Same-Day Dentistry in North Richland Hills

Having a trustworthy dentist’s office in your community that offers same-day dental care can make a huge difference when a dental emergency arises. If your mouth is injured or a major dental concern rears its head, the sooner you seek treatment, the better the outcome. Here’s what you need to know about North Richland Hills Dentistry and our same-day emergency dental services!

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Wondering when a dental issue is considered an emergency? Here are some of the most common dental issues that require urgent dental care.

Same-Day Emergency Dental Care

North Richland Hills Dentistry offers same-day emergency dentistry for our community. Please make sure to call us as soon as an emergency arises so that we can get you into our office quickly. When you are in pain, you don't want to spend time hunting for a dentist who can fit you in. Or worse, suffer through the pain until your next appointment.

Be Prepared!

Emergencies are by nature, unexpected. However, it’s still important to have a plan in place. There are a few things you can do to better navigate a stressful situation such as a dental injury. First, make sure you have our office number written down at your house and in your phone contacts. This allows you to reach out to us right away without having to search for our number. We also recommend keeping a small dental emergency kit in your house and your car. In your kit, we recommend having clean gauze, a small container with a lid, over-the-counter pain medication, mouth-numbing cream, and hydrogen peroxide. This way you'll be prepared to stop bleeding, disinfect a wound or transport a knocked out tooth as you head to our office.

Emergency Prevention

You can prevent the need for some types of emergency care by keeping up with twice a year preventive visits. Regular exams allow our team to catch potential problems in their early stages. Additionally, while it's hard to prevent all accidents, some can be avoided when we fit your active family members with athletic mouthguards.

Emergency Dentist in North Richland Hills

Are you looking for a go-to dentist in North Richland Hills? We'd love to help. We offer a wide range of preventive, restorative and cosmetic treatments, in addition to emergency dentistry. Please contact our office to schedule your visit!

Contact Us Today!

Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Everything You Need To Know About Dental Fillings

If you get a cavity, a dental filling is the most common fix. What are fillings made from? Does the process hurt? Here’s everything you need to know.

What Are Fillings?

Dentists use materials like porcelain, composite resins, and even gold to make fillings. The material acts as a patch that fills in a dental cavity. Fillings prevent further decay, treat any pain, and strengthen your tooth. At North Richland Hills Dentistry we offer tooth-colored composite fillings. We like this restorative option because composite fillings are strong and they blend in with the rest of your smile.

What’s It Like To Get a Filling?

Once we’ve determined that you need a filling, we'll numb the area. Next, we'll remove the decay from your tooth. This keeps bacteria from spreading. The final step replaces the part of your tooth destroyed by decay with the composite filling. Most of the time, we can complete a filling in about an hour. If you have several cavities that need fillings, we might need more than one appointment. You won’t feel pain during the procedure, but your teeth might feel slightly sensitive for a short time afterward.

How Do You Care for a Filling?

Fillings don’t require any special care. Continue brushing, flossing, and coming in for regular cleanings and exams with Dr. Desai. Fillings can break down or crack, so you might need to replace yours at some point. Most fillings last for years before replacement is necessary. Prevent lost fillings and cracked teeth by avoiding hard or super chewy foods that can damage your teeth. If a filling falls out or breaks, it’s considered a dental emergency, so please give us a call!

Dental Fillings at North Richland Hills Dentistry in TX

Every cavity is different, so we’ll always assess the specific situation and discuss your options. We use dental fillings regularly, so we’re happy to answer any questions you might have. Regular preventive care exams allow us to detect cavities early while they're still small. Please contact us today if you want to learn more or if you want to book an appointment!

Contact Us Today!

Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

What Is Being Under Sedation Like?

If you struggle with anxiety at the dentist or need a more complex procedure, sedation may be necessary. What’s dental sedation like? It depends on what kind you get. Here’s what you can expect.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a sweet-smelling blend of oxygen and nitrous oxide. You wear a mask over your nose during your treatment, breathing in the gas. You’ll feel relaxed - maybe even a little giddy - but you won’t feel anxious. You’ll also remain alert and conscious the whole time. When we’re done, we’ll remove the mask and you’ll feel normal in just a few minutes. Then, it’s safe for you to drive yourself home.

