Bone Grafting FAQs

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.

What is bone grafting?

Bone grafting is a minor surgical procedure performed in the dental office under local anesthesia to rebuild bone in areas where it has been lost. Grafting material can be placed into a tooth socket as soon as a tooth is extracted, or in an area where a tooth has been missing for some time. Your body will then grow new bone cells, replacing this graft material over the next several months.

Why would I need this procedure before getting a dental implant?

A dental implant should last a lifetime. In order to do so, however, it needs to fuse securely to your jawbone. If you have insufficient bone volume there, your chance for success with dental implants won't be as high as it should be. Why would this happen? Bone quality and quantity almost always deteriorate when a tooth is lost, though you may not notice this is happening. Sometimes, by the time a person decides to have an implant placed, there may not be adequate bone left to ensure success. That's why we often need to place a graft first. That's also the reason you should replace a tooth as soon as possible and why many dentists recommend placing a bone graft at the time of extraction (View Step by Step Example).

Where does the grafting material come from?

It can come from a variety of sources, including your own body. These days, however, laboratory-processed bone from a human or animal donor (usually a cow), as well as synthetic materials, are frequently used.

Is it safe?

There are no safety concerns with grafting material that come from your own body. However, this method does have a disadvantage in that it involves creating a second surgical site — the place from which the bone is obtained. Mineral bone substitutes, whether they are coming from human donor bone or animal bone, pose little risk of infectious disease transmission as they undergo meticulous safety screening. Both have a similar level of risk, due to the extensive and rigorous processing the material undergoes at the highly reputable tissue banks used. This results in graft materials that have proven to be extremely safe. Also, you may be interested to know that mineral graft materials do not remain in the body but are naturally absorbed and replaced by your own bone over time.

Does the procedure hurt?

Bone grafting involves a small incision in the gum to gain access to the bone beneath it. Therefore, you may experience some post-operative soreness. Most people find this can be managed with ice packs applied to the jaw and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and/or pain relievers.

How long does it take to heal?

You should feel back to normal in a day or two. But at this point the bone-regeneration process will have only just begun. Over the next several months your body will continue to deposit new bone cells and remove the grafting material.

Can my body reject the graft?

No, because it does not contain any genetically coded or living material — only minerals. The sole issue is how much bone your body will make in response to the graft. If the appropriate level has not been achieved by the time the graft has healed, more grafting material can be added at the same time the implant is placed.

Related Articles

Bone Grafting - Dear Doctor Magazine

Can Dentists Rebuild Bone? Yes they can! It is very important to maintain bone volume following removal of a tooth so that dental implants remain a viable option for tooth replacement. This is easily accomplished with today's routine bone-grafting techniques... Read Article