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Can a dentist help me regarding snoring or sleep apnea?

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious affliction which at times can be life threatening. It is defined by a series of events where a person actually stops breathing during sleep for as long as ten seconds. The lack of oxygen to the brain is damaging and the required rejuvenation through sleep is lessoned.

Most often people complain (actually their spouse) about snoring and snoring is one of the common indications that sleep apnea may be occurring.  Other symptoms include morning headaches, excessive fatigue during the day, choking or gasping during sleep, insomnia and waking with a dry mount or sore throat.

If one suspects that they have sleep apnea, remember this can be life threatening, one should consult ones physician. A sleep study or an electronic sleep monitor may be necessary to reach a diagnosis. Snoring alone is not definitive of sleep apnea.

The goal of treatment is generally to improve the airway and assure a better and more consistent flow of air to the lungs during sleep. The treatment of sleep apnea varies. In some cases changing ones posture during sleep improves the airway. Losing weight (easier said than done admittedly but this is important after all) can open the airway as well. Surgery can create a larger airway. Finally the patient may need a breathing mask, which uses positive but gentle air pressure to provide more air to be breathed. Finally the dentist can make a special mouthpiece, which guides the lower jaw to a more forward position, which opens the airway.

The appliance the dentist can provide is a pair of clear custom made shells – one for the upper jaw and one for the lower jaw. The two are connected with adjustable elastic which as mentioned, repositions the lower jaw forward of ahead slightly but enough to open the airway and prevent snoring. (You can try this yourself. Jut your lower jaw forward until your lower teeth are ahead of the upper and try to make the snoring sound. When the lower jaw is forward enough, no snoring sound can be made!)

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, consult with the dentist. The construction of the snoring appliance has to be coordinated with other dental treatment such as dental veneers, implants, braces and so forth.

I thought braces take two years or more of treatment. How can this be done in only six months?
The goal is to move and realign only the upper front teeth, the lower front teeth or both. No effort is made to move the back teeth, and the "bite" does not change;
Are braces painful?
Some minor discomfort is common during the first few treatments. Once the teeth become accustomed to being moved, discomfort diminishes rapidly.
Can you tell me about
When the front teeth are crowded, space must be made to allow the teeth to be properly aligned. A very small amount of enamel is removed, creating a small space that allows the teeth to move. Slenderizing does not significantly alter the tooth's appearance, nor does it make the tooth prone to sensitivity or tooth decay.
What are the risks associated with orthodontics?
Risks include staining of the enamel or tooth decay, particularly if the braces are not kept clean. Root resorption - where the root of the tooth dissolves - is exceptionally rare in accelerated orthodontics. There is no direct relationship between accelerated orthodontics and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) syndrome.
Is this innovative cosmetic treatment appropriate for adults, children or both?
Accelerated orthodontics as a cosmetic treatment is primarily for adults, generally for those over age 25. Children usually have greater needs and greater opportunities to perfect the bite as much as possible.
What are the usual ways to pay for this treatment?
We have several payment methods available, including, for those who qualify, twelve-month financing with 0% interest.
Is accelerated orthodontics covered by dental insurance?
Some insurance policies cover orthodontics, and some do not. We have information regarding approximately 5,000 different insurance groups, and our office staff will be happy to assist you with your insurance questions and concerns.