Oral Conscious Sedation

With this type of sedation, you’ll take a pill before your appointment. You’ll enter a sleepy, dreamy state. You might fall asleep because you’re so relaxed, but you’re not "going under." You’ll still be aware of what’s going on around you. It takes longer for the effects of oral conscious sedation to wear off, so you’ll need a ride home.

IV sedation

IV sedation lets us control exactly how much sedative you get. You’ll be awake and able to answer questions, but you most likely won’t remember your treatments. Because of the sedation’s strong effects, someone will need to drive you home.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is the only sedation method where you’re unconscious. You won’t feel or remember anything. We use this sedation for especially complicated dental treatments. A friend or family member will need to take you home afterward.

Safe, Stress-Free Dental Sedation at North Richland Hills Dentistry

If you’re anxious about visiting the dentist or need a certain procedure, dental sedation is a great option! We always look at your medical history before recommending sedation. Dr. Desai and the team want your experience to be as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If you have questions about what sedation is like or want to schedule an appointment, please contact our North Richland Hills office today!

Contact Us Today!

Electric Toothbrush vs. Regular Toothbrush: Which Is More Effective?

Wonder if you’re doing all you can to optimize your dental routine? If you’re wondering if you’re using the right kind of toothbrush, the answer might be personal. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of manual and electric toothbrushes.

Electric Toothbrush: Pros

When it comes to dentistry, technology is your friend! Some studies have shown that an electric version can provide a superior clean. There are also some other reasons why you might consider a switch. Electric toothbrushes can be much easier for people with limited mobility to use. They also often come with helpful features, such as a built-in timer or pressure sensor. Plus, many users--kids especially--find that using an electric toothbrush makes brushing fun!

Electric Toothbrush: Cons

As with anything, there are some downsides to using an electric toothbrush. They are more expensive at the outset than a traditional toothbrush. Also important to consider: they need to be fully charged or they won't be effective. That means keeping the toothbrush plugged in or having a battery handy.

Manual Toothbrush: Pros

One of the best things about sticking with a traditional toothbrush? They're portable and easy to use. No need to charge or replace batteries, your toothbrush will be ready to go when you are. Additionally, manual toothbrushes are cheap and can be found in all kinds of stores. And most importantly, manual toothbrushes are tried and true. They're proven to cut plaque. So, you really can't go wrong.

Manual Toothbrush: Cons

Generally, the cons of manual toothbrushes are solved by an electric toothbrush. People with braces, arthritis, or other issues that hinder their ability to brush can have trouble manoeuvering an electric toothbrush. And without a motor doing most of the work for you, it can be easy to brush too hard with a manual toothbrush.

Total Care in North Richland Hills, Texas

We can’t stress this enough: manual or electric, what’s most important is that you’re brushing your teeth multiple times daily! Round out the routine with dental floss, a healthy diet and biannual visits to North Richland Hills Dentistry for your routine cleaning and exam! Contact us for all of your oral health needs!

What Are Teeth Made Of?

Have you ever thought about what your teeth are made of? Here, we’ll give you a rundown of what’s inside your pearly whites.


But first, let’s discuss what exactly is inside your mouth. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth, meaning the teeth that come in after you’ve lost your baby teeth. The middlemost four teeth on your upper and lower jaws are called the incisors and there are 8 in total. Next are the 4 canines, the pointed teeth that are next to the incisors on both the upper and lower jaws. Then there are the 8 premolars which are the teeth that are in between the canines and molars on the upper and lower jaws. Next are the molars, which are the 8 flat teeth in the back of the mouth that are used to grind up your food. Last are your 4 wisdom teeth all the way in the back. These are usually removed after they’ve erupted in order to prevent them from displacing other teeth.

Now onto what’s inside your teeth.


The first layer of your tooth is called the enamel. It is the hardest part of your tooth and made of calcium phosphate. It acts as the first line of defense against any dental issues such as cavities. Acid can weaken the enamel and lead to tooth decay.


