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Questions and Answers

Published: Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Why is a dentist involved in treating Sleep Apnea?

 

This is a question we often get at our office and at Current Dental Discussions seminars that we speak at, and a good question at that!

Dentist, who are trained in Dental Sleep Medicine, work hand in hand with Sleep Physicians and Pulmonologist in treating a variety of Obstructive Sleep Apnea issues.  After a sleep study is done and a diagnosis is made by the Sleep Physician or Pulmonologist the patient can then be given their options for treating their Obstructive Sleep Apnea issues.

In the case of either Mild or Moderate Sleep Apnea, the patient can choose between treating their disorder with either a CPAP machine, or an Oral Appliance.  These two approaches have similar levels of effectiveness; however offer different methods of delivery to the patient.  A pulmonologist would administer and manage the CPAP approach and a trained Dental Sleep Medicine dentist would fabricate and manage the use of an Oral Appliance.  A dentist is trained in taking impressions and managing occlusions (bites), which are affected with the use of an Oral Appliance.

In our practice, we have found considerable success in treating Mild and Moderate sleep apnea with the use of Oral Appliances.  These devices are like retainers that advance the mandible (lower jaw) forward during sleep, to open the obstructed airway.  We have found that patients adapt to these readily and since they need no electricity or hoses,  they are easier to travel with and are very convenient when at home.

 

 

 

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Published: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

How old should my child be to come to the dentist?

We suggest bringing your child with you to “your” cleaning appointment at about age 3. This allows the child to see the process of how we clean teeth. We will try to begin “counting” their teeth to get your child comfortable in the chair when they are ready. It is very important that you, as the parent, brush your child’s teeth every day. It is preferable to brush after breakfast and before bed.

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Published: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

How long does it take to have an implant done?

Implants are made of titanium and are placed in the site where the tooth will eventually be. The area is then allowed between 4 and 6 months to heal and “integrate” with the surrounding bone. After that time, a crown can be fabricated on the integrated implant.

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Published: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

If I have a crown, will I need a root canal?

Not all teeth that need crowns will need root canals. If the nerve of the tooth is still healthy, then the top part of the tooth can be replaced with a crown. However, most teeth that have had a root canal will need a crown. Teeth with root canals can become weaker with time and a crown will reinforce the tooth, allowing it to function longer.

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