Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Your sleep impacts every aspect of your health and daily life. Sleeping well helps you look, feel and perform your best. But a sleep problem can be harmful to your health and well-being. One of the most common sleep problems is obstructive sleep apnea. Learn more about the warning signs and how you can get help.

About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can cause them to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.

Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, repeated breathing pauses occur, which often reduce your oxygen levels. These breathing pauses are followed by brief awakenings that disturb your sleep.

Common signs of sleep apnea include snoring and gasping or choking sounds during sleep. Like snoring, sleep apnea is more common in men, but it can occur in women too, especially during and after menopause. Having excess body weight, a narrow airway or misaligned jaw all increase the risk of sleep apnea.

Is Treating OSA Important?
Treating obstructive sleep apnea is incredibly important to your health. When left untreated, sleep apnea often causes excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, as well as morning headaches and memory loss. Sleep apnea also is a threat to your safety as it increases your risk of drowsy driving and workplace accidents. Untreated sleep apnea raises your risk for serious health problems. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic acid reflux
  • Erectile dysfunction

Severe, untreated sleep apnea even increases your risk of death.

How is OSA Diagnosed?
Kleinheinz Dentistry is proud to offer a Free Sleep Study. Call our office for more information. 704-542-6003.

How is OSA Treated?

Dr. Kleinheinz can discuss treatment options with you. We will provide a FREE SLEEP STUDY at your convenience.

  • Oral appliance therapy uses a mouth guard-like device - worn only during sleep - to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.

Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.

Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for.

If you decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then Dr. Kleinheinz will recommend a prescription for you to receive a custom-made sleep apnea appliance. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. We prescribe and make the FDA approved appliances. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. We will do a complete benefits check upon your scheduled appointment.

Natural tooth vs dental implants.Decades of research have established that dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth; that's why we recommend using them whenever possible. There is simply no other option that offers the same advantages (View Top Reasons to Choose Implants). However, we need to make sure the requisite conditions exist in a person's mouth to ensure the high success rates normally associated with this life-changing treatment. Are you a candidate for dental implants? Let's examine the criteria for success.

Implants are placed into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure done at the dental office. To create a lasting connection that will anchor your new teeth for a lifetime, there needs to be sufficient bone volume and density in the jaw to support the implants. Adequate bone is not always present because bone loss always follows the loss of a tooth. That's because bone is a living tissue that rebuilds itself constantly. To do so, however, it needs a particular type of stimulation, which comes from the teeth. When even one tooth is lost, the bone beneath it begins to melt away, or resorb. The longer the tooth is missing, the greater the bone loss.

In the past, individuals who waited too long could not have implants because they lacked sufficient bone. Today, it has become quite common to regenerate the jawbone with routine bone-grafting techniques. To accomplish this, dentists most often use laboratory-processed material that stimulates the body's own ability to regenerate bone, rather than moving bone from one part of a patient's body to the site of the missing tooth. In fact, bone grafting material is often added to an extraction site when a tooth is removed, just to make sure implants remain a viable option.

There are some situations where the use of implants might have to be delayed: For example, in a child, it would be ideal to wait until growth and development of the jaw has been completed. Or, in the case of individuals with diabetes, the underlying medical condition should be controlled before proceeding. Once that is accomplished, these individuals can achieve success with implant replacement teeth that is comparable to what people without chronic medical conditions experience.

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants is to make an appointment to come in and see us. We would be happy to examine you and discuss all of your tooth-replacement options.

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