Dentin is the next layer and is hard tissue that contains microscopic tubes. It’s more delicate than your enamel and if that outer layer is weakened, cold and heat can reach the dentin and cause tooth sensitivity. Naturally yellow in color, if your enamel has thinned out, the dentin layer can show through and cause your teeth to look discolored.


The next layer is called the pulp. This is the soft, living inner structure of the tooth, considered living because connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels run through the pulp to nourish the tooth. The pulp has two parts: the pulp chamber, located in the crown of the tooth, and the root canal, located in the root of the tooth. Blood vessels and nerves enter the root and go through the canal into the pulp chamber.


The cementum is the next layer, and is composed of connective tissue that covers the outside of the root under the gum line. Cementum is hard as bone and firmly binds the roots of the teeth to the gums and jawbone.

Periodontal ligament

The last part of your tooth is called the periodontal ligament. This is a tissue that holds the teeth against the jaw.

We Care About Your Teeth!

We care about your teeth and overall oral health. If you have any other questions about the composition of your teeth, any oral health concerns, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Can Problems with Teeth Give You a Headache?

Sometimes, dealing with the side effects of a dental problem can feel like a headache. Other times, your teeth may be directly responsible for your headache! Today, we want to discuss some of the ways your teeth and mouth can be responsible for your headaches so you can get the answers and treatment you need to feel your best.

Grinding Your Teeth Can Lead to Headaches

Do you grind your teeth at night? In addition to potential damage to your teeth from grinding, nocturnal teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) can lead to headaches during the day. Grinding your teeth at night puts additional strain on your jaw muscles that can cause tension headaches. In order to treat tooth grinding and alleviate the resulting headaches, our team will work to determine the root cause of your teeth grinding. Common causes include stress, bite alignment issues, and sleep apnea.

Jaw Issues & Headaches

A misaligned bite can cause ripple effects throughout your head and mouth. When your bite is off, the muscles in your jaw need to work harder to help you chew and talk. This results in muscle strain along with popping, clicking, and locking in the jaw. Even worse, this can cause pain to radiate throughout your head and cause headaches. To treat alignment issues, Dr. Desai may turn to orthodontic options or a custom oral appliance that gently shifts the position of your jaw while you sleep.

Toothaches & Headaches

Toothaches resulting from cavities and infections can also lead to headache pain. However, headaches caused by tooth decay are typically just on one side of the head and can be eased by treating the damaged tooth through root canal therapy, fillings, or through other means.

Contact Us for Treatment Options

If you’ve been living with regular headaches, our team wants to help. The first step in treating your headaches will be to determine the root cause. Then, we will work together to come up with a treatment plan that gives you the relief you need. To ask our team any questions or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

What Is a Dead Tooth?

Of all the tooth trouble you could be faced with, a dead tooth might sound the most dire by name, and certainly the creepiest. In this blog post, we’ll let you know how to spot a dead tooth, and help you understand why you might have one.

What’s a Dead Tooth?

When a tooth is healthy, the pulp and the nerves that reside within its hard, outer shell are healthy, and it’s considered alive. When that matter within the tooth is damaged, thanks to decay or injury, it is possible for blood flow to the tooth to halt, causing the tooth to die.

What Causes a Dead Tooth?

One possible cause is trauma. If you have an accident and your tooth gets hit with enough force, the tooth might end up dying. That death can occur quickly, or it might take months. Poor dental care is another common cause of tooth death. If you fail to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist for your biannual cleaning and exam, you’re putting your teeth at risk and a dead tooth can come as a result. Without proper oral hygiene, cavities are nearly inevitable. If left untreated, that decay targets and infects the tooth pulp, leading to that loss of blood flow and the eventual loss of the tooth’s vitality.

Spotting a Dead Tooth

The most apparent and outward sign of a dead tooth is discoloration. While healthy teeth should be a shade of white, if a little bit yellow, a dead tooth will stand out amongst the other teeth as discolored. Dead teeth can be yellow, brown, gray, or black, and that discoloration tends to deepen over time. Additionally, if you’re dealing with a dead tooth, you may feel pain, experience foul breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth, or see swelling around the affected tooth.

