How dentistry can help patients with sleep disorders

Taking a deeper look at sleep…

Womenman-sleeping

Have you ever taken such an interest in something that you have wanted to learn all you can about it?

At Mitchell Dentistry, we were among the first in our community to talk to our patients about the dangers of sleep apnea and how we might be able to help with this life threatening disorder. For several years, we have worked with area physicians, and have introduced ever evolving oral appliances to ease the situation for many patients. We’ve talked with many who are relieved about breathing better – and many more who are excited that their loved ones have stopped snoring all night!

All three of us, Dr. Yolanda, Dr. Joe and I, are excited about a three-day conference we will soon be attending in Arizona. We will amp up our education with the latest courses on aberrant breathing – when awake and asleep – and its impact on our patients’ health. This seminar will help us move beyond sleep appliances and into a new realm of sleep medicine.

We will learn to recognize breathing-disturbed sleep and the associated anatomic “choke points” of respiration. The world’s leading experts on this issue will help us enhance our solid foundation and give us even more tools for controlling and resolving airway issues with the newest techniques in restorative dentistry.

According to Spear Education, among the things we will learn to bring back to our patients include:

  • Understanding how breathing-related disruption of sleep is not limited to apnea
  • How upper airway flow limitation creates an environment for poor sleep and chronic stress
  • The causes and correlation between the top 10 dental problems and dysfunctional breathing
  • The importance of breathing disordered sleep on the systemic, neurocognitive, and craniofacial development of our pediatric patients
  • Understanding the importance of nasal breathing, the damaging sequela of mouth breathing, and the strategies to promote proper function
  • A systematic approach to controlling and resolving sleep-induced airway issues

Those of you who know us know how much we love learning, and applying our newfound knowledge in our practice. We can’t wait to share ideas with you when we return from the conference.

As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Best wishes from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

All the best, Dr. Jim

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Highlights: 2016 was a great year!

As we set our goals for 2017, I have taken a look back at 2016 to reflect on all we have accomplished, and all we have to look forward to. It has been a fulfilling and successful year both personally and professionally for many reasons. Following are Mitchell Dentistry’s top five highlights shared with the hope that you too can look back positively on the past 12 months. Please let us know what your experience has been and share some of your accomplishments with us – we would love to know more.

  1. TECH TALK

We recently added 3D dental imaging (known as Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT) to our practice. The high quality, low radiation x-rays allows us to understand more about each patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan than ever before.

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CBCT works with a focused x-ray beam that reduces scatter radiation, resulting in an enhanced visualization of teeth, bones, and surrounding hard and soft tissue. The technology is manufactured by Dentsply Sirona.

We have invested in this technology to see more of each patient’s teeth and surrounding structures. Traditional dental x-rays are cumbersome and may cause a gagging reflex. 3D scans take about 14 seconds and are much more comfortable, much less invasive, and provide a more relaxed and enjoyable treatment experience.

  1. ALL-ON-4

We have been getting a fabulous response to our All-On-4 plan, an excellent solution for patients who have unwanted dentures or failing teeth in need of upper and or lower restoration. Typically, the procedure only requires four dental implants per jaw to support a fully customized set of replacement teeth – hence the name.  The best part is that while the patient is comfortably sedated, we work side by side with board certified oral surgeons to attach a restoration created right here in our Fort Myers office, resulting in a brand new beautiful smile in just one day. Plus, there’s an almost immediate sense of well-being and improved self-esteem.

  1. SWEET DREAMS

Did you know that sleep apnea is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death?  A study by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea were four times more likely to die, nearly four times more likely to have a stroke, three times more likely to die from cancer, and 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer.

Sweet dreams

At Mitchell Dentistry, the goal of sleep apnea treatment is to achieve healthy sleep.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent such horrifying statistics and we have launched one method that is helping many of our patients. A customized dental medical solution helps resolve one of the nation’s most serious, yet overlooked, health issues: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apnea literally means “cessation of breath,” an often life-threatening issue that can be resolved with oral appliance therapy.

To diagnose OSA, we first administer a home sleep test that is read by a certified sleep physician.  A copy of the report, along with a recommendation, is sent to each patient’s regular doctor. For mild to moderate cases, and even for some serious cases when the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is not tolerated, we customize a sleep appliance manufactured by DynaFlex that has demonstrated evidence-based positive results. Dr. Yolanda introduced a new alternative, a comfortable device.

