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How a Dentist Can Help You Stop Snoring: Exploring Oral Appliance Therapy

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man keeping woman awake with snoring

Does your partner constantly complain about your snoring? Do you frequently wake feeling unrested? Snoring can be more than just an inconvenience. It can lead to more serious and troubling problems such as sleep disturbances, fatigue, and sleep apnea. Fortunately, Dr. Luminita Markham offers custom oral appliances for patients suffering from snoring and sleep apnea. Read on to find out how a mouth guard from your local general dentist can help improve your quality of sleep.

What Causes Snoring?

Before we discuss remedies for snoring, let’s explore what causes it in the first place. The vibrational sound we know as snoring is the result of obstructed air flow through the mouth and nose. This obstruction can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Narrowed nasal passages: Issues with the nose or sinuses can cause snoring. For example, some patients find they only snore when they are sick or suffering from allergies. Additionally, those with nasal polyps or a deviated septum may snore frequently.
  • Genetic factors: If a patient has excess tissues around the airway – such as a long uvula or soft palate – it can cause the passageway to narrow, resulting in snoring.
  • Lack of muscle tone: Poor muscle tone can cause the throat and tongue muscles to become too relaxed during sleep. When this happens, the muscles can collapse, fall back, and obstruct the airway. This condition is more likely to occur in patients who take sedatives such as sleeping pills, or those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Enlarged tissues: If you have enlarged tonsils or adenoids, you are more likely to snore. Additionally, patients who are overweight can develop bulky tissues in the throat or around the airway, which can lead to snoring.

How Maidu Dental Can Help

Many people do not realize that a dentist can play a crucial role in snoring prevention. Oftentimes, the first line of defense against snoring is oral appliance therapy. Similar to a sports mouth guard, a custom appliance fits comfortably over the teeth. Dr. Markham can fabricate a mandibular advancement device (MAD) that will gently move the lower jaw forward into a more favorable position, which will prevent the soft tissues from obstructing the airway. Many times, these custom guards can also keep the tongue away from the back of the throat as well.

How to Know if Oral Appliance Therapy is Right for You

Before crafting a custom device for you, Dr. Markham will assess your unique needs during an initial consultation. After examining your teeth, soft tissues, jaw joints, and facial muscles, she will be able to establish whether this treatment will be effective for your situation. She can work closely with your physician, as well, to personalize a comprehensive plan that will help you improve your sleep quality.

Custom vs Store-Bought

There are plenty of pre-made and “boil-and-bite” mouth guard options available. While these can be effective for some patients, they are generally more bulky and cumbersome than a custom snore guard. When you have a custom guard crafted at Maidu Dental, it will be made specifically for your unique oral anatomy. Therefore, it is much more sleek and comfortable than the “one size fits all” options found in stores.

Contact Us Today

Oral appliance therapy is a conservative, simple way to address an aggravating problem. To find out if a custom mouth guard is right for you, schedule a visit with Dr. Markham at our Auburn, CA practice. Call us at (530) 823-8771 or contact us online.

 

When Is Invisalign® a Great Option?

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woman's hand holding Invisalign traysWith so many teeth straightening options available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Invisalign is a popular choice among teenagers and adults in our Auburn, CA practice. But how do you know if it is the most appropriate treatment option for your situation? Today, we will talk about Invisalign, and discuss what types of dental issues can be addressed with this revolutionary treatment. When is Invisalign a great option for orthodontic treatment? Read on to find out.

Invisalign: A Brief Recap

The Invisalign system straightens teeth using a series of clear, removable, thermoplastic trays. Approximately every two weeks, the current set of aligners are changed out for the next ones in the series. This process will gradually move your teeth into their desired positions.

When is Invisalign a Great Option?