If you think you might have a dead tooth, it’s crucial that we tend to the tooth quickly so that the problem doesn’t spread. Make an appointment to come see us here at North Richland Hills Dentistry as soon as you can.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Is Phantom Tooth Pain?

Phantom tooth pain—also variously known by the technical names "atypical facial pain," "atypical odontalgia," and "neuropathic orofacial pain," is one of the most mysterious conditions in the field of oral health. Chronic pain in a tooth or teeth is the defining characteristic. However, unlike the typical toothache, there is no evidence of decay, periodontal disease, injury, or other identifiable cause.


Constant throbbing or aching in a tooth, teeth, or extraction site that is persistent and unremitting is how phantom tooth pain is usually described. In addition, hot or cold sensations do not significantly affect the pain, and even local anesthetic often cannot relieve it. The intensity ranges from mild to severe.

What Causes It & Who Is Most Likely to Get It?

It is theorized that phantom tooth pain is caused by changes in parts of the brain that process pain signals, causing a persistent sensation of pain even when an identifiable source of pain does not exist. Why this happens, however, is not known. Genetics, age, and gender seem to play a role, with women and those older than middle-age being the most affected.

How Is It Diagnosed & Treated?

If a review of the patient's history, a thorough clinical examination, and radiographic assessment cannot identify the source of pain, a diagnosis of phantom tooth pain is often made. Various medications have been used in an attempt to treat it, with tricyclic antidepressants being the most common. Generally, treatment is successful in reducing the pain but not eliminating it completely.

If you have any symptoms of phantom tooth pain, be sure to contact us at North Richland Hills Dentistry right away so Dr. Desai can evaluate your specific situation and help you determine the best course of action.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

What Is a Frenectomy?

A frenectomy sounds serious and scary, so when your dentist says you may need one, it’s common to feel a little nervous. We’ll explain what this procedure actually entails, and if you should take any precautions with your oral health before or after you’ve had one.

What Are Frenula?

A frenulum is just a small bit of tissue that helps prevent a particular organ from moving much. They are very helpful in keeping everything in their place, giving you more control over those particular parts of your body.

Frenectomy Definition

A frenectomy involves removing a frenulum. There are three types of frenectomies that are common in dentistry:
1. Lingual: Removal of the tissue that connects your tongue and mouth floor.
2. Labial: Removal of the tissue that connects your upper lip to the gums of your upper teeth.
3. Gingival: Removal of the gum tissue that connects two teeth.

Why Would I Need a Frenectomy?

Sometimes, frenula can actually cause harm, especially when they are overgrown and begin to add unnecessary discomfort and pressure on surrounding tissues. We have seen this occur with the aforementioned frenula, which can cause pain, gum recession, gaps between teeth, ability to properly speak and eat, and impact the function of teeth.

Frenectomies usually happen while the frenula are still developing or have just developed, so they are more common in children (either before or just after permanent teeth come in) in order to prevent further damage.

Frenectomy Procedure

Frenectomies are easy and painless procedures, and involve a simple laser to remove the excess tissue. In fact, the procedure usually lasts for around 20 minutes, and there isn’t much down time necessary after the procedure is over!

Your child’s dentist will be able to check their frenula growth during their exams, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to schedule routine dental appointments and examinations twice a year. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we’re dedicated to delivering superior service to all of our clients. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Relax at the Dentist with Dental Sedation

Does the thought of a dental appointment make you nervous? You’re not alone. Dental care has come a long way, and it’s more comfortable now than ever to receive a dental treatment. That being said, dental anxiety is a real issue, and it can prevent you from having a beautiful, healthy smile. Dental sedation allows you to have a relaxed, stress-free visit so that you can reap the benefits of top-notch dental treatment without the fear. Here is a handy guide of 3 types of dental sedation so you can determine which can best help you.

