There is a major problem in sleep apnea treatment that dental implants may be able to fix, helping people with sleep apnea to be able to use oral appliances, despite the fact that they don’t have any teeth.

A Complicated Case of Snoring

There is a problem with sleep apnea treatment that is only going to become more and more serious in the future. CPAP is considered the gold standard of sleep apnea treatment, but it has a major problem, 50% or more of people can’t adjust to using the device. To get around this, patients are often recommended to try an oral appliance, which is comfortable, easy to use and readily accepted by sleep apnea sufferers.

Here’s the problem: to secure an oral appliance, you need teeth, but the risk of both sleep apnea and toothlessness increases with age. About 25% of people age 65 and over have no teeth, which we call edentulousness. How are people in this condition supposed to treat their snoring and sleep apnea?

Dental Implants to the Rescue

Enter a case study of a 65-year-old edentulous snorer who couldn’t tolerate CPAP. Because his dentures couldn’t support an oral appliance, the treating dentist came up with an idea: why not use dental implants to support the man’s oral appliance.

dreamstime_s_38700461But it wasn’t as easy as that. The man was a long-term denture wearer, and his jawbone had atrophied significantly, leaving him without adequate bone to support dental implants. Mini implants were used instead, with four of them As a long-time denture wearer, the man had suffered significant bone loss in his jaw. As a result, the jaw was no longer capable of supporting full-size dental implants. Therefore, mini implants were used to create securement points in the jaw, four of them. Then the dentist asked the lab to design an oral appliance that fit directly over his implants.

It took a little adjusting for both the dental implants and the oral appliance, but once this was complete, the man’s wife says he doesn’t snore anymore, and his daytime sleepiness has resolved.

Creative solutions may sometimes be necessary to achieve the results you desire, and we are prepared to use our imagination. To learn what kind of solution we have for you, please call 845-627-7645 for an appointment with a Rockland County cosmetic dentist at B & D Dental Excellence.