Turns out, a significant portion of the population has issues with their airway function, and not everyone is aware that there are treatment options available. At Fellow Orthodontist, we’re proud to provide a treatment solution that helps our patients breathe easily and live their greatest quality of life.
Here’s everything you need to know about sleep apnea and orthodontics:
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that causes periodic lapses in breathing throughout the night.
There are three types of sleep apnea, including obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. When OSA is present, this means the airways are narrow, blocked, or obstructed, making it difficult to breathe freely during the night.
Is sleep apnea dangerous?
As you can imagine, yes, sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder. These intermittent lapses in breathing caused by sleep apnea can lead to a few complications, including:
- Extreme drowsiness during the day (linked to mood swings, irritability, loss of productivity, slowed reaction time and increased risk of car accidents)
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart attacks
Sleep apnea is also associated with type 2 diabetes and a shortened lifespan. It’s crucial that this sleep disorder is treated before it causes further health complications.
How can orthodontics help sleep apnea?
Surgical orthodontics, also called orthognathic surgery or corrective jaw surgery, is known to be an effective sleep apnea treatment.
Dr. Lin works with oral maxillofacial surgeons and ENT surgeons in facial reconstruction and sleep apnea cases! Many orthodontists don’t like to do orthognathic cases and have limited experience working with ENT surgeons on sleep apnea. However, our experienced Manhattan orthodontist works closely with a dual, Board-Certified ENT surgeon who specializes in not just sleep medicine but also orthognathic surgery for sleep apnea.
How does orthognathic surgery for sleep apnea work?
Jaw surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and typically completed in a hospital.
After your complimentary smile assessment, if Dr. Lin determined that orthognathic surgery would help treat your sleep apnea disorder, we will refer you to an experienced surgeon. The surgery may take a few hours, and generally requires a two-week recovery period post-surgery.
Once your jaws have healed, Dr. Lin will reassess your bite to ensure that the treatment was effective. You will typically undergo orthodontic treatment after surgery, for the next 6 to 12 months depending on your case.
After treatment, you’ll wear a custom Vivera™ retainer to stabilize your teeth and support them in their new positions.
Our sleep apnea orthodontist will help you sleep soundly.
You deserve to sleep peacefully – and so does your partner! Anyone who has sleep apnea knows how disruptive to their everyday life this disorder can be. (And anyone who has slept near someone with sleep apnea knows how disruptive snoring can be!)
Orthognathic surgery and/or sleep medicine can help you breathe easily and wake up feeling rested. Live your greatest quality of life! Dr. Lin and our team will help you do it.
Request a complimentary consult today – virtual or in-person.