1. Nitrous Oxide

Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide allows you to feel completely at ease yet conscious during your procedure. With this sedation technique, a small mask will be placed over your nose so you can inhale the nitrous oxide. Once your procedure is over, the effects of nitrous oxide dissipate quickly so you won’t need someone to drive you home and you won't feel groggy hours later.

2. Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation helps you feel restful during your procedure while also allowing you to be conscious and awake. All you have to do is take a prescription medication one hour before your treatment to feel the effect. It does take a few hours to wear off after your treatment is over, so make sure to set aside time to rest and recover after your treatment and arrange a ride home beforehand.

3. IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation dentistry is great for those who aren’t scared of needles. It’s a very powerful form of dental sedation, and many patients don’t realize how much time has passed from the moment that they receive sedation to the moment that they wake up! If you’re worried about how much pain you will experience during your treatment, then this is a great option for you.

Visit Our Comfortable Office!

It’s our priority to deliver comfortable, expert care here at North Richland Hills Dentistry, so dental anxiety and the fear of discomfort don't hold you back from taking care of your oral health. We encourage you to visit our office, ask questions, and take advantage of our wonderful amenities. Don't forget to take a look at our patient specials. To schedule your next appointment or to ask our friendly team questions about our dental sedation options, contact us today!

Dental New Years Resolution

It's the start of a new year, and many of us are thinking about New Year’s resolutions about our health. Whether you’re looking to spend more time in the gym, eat better food, or cut back on the alcohol, the beginning of the year can be a great opportunity to kickstart a positive change in your life.

As you're committing to making positive changes in your life, why not commit to improving your dental health? At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we hope you’ll consider making a dental New Year’s resolution! If you need some ideas, we’ve come up with three resolutions to get your started.

1. Create a Routine

We’re all busy, and sometimes skimping on brushing your teeth can seem like an easy way to save a few minutes. However, doing so will probably just cause more problems. One of the best ways to avoid most major dental problems is to practice good preventive care. This means brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once each day, and visiting our office for regular cleanings and exams.

2. Floss Daily

Brushing twice daily is great, but if you aren’t supplementing brushing with regular flossing, you are making it easy for plaque to build up on your teeth and along the gum line in areas where your toothbrush just can't reach. Your teeth have five surfaces, and if you don’t floss, you leave at least two of those surfaces unclean. If you need help kickstarting your flossing routine, check out some of the neat flossing gadgets on the market, like the Waterpik®, floss threaders, and flosser picks.

3. Eliminate Soda

This one’s easy – if you’re looking for a quick fix to improve your health and strengthen your teeth, consider cutting out soda. The sugar in soda feeds the bad bacteria in your mouth, which then create acids. This acid can damage the enamel on your teeth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Instead, replace soda with water, milk, or some vegetable juice.

We hope these tips have given you and your family some good ideas for New Year’s resolutions! To ask our team what resolutions they recommend or to schedule your next appointment at our office, call us today.

How Smoking Affects Teeth

Most of us know that smoking increases your risk for cancer and can negatively affect your health. However, the effects of smoking on your teeth are often overlooked. Smoking discolors your teeth, increases your risk for gum disease, causes bad breath, and can also cause oral cancer. Today, we want to discuss each of these harmful effects of smoking, as well as ways that you can manage and treat them.


After years of smoking, the nicotine in cigarettes can stain your teeth yellow or even black in extreme cases. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we offer in-office whitening treatment that can help restore the natural beauty of your teeth. However, keep in mind that continued smoking can make it difficult or impossible to treat discoloration.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, and smokers are almost twice as likely to develop gum disease as non-smokers. Smoking weakens your mouth’s natural ability to fight off bacteria. When bacteria grows and builds up on your teeth, it can eventually travel to the gums. This causes them to pull away from your teeth and underlying bone structure. Left untreated, teeth can fall out or need to be extracted.

Bad Breath

It’s no secret that the smell of smoke permeates almost everything it touches, and the same goes for your mouth. Cigarette particles may remain in your mouth long after you finish smoking, and there they fester among bacteria, causing bad breath. Often, the only way to permanently treat this bad breath is to quit smoking.

