Like most people, you may think that your dentist only deals with repairing cavities, teeth cleanings, and other common dental issues. However, most dentists also specialize in other conditions more related to the jaw and neck than the teeth themselves. Sleep apnea, which can be potentially life-threatening, can be a scary diagnosis to receive. Luckily, your dentist can help you manage your sleep apnea with non-invasive dental appliances. Learn more about sleep apnea with Dr. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Welzel, and Dr. Stephen Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition affecting a patient’s breathing while they sleep. Though breathing is normal during awake hours, sleep apnea causes apneas, or pauses in breathing, during sleeping hours. The apneas occur due to one of three types of sleep apnea: obtrusive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), or a mixture of both, called mixed sleep apnea. OSA the more common version of this condition and occurs when an obtrusion blocks the airway. CSA occurs when the brain and lungs fail to communicate, causing apneas. Mixed sleep apnea occurs when a patient suffers from both OSA and CSA.
How can my dentist help with my sleep apnea?
While the most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine worn while sleeping, it is not the only treatment. In more mild cases, your dentist may suggest a more conservative treatment called a dental appliance. Worn while sleeping, the appliance fits into the mouth and pulls the bottom jaw forward, eliminating the obstruction of the airway and allowing the patient to breathe normally.
Sleep Apnea Treatments in Baltimore, MD
Dental appliances come in all shapes and sizes. Your dentist is your best source of information for which style appliance will best work for your needs. If left untreated, sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening condition. If you notice that you snore excessively, wake during the night gasping or choking, suffer from insomnia, or awake feeling like you barely got any sleep at all, you should ask your dentist about sleep apnea and its treatments.
For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Murphy, Dr. Welzel, and Dr. Levy at Baltimore Uptown Dentist in Baltimore, MD. Call (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
For those with badly shaped, stained or crooked teeth, veneers may be the answer. At K. Michael Murphy and Associates in Baltimore, MD, we improve teeth by covering their imperfections. These thin pieces of porcelain can change the color or shape of the teeth instantly.
About Veneers in Baltimore
Veneers are commonly used on uneven surfaces or unevenly spaced, crooked, chipped or discolored teeth. Little or no anesthesia is needed. They have a longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding and resist stains. They are made by a dental lab tech that works with a model provided by a dentist. They are irreversible as it is necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to accommodate the veneers.
Veneers can mask defects such as injury, discolored fillings or other unsightly things. Patients with gaps in between their front teeth or those with worn or chipped teeth are great candidates for this cosmetic dentistry procedure. The veneer process requires a few appointments. First, diagnosis and treatment planning takes place, next preparation and lastly the bonding process. The teeth are lightly buffed in order to add the thickness of the veneer itself. A mold is taken of the teeth, which is sent to a lab to create the veneers.
During the bonding visit, the veneers are placed on the surface of the teeth. The fit and shade/color are checked too. A special cement is used with a laser to harden the material. A two-week adjustment period follows. After this period of time, a follow-up appointment occurs to make sure you are satisfied with your veneers.
To learn more about veneers in Baltimore, MD, schedule an appointment at our dental office by calling 410-235-1233 today.
Not so long ago, getting a crown involved two dental appointments. Thanks to CEREC, an innovative new restoration technology, you can receive your crown in just one visit. Our Baltimore, MD, cosmetic dentists, Dr. K. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Wetzel and Dr. Stephen Levy of K. Michael Murphy and Associates, explain how the CEREC process works.
No more waiting
Porcelain crowns are made in a dental laboratory, while CEREC crowns are milled in our Baltimore office. If you choose a porcelain crown, it will take about two weeks for the lab to complete your restoration. When you choose a CEREC crown, you'll only wait about 15 minutes for your crown to emerge from the milling machine.
Temporary crowns are unnecessary
After your tooth is reduced in size in preparation for your new crown, you'll have to wear a temporary crown if you will be receiving a porcelain crown. Although it's possible to chew with a temporary crown, you'll have to avoid hard foods that can break the crown or sticky foods that can dislodge it. Because you'll receive your crown shortly after your tooth is prepared, you'll never have to wear a temporary crown when you opt for the CEREC process.