Invisalign is incredibly successful for qualifying patients. Typically, those with mild or moderate orthodontic issues can benefit significantly from this treatment. Invisalign may be right for you if you have:

  • An Overbite: This issue is characterized by an “overjet” of the upper teeth. Overbites can be the result of bone overdevelopment, genetics, or childhood habits, such as thumb sucking. Invisalign can correct this condition so the teeth fit together properly.
  • An Underbite: Commonly a result of jaw overgrowth or undergrowth, an underbite can cause tooth erosion and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. Invisalign can repair this in many cases.
  • A Cross Bite: This dental condition happens when both the upper and lower jaws are misaligned. If you notice that a few of your upper teeth rest inside you lower teeth when you close, you may have a cross bite.
  • An Open Bite: Abnormal jaw structure and a history of thumb sucking can lead to an open bite. This occurs when the front teeth do not touch at all when closing down.

If you have previously undergone orthodontic treatment in the past, but have noticed shifting from not wearing your retainer, Invisalign is most likely an excellent option for you. It should be noted, however, that following Invisalign treatment, a retainer is vital in order to keep the teeth from moving back into their original positions.

When is Invisalign Not Recommended?

Although Invisalign is an excellent teeth straightening alternative, there are cases when it is not the most viable option. For example, you may be better suited for traditional braces if you have:

  • Bridgework: While dental bridges do not necessarily prevent successful Invisalign treatment, it is important to understand that bridges will not be moved by the treatment. This is not always a negative thing. However, it is something for your dentist to take into account when determining if Invisalign can deliver the results you desire.
  • Bite Issues with the Back Teeth: When it comes to moving teeth vertically, Invisalign has certain limitations. Therefore, it is important to understand that this treatment may not restore your bite function as well as traditional braces would.
  • Severe Rotation: While Invisalign can correct mild and moderate rotation, it cannot successfully address severely rotated teeth.
  • Severe Tipping: Teeth that are angled more than 45 degrees will probably not respond well to Invisalign treatment. In these cases, more traditional orthodontics is recommended.
  • Large Gaps or Spacing: Invisalign can close minor gaps with no problem. However, if combined spacing on each arch equals more than 6 millimeters, traditional braces will be more predictable.
  • Skeletal Issues: Any type of malocclusion that occurred as a result of developmental issues will most likely require comprehensive orthodontic treatment, which may even include surgical intervention in addition to traditional braces.

It is also important to note that the success of Invisalign treatment is dependent on wearing the trays for at least 22 hours every single day. Therefore, patients with compliance issues may find that traditional braces offer better results.

Learn More about Invisalign Treatment

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign at Maidu Dental, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. You can call our office at (530) 823-8771 or contact us online.

Implants, Overdentures, and All-on-Four®: What’s the Difference?

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older caucasian couple biting into an appleIf you are missing teeth, you have likely researched teeth replacement options. Over the past few decades, there have been significant advances in the field of dentistry that provide predictable, long-term solutions with the use of dental implants. Today, there are so many options available, it can seem overwhelming when trying to determine which one is right for you.

Our doctors at Maidu Dental in Auburn, CA place and restore dental implants and personalize each treatment plan to meet the needs of every individual. Today, we will discuss three primary teeth replacement options: dental implants, overdentures, and the All-on-4 treatment concept.

About Dental Implants

A dental implant is a small, threaded titanium post, which is used to replace the root of a missing tooth. This post is placed directly into the jawbone during a surgical procedure. During the healing process, dental implants fuse to the jawbone during a process called osseointegration. Because of this fusion, implants are strong, resilient, and are currently boasted as the most successful teeth replacement option currently available. In fact, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

Dental implants are versatile in their use, and can be restored with crowns, bridges, and dentures. The method of restoration will entirely depend on the specific needs of the patient. Those who are missing a single tooth will only require one dental implant, which can be restored with a dental crown to complete your smile.