Oral Cancer

Smoking and the use of tobacco products can lead to mouth or throat cancer. If you’re a smoker and/or a heavy drinker, this increases your risk of developing oral cancer even more. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the more effective treatment can be.

If you’re a smoker, Dr. Desai will work closely with you to provide a personalized plan to help mitigate and treat the effects of smoking on your teeth. If you’re looking for help quitting, we can also provide helpful resource materials. No matter who you are, be sure you’re practicing healthy oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice daily, flossing, and getting regular cleanings and exams at our office. To schedule your next appointment, give us a call or submit our online contact form.

Why Nutrition Matters For Your Teeth

Having a healthy, balanced diet does good for the whole body, including your teeth! While it may not seem like what you eat has any effect on your oral health, the truth of the matter is: it does. Which nutrients are best for your smile?

The Effects of a Bad Diet on Teeth

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “sugar rots your teeth.” As extreme as it sounds, it’s true! Teeth are strong, yet highly sensitive to overly acidic foods and drinks like sugary snacks and coffee. Just like consuming too much candy, dried fruit, soda, and wine are bad for your waistline, they are also damaging to your teeth. They stain and eat away at the enamel, or protective layer of the tooth, which makes way for cavities and tooth decay.

Even some healthy foods like citrus can be damaging for your teeth due to their high acidity. Eating citrus in moderation, like all things, is the best way to ensure that it doesn’t harm your teeth.

Tooth-Friendly Foods

Many of the foods that are good for your overall health are good for your teeth as well. Crunchy, fibrous foods like apples and nuts eliminate bacteria from the surface of your teeth without having to brush them. They also contain vitamins that keep your teeth strong. Calcium-rich foods like cheese and yogurt promote strong and healthy tooth enamel. Spice up your dishes with garlic and ginger, which are also great at fending off bacteria that can damage your teeth.

Wondering what you can drink to keep your teeth strong? Try plain water! Water naturally washes bacteria and plaque off of your teeth and is effective at flushing out toxins from your body too.

The Secret Ingredient

When paired with good nutrition, having a solid dental routine is the ideal way to maintaining a healthy smile. Consistent brushing and flossing are excellent, but seeing a dentist every six months is also necessary. Dr. Desai and the staff at North Richland Hills Dentistry are happy to discuss your oral healthcare needs. Be sure to check out our specials and contact us to schedule an appointment!

Do You Really Need to Change Your Toothbrush After Being Sick?

You've probably heard it before: after being sick, change your sheets, disinfect surfaces, throw out those tissues, and change your toothbrush. You don't want to reinfect yourself with germs that are still hanging around after an illness so that all sounds sensible. But is that last one really necessary? Let's take a closer look.

The Case for Replacement

Since we're all thinking it, let's get the first reason out of the way: Mom told us to do it, so we've gone along with it all these years! She's never told us why, though, other than a need to get rid of germs. Colgate and Oral-B both say that you should replace your toothbrush after an illness like the flu or a cold because of the risk of germs hiding in bristles leading to reinfection. But since we're still living in the same space where we were just holed up on the couch sick all weekend, do we really think we're magically escaping the germs with a bit of disinfectant and some laundry?

The Case for Keeping

If you're regularly replacing your toothbrush anyway and it's not time to replace it just yet, an illness may not be a reason to rush to the store to buy a new one. When you get sick, your body fights off that specific illness by developing antibodies, and you won't reinfect yourself with that same illness.

The American Dental Association doesn't have much to say about the question and never specifically states that you should replace your toothbrush after an illness. It does acknowledge that bacteria on toothbrushes is very common, and that's why we recommend regular replacement.

So When Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

Dr. Desai follows the general recommendation of replacing a toothbrush every 3-4 months. When you brush, you transfer bacteria from your toothbrush to your mouth and vice versa. Keeping that toothbrush around much longer than a few months just isn't sanitary. If you have a compromised immune system or other health issues, we may recommend more frequent replacement, but we would be happy to discuss your specific needs at your next appointment. Call us today to schedule!