CEREC crowns use 3D technology
No matter what type of crown you choose, we'll need to make an impression of your mouth. If your new crown will be made of porcelain, the impression will be created using a soft putty. Some people find the putty impression process a little uncomfortable, particularly if they're prone to gagging. The CEREC process uses digital images instead of putty. After a picture of your mouth is taken with a digital camera, it's converted into a 3D image, which is used to design your CEREC crown. After the design is complete, we'll press a button and your new crown will be sent to our in-office milling machine. In just a few minutes, the machine will create the crown from a block of ceramic or resin.
Would you like to find out if a CEREC crown is a good choice for you? Call Baltimore, MD, cosmetic dentists Dr. Murphy, Dr. Wetzel and Dr. Levy of K. Michael Murphy and Associates at (410) 235-1233 to schedule an appointment.
For those with obstructive sleep apnea, you may wake up from sleep without actually getting any quality sleep. This sleep disorder obstructs the airway due to excess tissue causing the airway muscles to collapse and relax during sleep. This causes the patient to stop breathing periodically throughout the night. Our Baltimore, Maryland dentists from Dr. K. Michael Murphy and Associates can evaluate each patient and suggest treatment options for their sleep apnea.
Treating Sleep Apnea
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include waking up suddenly gasping for air, daytime fatigue, loud snoring, and restlessness. When an apnea occurs, it signals the person to wake up allowing them to restart their normal breathing. If someone wakes up at least 30 times, they are diagnosed with sleep apnea disorder.
This disorder must be diagnosed and treated by professional. Thanks to the help of our Baltimore, Maryland dentists from Dr. K. Michael Murphy and Associates, we can do just that for patients of all ages. Oral therapy is the best way to treat most cases of sleep apnea. They work best for mild to moderate cases. They reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward to allow the airway to stay open during sleep.
For more severe cases, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is used. This uses a nosepiece or mask to supply the patient with constant air. These masks come in a variety of sizes and styles to fit every patient right. If a patient cannot tolerate the CPAP, they are treated with an oral appliance instead.
Obstructive sleep apnea is not something that you should have to deal with. Our Baltimore, Maryland dentists from Dr. K. Michael Murphy and Associates can help you get the sleep you deserve once more. To schedule an informative consultation, call our office today at 410-235-1233 to learn about treatment options for your sleep apnea.
Dental implants offer the only complete tooth replacement option available. Dr. K. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Wetzel and Dr. Stephen Levy, your Baltimore, MD, dentists at K. Michael Murphy and Associates, share information about the implant process.
What are implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that look like screws. They replace your tooth roots and are designed to fuse to your jawbone during a process called osseointegration. Once your implant is fully fused in the jawbone, your Baltimore dentist connects a crown to the top of it. Implants offer several unique benefits. They offer excellent biting power, feel just like the tooth you lost and may prevent jawbone loss that can occur after tooth extraction,
The first step
Your dentist will take X-rays of your mouth to ensure that your jawbone is deep enough to support a dental implant. If it's been a while since you lost your tooth, the jawbone underneath may have started to shrink. Fortunately, a bone graft can restore depth. Although adding a graft is a crucial step if you lack sufficient jawbone depth, it may lengthen the implant process.
The implant process starts when a small hole is drilled in your jawbone. Before the procedure begins, you'll be given local anesthetic to ensure that you don't feel any pain.
Your dentist will place the implant in the opening and covers it with gum tissue. During the next three to six months, the implant will gradually bond to the bone.
The second step
When osseointegration is complete, your dentist will open the gum covering your implant and add an abutment to the top of it. The abutment is a tiny post that supports the dental crown. You won't receive a new crown immediately, as it will take a few weeks for your gums to heal.
The third and fourth steps
During the third step of the process, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth. A dental laboratory will use the impression to create your new crown. Two or three weeks later, you'll receive the permanent crown and the implant process will be complete.
Restore your smile with dental implants. Call Dr. Murphy, Dr. Wetzel and Dr. Levy, your Baltimore, MD, dentists at K. Michael Murphy and Associates, at (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment.
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