Overdentures: Removable Full-Arch Replacement

Sometimes referred to as implant-supported dentures, overdentures are a more stable, modern version of traditional dentures. While conventional dentures rest solely on the gum tissue and the underlying jawbone, overdentures are supported by dental implants. Depending on retention needs, the denture can rest on two to eight implants per arch. Overdentures are still removable for easy cleaning. However, they can “snap” onto the implants for maximum stability and security.

Patients who are missing most or all of their teeth are usually excellent candidates for overdentures. However, there is a certain amount of jawbone that is required for an overdenture. In order to for a dental implant to be successful long-term, it must be completely surrounded in bone. Therefore, patients who have suffered extensive bone atrophy may not qualify for this type of teeth replacement option.

All-on-4: Fixed Full-Arch Replacement

The All-on-4 concept is a revolutionary method that offers full-arch replacement on just four implants. Designed to maximize existing jawbone, this technique is performed by placing the implants at strategic angles. Typically, two straight implants are placed at the front of the jaw, and two implants are placed at an angle in the back of the jaw.

Because of this positioning, patients who do not qualify for overdentures may be excellent candidates for All-on-4 treatment. One of the most significant benefits of the All-on-4 treatment is that the restoration can typically be connected to the implants on the same day as your implant surgery.

Find Out More about Your Dental Implant Options

Whether you are missing a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of teeth, dental implants could be the solution for you. To determine a treatment plan that will address your specific needs, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. You can call our office at (530) 823-8771 or contact us online anytime.

Implants and Medical Conditions

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Maidu Dental | Auburn, CA | Dentistry Smiles

As we discussed in a previous post, having enough bone and enough space in between your upper and lower jaws are two of the critical factors that are necessary for successful dental implant treatment.

MEDICAL ISSUES AND DENTAL IMPLANTS

Generally speaking, patients with medical conditions are still implant candidates. However, certain medical conditions require more preparation than others. For example, patients with joint replacements still must follow the standard premedication regulations and diabetic patients must have well-controlled blood sugar. Similarly, patients with high blood pressure must have well-regulated blood pressure before an implant would be placed.

OTHER FACTORS

Certainly there are other medical conditions that may or may not limit a patient’s ability to have dental implants. Patients with severe bleeding disorders, for example, might not be ideal candidates for dental implants and it would be necessary to have close communication with the patient’s physician before starting any treatment.

SMOKERS

While smoking does not prevent a patient from having treatment with dental implants, the damage that smoking does to the blood vessels and surrounding tissues can significantly increase the risk of implant failure; Dr. Markham will review these risks with you.

If you have questions about dental implants, or if you want to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, Dr. Markham offers a complimentary implant consultation. You can schedule this consultation by calling: 530-823-8771.

Implants and Age

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AM I TOO OLD FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?

One of the most common question patients ask us in the office is “Am I too old for dental implants?” -and the answer to the question might surprise you. When it comes to treatment planning for dental implants the most critical factors are whether or not a patient has sufficient bone, whether or not the patient has enough space (between the top and bottom jaws) and what if any medical conditions a patient may have.

DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY FOR OLDER PATIENTS

Many seniors avoid having treatment with dental implants because they are worried about the “surgery” aspect of dental implant placement. In fact, you will likely spend less time in the chair having a dental implant placed than you would having a tooth prepared and temporized for a dental crown. No surgical procedure should ever be taken lightly, but the dental implant placement procedure is a relatively minor one, with a short procedure time and few complications.

DENTAL IMPLANTS AND HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

One of the limiting factors that could prevent a patient from having dental implants is certain medical conditions. That being said, it’s uncommon for a patient to not be able to have dental implants because of a medical condition. Dr. Luminita Markham and her team will review your medical history and with the oral surgeon she will help determine if you are a candidate for dental implants from a medical perspective. For more information about how medical conditions could limit someone’s ability to have dental implant treatment, please read our blog post here about the subject.

If you have questions about dental implants, or if you want to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, Dr. Luminita Markham offers a complimentary implant consultation. You can schedule this consultation by calling: 530-823-8771.