Tag : snoring

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Prosthodontists vs. Cosmetic Dentists

 

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This week is National Prosthodontics Awareness Week! Ever wondered about the difference between prosthodontists and general, or cosmetic dentists?

Everyone’s heard of the term “cosmetic dentist,” but prosthodontists undergo more rigorous and advanced training to specialize in the restoration of teeth, and they are also fully trained in general dentistry as well. They are recognized as a specialist by the American Dental Association, and as of last year, there were only 3200 prosthodontists in the US, compared to some 170,000 cosmetic, or general dentists.

Some of the services that prosthodontists offer are dental implants, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, and jaw treatments for snoring and sleep apnea. These services require a great deal of skill, and we are so happy that our very own Dr. Khal Ajlouni is an award-winning prosthodontist! You can feel secure and comfortable that you are in great hands.

At DaVinci Dentistry, we are here to answer any questions you may have about any of our prosthodontic services. We are conveniently located in Southlake, and serve patients in Grapevine, Colleyville, North Richland Hills, Keller, and the HEB corridor. Call us at 817-251-9333.

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Treating obstructive sleep apnea: CPAP therapy vs. oral appliances

You’ve discussed your symptoms with your dentist. You diligently completed the at-home sleep study. Then there’s the diagnosis. You do indeed have obstructive sleep apnea. Now what?

When it comes to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, you have several options that accomplish the same goal — keeping the airway open to ensure you get the oxygen you need during sleep — but in very different ways. As you weigh your options, it may help to understand two of the most common forms of treatment: CPAP machines and oral appliances.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine.

A full face mask for a CPAP machine

CPAP therapy

CPAP — continuous positive airway pressure — machines operate much like their description. The machine prevents your throat from collapsing when you inhale during sleep by providing a constant stream of air pressure. It consists of prongs that fit into your nose, and a mask that covers the nose or both the nose and mouth. Connected to the mask is a tube through which the air passes from the machine to your throat.

Oral appliances

Similar in appearance to a sports mouthguard, the most common dental appliances for sleep apnea fit over the upper and lower teeth like a retainer. Known as mandibular advancement devices, they have a pole-like attachment that pushes the lower jaw forward and down, propping the mouth open and preventing the throat from collapsing during sleep.

How we can help

When it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea, we at DaVinci Dentistry know there’s no one-size-fits all solution for everyone. CPAP machines may indeed be the best option for some patients. But for those who cannot tolerate them (noise, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, and mask leaks are among the most common complaints), dental appliances provide a viable solution. The fact that they are silent, simple to use and portable is appealing to many patients.

If you experience drowsiness on a regular basis and snore at night (or are told by a bed mate that you snore), talk to us about it. As dentists trained in dental sleep medicine, we can coordinate the sleep studies required for diagnosis and fit you with a custom-made appliance. Call 817-251-9333.

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Snoring versus sleep apnea

Annoyed woman covering her ears with pillows to block out snorinWhen it comes to snoring and sleep apnea, some people may struggle to figure out the difference between the two. Snoring is extremely common, and it affects 90 million Americans. It may occur nightly or intermittently.

So what causes it, and how is it different than obstructive sleep apnea?

Snoring occurs when the collapsible part of the airway — where the tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula — strike each other when breathing, creating a vibration. In this situation, the airway is partially closed.

Some of the most common causes of snoring include:

  • obstructed nasal passageways;
  • excessively bulky throat tissue; and
  • poor tongue and throat muscle tone.

Sleep apnea, on the other hand, is caused when the airway completely closes. The tongue falls against the soft palate, and the soft palate and uvula fall against the back of the throat, so when your chest rises to inhale, no air comes in. This can occur hundreds of times throughout one night, and each episode may last mere seconds to more than a minute. Sometimes those with this condition may snore; other times not. In either case, daytime drowsiness is a hallmark symptom.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition, because not only does it prevent you from getting adequate sleep, it can increase the likelihood that you will experience a host of other problems ranging from depression and headaches to increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and even stroke.

In Texas, dentists in addition to sleep physicians may treat patients for this disorder. The first step is to talk with us. If you are experiencing frequent snoring, we can order a sleep study, and depending on the results, fit you for a custom oral appliance designed to prop the airway open at night. Whether your snoring is simply that — snoring — or an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea, we’ll help you get the answers you are looking for, to get the rest you need. Scheduling an appointment with DaVinci Dentistry is the first step. Call 817-251-8333.