Monthly Archives: April 2018

A Fix for Sleep Apnea: Oral Surgery

A Fix for Sleep Apnea: Oral Surgery

Resorting to oral surgery for sleep apnea might sound dramatic, but it’s often necessary when non-invasive methods do not work to relieve symptoms. It’s important to understand how dangerous sleep apnea is for your health and consult with both your doctor and oral surgeon to formulate a comprehensive plan for treatment.

A Fix for Sleep Apnea: Oral Surgery

Sleep Apnea Is a Health Threat

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that obstructive sleep apnea affects 18 million adults. When you fall asleep, do you frequently wake up gasping for air? Do you snore loudly? These are two of the most common symptoms, but there are other signs this could affect you as well. If you frequently feel tired during the day or have headaches regularly, it could be related to a lack of quality sleep because of obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea causes the tissues in the back of the throat to collapse and block your airway while you sleep. Your brain wakes up just enough to restart breathing. Usually, this happens after your body hasn’t taken a breath in over a minute, and it can happen up to 500 times per night. Thus, you are never able to fully enter and stay in a deep sleep cycle.

Obstructive sleep apnea’s taxing effect on the body means you’re at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. You may also be more prone to developing Type 2 diabetes, liver problems and elevated blood pressure.

Conservative Treatments First

If symptoms aren’t extreme, your doctor may recommend using an oral appliance to keep your mouth tissues in place during sleep. They can also prescribe a CPAP machine to deliver oxygen all night. You may also be advised to lose weight if this is a contributing factor.

Surgical Procedures Help

If none of the above strategies works, a surgical procedure could reduce the symptoms of this condition through physiological alterations.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPP)

A UPP procedure shortens the soft palate by removing a portion of the uvula. Reducing the amount of soft tissue in the mouth leaves more space for airflow. This is one of the most common types of oral surgery for sleep apnea.

Hyoid suspension

This procedure anchors the neck’s hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple). This clears a larger space and stabilizes the airway.

Genioglossus advancement (GAA)

Commonly performed with either a UPP or hyoid suspension, this procedure shortens and subsequently tightens the tongue’s front tendon so it is less likely to collapse during sleep and block the air passage.

Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA):

This procedure is the most dramatic of all the options, moving the upper and lower jaws as well as the mouth’s soft tissues forward to open the airway. This is recommended in patients who do not have enough space to facilitate clear breathing during sleep.

Is Surgery Right for You?

If you’ve exhausted all other sleep apnea treatments, it might be time to explore oral surgery for sleep apnea. At Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we support you in exploring all options to relieve sleep apnea symptoms permanently. It’s good for your health, both today and for the long term.

How to Choose a Dental Implant Surgeon 

How to Choose a Dental Implant Surgeon 

Your dental implant surgeon is an important person in your care plan. You trust them for recommendations on when and how to get the procedure done and what you should do to take care of your mouth during the healing process. So you should think carefully about who you choose to fill this role.

How to Choose a Dental Implant Surgeon 

What should you do before choosing a dental implant surgeon?

Look at Your Insurance Policy

What will your insurance take care of, and what are you responsible for? If your insurance will cover dental implants, it’s likely they will prioritize in-network providers and may not subsidize costs for a dental implant surgeon outside of their network. In many cases, however, implants are categorized as aesthetic improvements, so your insurance may not pay anything.

Either way, talk to your insurance company prior to making a decision.

Review Their Resume

When you find a dental implant surgeon you prefer, make sure you review their credentials closely. While dental surgeons are required to undergo extensive training, you want to make sure that their experience lines up with what you need. Do they have a demonstrated knowledge of implant surgery and modern techniques? Ask about their certifications and continuing education.

Consider the Environment

In what setting will the procedure take place? It’s important to ensure that your surgery will be conducted in a comfortable, safe, sanitary environment. Do they perform procedures in their office or at a local clinic or hospital?

When you know what to expect and you’re satisfied with the quality of the care you’ll receive, you will be less stressed leading up to your surgery date.

Get Your Dentists’ Take

Many dentists have oral surgeons they recommend to their patients based on their professional experience working with them. It’s always good to get your dentists’ endorsement of your surgeon since they will be working in conjunction with the surgeon to deliver your care.

Come to Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

At Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we understand what’s at stake, and it’s more than just your teeth. You want to look good, feel good and eat anything on the menu. You want to get the best return on your investment and to feel confident in the expertise of your dental implant surgeon.

We aim to deliver on every want and need through our comprehensive, attentive patient services. Set up your consultation today and let’s make a plan for full tooth restoration through transformative dental implants.