Additional Services

Sleep Apnea Treatment Lakewood

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep.  The term sleep apnea is derived from the Greek etymology meaning “without breath”.  Breathing pauses can last anywhere from several seconds to minutes, and happen as often as 30 times or more per hour.  Ongoing disrupted breathing causes an imbalance between the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the bloodstream, as not enough carbon dioxide is exiting and not enough oxygen is entering the body.

Sensing this imbalance, the brain sends a message to the body, telling it to wake up to restart the breathing process.  People with sleep apnea will partially awake as they struggle to breathe, and this is often accompanied by loud snoring or choking sensations.  Because people with sleep apnea don’t always completely awake during the episodes, they are often unaware they have a sleeping disorder and it can remain undiagnosed.

There are two main types of this disorder; less common central sleep apnea which occurs when the brain fails to send important signals to the breathing muscles, and more common obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when air cannot flow through the nose or mouth even though the body is still trying to breathe.  Obstructive sleep apnea and usually  treatable by the dentist.

Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea can include severe early morning headaches, sleepiness in the daytime, and insomnia. Fortunately, the dentist is equipped with the necessary technology and expertise to treat sleep apnea in several different ways.

Reason for treating sleep apnea

It is very important to seek medical attention if sleep apnea is suspected. A sufferer can completely stop breathing numerous times per hour, and this can quickly turn into a deadly situation. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue lying at the back of the patient’s throat collapses into the airway. The tongue then falls towards the back of the throat which tightens the blockage and prevents oxygen from entering the lungs.

The problem worsens when the chest region, diaphragm, and abdomen fight for air. The efforts they make to obtain vital oxygen only cause a further tightening of the blockage. The patient must arouse from deep sleep to tense the tongue and remove the soft tissue from the airway.

Because sleep apnea causes carbon dioxide levels to skyrocket in the blood and oxygen levels to decrease, the heart has to pump harder and faster to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Sleep apnea has been linked to a series of serious heart-related conditions, and should be investigated by the dentist at the earliest opportunity.

What does sleep apnea treatment involve?

Initially, the dentist will want to conduct tests in order to investigate, diagnose, and pinpoint a suitable treatment. First a sleep study must be conducted to determine if you have sleep apnea.  Then a physician makes a diagnosis on the severity of the sleep apnea.   Mild to moderate sleep apnea are treated using a dental device. The dentist can offer many different treatment options which depend largely on the exact diagnosis and the health of the patient. The dentist may advise the patient to halt some habits that aggravate sleep apnea such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and tranquilizer use.

Sleeping masks (CPAP) are  traditionally used to keep the patient’s airways open while they slept, but nowadays there are some less intrusive options. Dental devices that gently tease the lower jaw forward are very effective in preventing the tongue from blocking the main air passage. These dental devices are gentle, easy to wear, and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries.

Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age.  Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night.  Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.

There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly.  This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again.  Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep.  Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask your dentist

CERAC Lakewood

Technology today is changing our everyday lives. Cutting-edge innovations in dental instruments are requiring less time in the dental chair, causing less discomfort and creating satisfying results. One breakthrough instrument, called CEREC®, allows dentists to quickly restore damaged teeth with natural-colored ceramic fillings, saving patients time and inconvenience.

CEREC® is one of the latest dental technology tools to appear on the dentistry scene. It is a special computer that acts as a dental restoration tool, allowing your dentist to restore decayed teeth, fabricate and place permanent crowns, removes defective amalgam dental fillings,in just one appointment.

What is CEREC®?

CEREC® is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CERamic REConstruction. Translated, it means that a dentist can economically restore damaged teeth in a single appointment using a high-quality ceramic material that matches the natural color of other teeth.

How does the instrument work?

CEREC® uses CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, incorporating a camera, computer and milling machine in one instrument. The dentist uses a special camera to take an accurate picture of the damaged tooth. This optical impression is transferred and displayed on a color computer screen, where the dentist uses CAD technology to design the restoration. Then CAM takes over and automatically creates the restoration while the patient waits. Finally, the dentist bonds the new restoration to the surface of the old tooth. The whole process takes about two hours.

What does this innovation mean for a patient?

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant. Dentists no longer need to create temporaries or take impressions and send them to a lab. Because of this, the traditional second visit has been eliminated. CEREC has two decades of clinical research and documentation to support the technology. The restorations have been proven precise, safe and effective.

coming soon…

Oral conscious sedation is an effective aid to help relax and relieve anxiety in the dental chair. It involves taking a pill one hour prior to the dental treatment and not only increases patient comfort in the chair, but patients typically do not have recollection of the dental procedure. Oral conscious sedation is suitable for nearly any type of procedure.

If you have any of the following conditions, oral conscious sedation can be a helpful tool to achieving excellent oral health and a beautiful smile:

Have anxiety at the dental office
Dislike needles/shots
Have difficulty getting numb
Have sensitive teeth
Need long or multiple appointments
Have a history of traumatic dental experiences
Dislike smells, tastes, or noises associated with dental treatment

Patients who undergo conscious sedation are monitored at all times to ensure proper comfort and safety. Someone will always be at your side throughout the length of the procedure.

Please contact us today if you are interested in conscious sedation for your dental appointments.

The Waterlase is a revolutionary dental device that uses a combination of laser energy and water, a process called HydroPhotonics. We use this device to perform many traditional dental procedures often with no anesthesia. The Waterlase is great for reducing patient anxiety, minimizing pain and trauma, and creating a more comfortable experience for our patients.

Virtually Painless, More Natural Dentistry*

Heat, vibration and pressure are the primary causes of pain associated with the use of the traditional dental drill. Since cutting both hard and soft tissues (teeth and gums) with the WaterLase does not generate heat, vibration or pressure, many dental procedures can be performed nearly pain-free with fewer shots, less need for anesthesia, less use of the drill and fewer numb lips! Additionally, using the WaterLase for gum procedures reduces bleeding, post-operative pain, swelling and the need for pain medication in many cases. It’s just a better way to get your dentistry done!

Accuracy & Precision

WaterLase dentists are able to remove tooth enamel decay (the hardest substance in the body), bone and gum tissue precisely while leaving surrounding areas unaffected. This conserves more of the precious tooth structure you were born with, helping you to maintain your natural teeth longer!

Reduced Trauma

High speed drills can cause hairline cracks and fractures in the teeth that may eventually lead to future dental problems. WaterLase reduces damage to healthy portions of the tooth and minimizes trauma.

Less Bleeding & Swelling

Due to its conservative cutting action, the WaterLase performs many soft tissue (gum) procedures with little or no bleeding and less post-op swelling.