.

If you would like to consider botox to treat your TMJ symptoms, Dr. Varkey will happily assist you with any questions you might have.

Get TMJ Treatment in Desoto Today

If you would like to learn more about TMJ treatment in Desoto, please schedule a consultation today or give us a call. Our compassionate and experienced team will happily assist you.

dentist in desoto tx

Get a Healthy Smile Today!

Contact us & plan your visit

To schedule a visit, fill out our appointment request form or call our office. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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Preventive Dentistry

PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY

There’s No Reason To Live With Tooth Loss.

We want to be your partners in establishing and maintaining a top-notch preventive program. Our goal is to keep dental disease and other bad news away from your teeth. Whether it is a regular cleaning or more advanced dental work, we strive to maintain the quality of our work and ensure that all your dental needs are met with excellence.

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Why Preventive Dentistry is Important

Many people associate the word “dental appointment” with anxiety and dread. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including past bad experiences or in most cases how dentists were once portrayed in the media. The truth is, a visit to the dentist is a great way to save money, pain, and suffering, in the long run. It helps you detect any serious oral health problems in their early stages as well as prevent any possible issues.

Preventive Dentistry emphasizes preventing dental problems, instead of waiting for them to occur and then looking at solutions. Preventive dentistry is especially important for children as it helps them develop healthy gums and teeth as they grow older.

The Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

Stay Informed: Staying informed is important not only for your oral health but also for your overall health. Many people believe that brushing and flossing your teeth every day is enough to give your teeth the sparkle they desire and prevent oral health issues. This is not true. While brushing is an important step in oral hygiene, patients should also visit a dentist to have their mouth examined to detect other health issues related to their oral health. By visiting the dentist, you stay informed about your oral health and can make the best decisions for your future.

You Save Money: Most people avoid going to the dentist because they are trying to save money. While dental appointments can be expensive, they aren’t as costly as they might be if the patient has a condition that could have been avoided. Replacing a tooth is much more expensive than preventing decay in the first place!

Maintain A Healthy Smile: Even with daily flossing and brushing, small areas of the mouth can still be missed. Plaque becomes harder to remove, and can solidify into tartar. This build-up is also how cavities form and can lead to gum disease. Regular cleanings of the teeth prevent tartar from eroding them or creating holes.

How To Maintain Your Oral Health

Things you need to take care of:

  • Brushing and flossing daily
  • Keep sugar intake low
  • Scheduling regular cleanings and check-ups with us

Things we will take care of:

  • Keeping your teeth clean and polished
  • Checking your teeth, gums, and jaws for signs of any issues
  • Heading off any problems at the pass

Together, we will keep you and your beautiful smile at its best and brightest!

General Dentistry in Desoto TX

At Desoto Family Dentistry, we believe that prevention is the best cure! To maintain good oral health, it is important to have regular dental check-ups and thoroughly follow up with any ongoing dental procedures. This will also help us detect any serious oral health problems in their early stages as well as prevent any possible issues.

Schedule your visit with us today, we can’t wait to see you!

Get a Healthy Smile Today!

Contact us & plan your visit

To schedule a visit, fill out our appointment request form or call our office. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

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