What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious condition that compromises your rest and can impact your health. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime tiredness, mouth breathing, and irritability. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, much less common, happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles.

Characterized by short episodes of not breathing, which can occur from five to 50 times a night, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the muscles in your throat relax and your airways become blocked as you sleep. Your brain senses the lack of breathing and wakes you briefly to restore airflow. These episodes disrupt sleep and keep you from feeling rested.

Not only does sleep apnea keep you from getting a good night’s rest, but it can also put your health at risk. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, risk of stroke, memory impairment, and weight gain. As well, your sleep partner may not get enough sleep because of your snoring and/or waking episodes.

If you suspect sleep apnea, talk with your dentist, who may recommend a sleep evaluation. Through overnight monitoring, a sleep specialist can determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, or an oral appliance. Your dentist can fit you for night guard that will hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airways open.

We treat patients from Longview and the surrounding area

Patient Types Who Benefit From Sedation Dentistry

Patient Types Who Benefit From Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is designed mainly to focus on patients experiencing fear and anxiety related to dental treatment; however, it is also an excellent choice for other patient types. Following are the main groups who experience relief and comfort from sedation dentistry:

  • Patients experiencing anxiety and fear or a dental phobia
  • Patients possessing an acute gag reflex
  • Patients who have special needs
  • Patients with physical issues that affect movement
  • Anxious or fearful pediatric patients

Dental professionals want a patient to be as stress-free as possible immediately prior to and during a dental visit. Relieving anxiety and fear can turn an unpleasant, stressful experience into a comfortable visit, resulting in a desire to continue dental health and hygiene by returning for regular examinations and procedures.

An acute gag reflex can leave a patient concerned about vomiting during a dental procedure; in fact, many procedures such as taking impressions or working on the back teeth may be impossible. Sedation dentistry helps patients greatly reduce this gag reflex issue, as it is often exacerbated by anxiety and fear.

Patients who have special needs related to autism, Down Syndrome, or a mental or emotional problem may have real difficulty during dental visits. Other patients may deal with physical conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, or other disorders of the central nervous system. Patients in this group may have difficulty following instructions or remaining still. Sedation dentistry solves issues of involuntary muscle movements, allowing the dentist to safely and quickly complete treatment.

Fearful children can be problematic for dentists. Children who cannot be still, comply with instructions, or stop crying can cause time-consuming safety issues. Sedation dentistry allows a dentist to perform treatments without physical restraints that could cause emotional trauma to the child, leading to adult dental phobias and fears.

Visiting the dentist and caring for your dental health should be comfortable. Contact our dental office to see what can be done to make your visit as stress-free as possible using sedation dentistry in Longview.

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

If you need a dentist in Longview contact us today

The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

We treat patients from Longview and the surrounding area

Benefits of Hybrid Dentures

Benefits of Hybrid Dentures

Have you lost all or most of your teeth due to damage, disease or decay and don’t find traditional removable dentures an attractive option? Implant-supported hybrid dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures that provide a secure and stable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth by combining the benefits of a fixed replacement with the advantages of a removable denture. Hybrid dentures are an especially viable option for patients who have lost a large amount of jawbone due to missing teeth. Some of the benefits of hybrid dentures include:

  • Hybrid dentures save your natural roots and preserves bone while reducing bone resorption and deterioration.
  • Hybrid dentures help to control facial contour changes caused by missing teeth.
  • Hybrid dentures function more naturally, allowing you to chew food better and speak more clearly.
  • With hybrid dentures, there is no need for messy denture creams and adhesives, eliminating much of the embarrassment associated with loose dentures.
  • Hybrid dentures eliminate the slippage, clacking and loss of taste associated with traditional dentures.

If you would like fixed teeth to replace teeth that you have lost but are not ready or a candidate for multiple individual implants for each missing tooth, hybrid dentures could be your solution. Hybrid dentures require only a few dental implants to secure the new teeth in place, allowing for quicker recovery time and increased comfort.

If you are seeking an alternative to traditional dentures to replace your missing teeth, talk with your dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for hybrid dentures. With hybrid dentures, you can successfully restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

We treat patients from Longview and the surrounding area

Quick and Easy Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

Quick and Easy Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

Not all dental procedures are extensive and invasive. Cosmetic dentistry offers many treatments to improve your smile that are relatively simple and require little time in the dental chair. If you have good overall oral health but are unhappy with your smile, you may want to consider some of these options for quick improvement.

Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most popular cosmetic dental treatments for instantly improving the quality of your smile. Every day we expose our teeth to damaging and dulling foods and beverages that result in a dingy smile. Professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth as much as ten shades in as little as one office visit, leaving you with a healthier and younger looking smile.

Dental bonding is an excellent way to repair small imperfections on teeth quickly, such as a discolored, chipped, or oddly shaped teeth. Bonding is essentially a simplified version of a veneer or a crown using tooth-colored resin to bond to the tooth and repair the problem. Bonding can usually be completed in a single visit to your dentist.

Many dentists are now offering snap-on teeth. A Snap-On Smile is a removable appliance that covers your natural teeth. The appliance uses your natural teeth to stay in place and does not require any additional adhesive to hold in place. A Snap-On Smile can be removed during sleep and for cleaning, but otherwise stays in your mouth for all of your usual activities. Patients with special needs, such as fear of the dentist or medical conditions which preclude extensive dental procedures, may also benefit from the use of snap-on teeth.

For more information about how to quickly and easily improve the look of your smile, schedule a consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. DiStefano. It is easier than you may think to get that beautiful smile in no time!

If you live in the Longview area contact us today