A dental filling is one of the most common treatments that dentists perform. Tooth decay can affect patients of all ages. Without a dentist’s intervention, the decay can become more severe. This would cause intense pain and possibly lead to tooth loss. To repair a small or medium-sized cavity, the dentist will use a filling…
Oral Surgery for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a health condition that leads a person's breathing to stop periodically during sleep, and it can have serious health consequences when left untreated. Sleep apnea is often caused by muscles in the throat relaxing and collapsing into the airways during sleep. When it stops a person's breathing, their body wakes up to restore their breathing. This makes it impossible for people with sleep apnea to get quality sleep.
The consequences of sleep apnea not being treated include health problems like high blood pressure and a variety of mental problems like anxiety.
Surgical treatments for sleep apnea
Surgical treatments are typically used as a last resort when other treatments like oral appliances, CPAP devices and lifestyle changes have failed. The most popular surgical treatments used to address sleep apnea include:
- Radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction (RFVTR): This option is typically explored when a CPAP machine is not a viable option. It involves using radiofrequency waves to remove or shrink tissues in the back of the patient's throat, widening their airway. This treatment can also be used to address snoring
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: This surgical option involves removing tissues from the back of the mouth or the top of the throat that might be blocking the patient's airways during sleep
- Maxillomandibular advancement: Also known as jaw repositioning surgery, it involves surgically moving the jaw forward so there is more space behind the tongue
- Anterior inferior mandibular osteotomy: During this treatment, the patient's chin bone is divided into two parts, creating space for the tongue to move forward. This opens up the person's airways while stabilizing their mouth and jaw. This procedure is often combined with other surgical treatments to improve its effectiveness
- Genioglossus advancement: During this surgical procedure, the tendons at the front of the patient's tongue are tightened. This prevents the tongue from rolling back and interfering with breathing during sleep
- Midline glossectomy and base-of-tongue reduction: During this procedure, a portion of the back of the patient's tongue is removed, expanding their airway. It is one of the most effective surgical treatments used to address sleep apnea, with a success rate of over 60%
- Lingual tonsillectomy: This involves removing the patient's tonsils and the tonsillar tissue at the base of the tongue. The procedure is performed to open up the lower areas of the throat, opening up the airways
- Septoplasty and turbinate reduction: This procedure is performed to straighten out the nasal septum, which straightens out the nasal cavities, making it easier for the person to breathe during sleep
- Hypoglossal nerve stimulator: During this procedure, a small electrode is connected to the main nerve that controls the tongue's movement, known as the hypoglossal nerve. The electrode is connected to a pacemaker-like device and it stimulates the tongue to move out of the way when it blocks the airway during sleep
Put sleep apnea behind you
Contact our Troy clinic today if you are struggling with sleep apnea. Our team of dental health professionals will help you explore your treatment options.
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