How Dental Implants Work

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.

Dental implant components.Dental implants, which are made of a biocompatible titanium alloy, serve as substitutes for the roots of missing teeth. They are not visible because, just like natural tooth roots, they lie beneath the gum line. Only the lifelike dental crowns that are attached to them are visible to you or anyone else. Once your implants are placed during a minor in-office surgical procedure, they will actually fuse to your jawbone in a process known as osseointegration.

To facilitate that osseointegration process, we use implants made by BioHorizons. These implants have a uniquely engineered thread design that allows for incomparable initial stability of dental implants so that patients can receive teeth the same day as their surgery. The implants also have cell-sized microchannels created by lasers that can secure the attachment of gum cells to the implant, also unique to BioHorizons. The attachment formed between your jawbone and your implants will be permanent, which explains why implants are the longest-lasting tooth-replacement option.

If you are missing more than one tooth, you do not necessarily need one implant for every tooth you are replacing. If the teeth you lost were all right next to each other, we may be able to create a dental bridge using implant teeth rather than natural teeth as supports (View Example). To do this, we will place implant teeth on either side of the gap left by your missing teeth. The remaining space between the implant teeth will be filled in with as many dental crowns as you need to bridge the gap. In other words, you will have a row of completely convincing prosthetic teeth, but only some of them will have implant “roots” beneath them.

If your missing teeth are scattered throughout your mouth, however, you may need to have individual implants placed for each one, or a combination of bridgework and single implants. If all your teeth are missing, you have a choice of fixed bridgework, fixed dentures, or removable dentures — all of which can be supported by implants. We will go over all of your options in detail with you. Learn more about fixed vs. removable dentures.

Learn more about all of your dental implant treatment options.

What to Expect

Dental implant surgery is a simple, routine procedure carried out here in the dental office under local anesthesia in most cases. If you need to have failing teeth removed, that will be done first. After the area is numbed, the implants will be placed in your jaw at precisely planned angles and positions to maximize support and avoid anatomical structures such as nerves and sinuses. Depending on how many implants you need, the surgery can take anywhere from one to three hours. Most people who have dental implants placed find that any post-operative discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Some don't need any medication at all.

Usually, the implants will be left to heal for several months before any teeth are attached. During this time they will complete the process of osseointegration. You will need to go easy on your new implants during this crucial healing phase to ensure the best results. We will advise you as to what foods you should temporarily avoid. Of course, once the implants have fused and the permanent crowns are attached, you will be able to eat anything you want! At that point, the only thing you will need to do is take care of your implant teeth just as you would your natural teeth — with regular brushing, flossing, and periodic professional cleanings here at the dental office. With proper care, your implants should last a lifetime.

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