“It’s actually very user friendly because it comes in two pieces,” she explains. “No mold involved, it’s created from a digital scan and electronically sent to the laboratory with a prescription. They have a 3D printer that actually makes the models.”

  1. WHERE DO THE COOL DENTISTS GO?
Earlier this year, Dr. Joe attended SIROWORLD, a highly anticipated and cutting-edge dental event.

Thousand attended the three-day educational festival that combined ground-breaking general

sessions, track-specific and innovative breakout sessions, unsurpassed entertainment and

unlimited networking opportunities. The first event of its kind, SIROWORLD was designed to not

only attract dentists practicing or interested in CEREC, but this event shined a spotlight on all aspects

of dentistry including CAD/CAM (CEREC), extraoral and intraoral imaging, implantology,

orthodontics, endodontics, hygiene, restorative, lab, practice management and much more.

The docs were also treated to appearances by Jerry Seinfeld, OneRepublic, and Sir Richard Branson.

 

  1. THE M TEAM RETURNS

Remember our fun-filled, action packed video feature, “The M Team”? Watch for the new version, coming soon, that features new staff members and brings some humor into our dental world.  We will send you the link as soon as the editing is complete – you will be among the first to preview our fabulous new production!

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Watch for our updated “M Team” video…coming soon: a lighthearted look at our staff and office!

As you can see, it was a great year! As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Wishing you very merry holidays and a happy New Year!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

Sweet dreams: Sleep Medicine can help combat Sleep Apnea

“I don’t snore.” “Oh, no, not me!”

That’s exactly what we said until we got tested ourselves. It turns out that we, like millions of others, are afflicted with one of the nation’s most serious, yet overlooked, health issues: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apnea literally means “cessation of breath,” an often life-threatening issue that can be resolved with oral appliance therapy.

At Mitchell Dentistry, the goal of sleep apnea treatment is to achieve healthy sleep.

At Mitchell Dentistry, the goal of sleep apnea treatment is to achieve healthy sleep.

We realized we had to get over any trepidation or embarrassment and learn how to deal with this issue. So we attended several continuing education classes and now know how to diagnose and in many cases, treat sleep apnea. First we learned how to administer a home sleep test that is read by a certified sleep physician. A copy of the report along with a recommendation is sent to the patient’s regular doctor. For mild to moderate cases, and even for some serious cases when the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is not tolerated, we can customize a sleep appliance that has demonstrated evidence-based positive results with many of our patients.

We learned about the severity of sleep apnea and strongly encourage our patients to get tested if you suspect anything. In fact, a study by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that moderate to severe OSA is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death. Results of a 20-year follow-up study show that people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea were four times more likely to die, nearly four times more likely to have a stroke, three times more likely to die from cancer, and 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer.

We want to protect our patients! So for those who snore or wake themselves gasping for breath, please let us assess if a dental appliance is the best course of action that can help you or your loved one. Ask us more about it when you come in.

All the best from Mitchell Dentistry!

 

Breathe Easy!

Did you know that if you or your loved one snores loudly and feels tired after a full night’s sleep, the problem might be Sleep Apnea? According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. A new study by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death.


Womenman-sleepingHere’s the good news:

At Mitchell Dentistry we have launched a customized dental medical solution to help resolve obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Although this is one of the nation’s most important health issues, it is often overlooked. Apnea literally means “cessation of breath,” an often life-threatening issue that can be resolved with oral appliance therapy.

To diagnose OSA, Drs. James, Yolanda and Joseph Mitchell first administer a home sleep test that is read by a certified sleep physician. A copy of the report along with a recommendation is sent to the patient’s regular doctor. For mild to moderate cases, and even for some serious cases when the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is not tolerated, the Mitchells customize a sleep appliance that has demonstrated evidence-based positive results.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Loud snoring, which is usually more prominent in obstructive sleep apnea
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep witnessed by another person
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, which more likely indicates central sleep apnea
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Attention problems

If you or your loved one is experiencing any of those symptoms, Mitchell Dentistry can assess if a dental appliance is the best course of action. For more information visit www.MitchellDentist.com or call 239.324.0621.