Could Sleep Apnea be Affecting Your Patient’s Dental Implants?

 

When our patients are missing teeth, many might turn to dental implants for a more permanent solution. And that’s great, but what if something is changing the permanence of those dental implants? In a study from the Journal of Oral Implantology, the impact of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on dental implants was investigated, and they found a connection. If we can treat our patients’ sleep apnea to prevent harming their dental implants, we can continue to help them smile for longer.  

The Study

Researchers looked at how OSA affects implant-borne prostheses, and the frequency with which a complication occurred was studied in 67 different patients. The researchers found a high instance of complications related to OSA, which means we need to pay closer attention to our patients’ oral health when they have dental implants and/or suffer from sleep apnea.

Of the 67 patients studied, about 16 experienced complications with their dental implants. In fact, 13 of those had OSA. Among the 16 patients with complications, there were 22 prostheses with a total of 30 issues, including:

  • Porcelain Fracture
  • Facture of the Screw/Implant
  • Loosening of the Screw
  • Decementation

The average time for a complication to occur in patients with sleep apnea is about 73 months post-implantation–that’s a long time. In fact, about 81% of patients with OSA experienced complications with their dental implants–that number is far too high.

What Options are Available?

As you know, the availability of oral appliance therapy is essential in helping our patients find relief from sleep apnea. And now, it seems it can help to prevent further harm to their dental implants. It is also important to keep an eye on sleep bruxism, or bruxism in general, because this will be a leading cause of damage to dental implants, too.

We’ve got a lot on our plates when it comes to treating obstructive sleep apnea and sleep bruxism in our patients, but now we need to be on the lookout for complications with dental implants. Are you ready to take charge of your patients’ health even more? Good. So am I.

Let’s keep an eye on sleep apnea, sleep bruxism and dental implants. If we can pay extra attention to these patients, we can continue to not only improve their sleep, but their oral health as well. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me further. In the meantime, continue to seek advanced education by attending one of my upcoming lectures!

Consulting for Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain

Let me help you. While you might be out there completing your continuing education courses, what about further guidance while in your office? If you are in search of further insight into implementing dental sleep medicine and/or craniofacial pain in your dental office, I can help. As a dentist who has been in the same spot as you, I want to help you provide your patients with the best services possible since I have been there before. It’s perfectly fine having a little extra help in implementing these advanced services. By contacting me for consulting services, I can help you and your team.

What is Involved in Consulting?

Through consulting, we can focus on the following information to improve the implementation of Dental Sleep Medicine and/or TMD into your office:

  • Identifying and diagnosing patients
  • Examining patients
  • Providing accurate treatment
  • Including your staff as a well rounded team
  • Billing for the office and insurance

In addition to implementing these services into your office, it is important to adopt a marketing strategy. From Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Social Media Management and other forms of marketing, it is imperative that you take charge of your marketing. While the availability of dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain in your office is the most important step, you need to attract patients and educate them on these areas, which is where your marketing plan comes into play—we can help with that, too.

As an expert in the areas of dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain, I welcome you to contact me for consulting information. Through consultations, I can help you and your practice with the implementation of dental sleep medicine and/or craniofacial pain, as well as guiding you in the right direction for marketing and other information. Whether you are a general dentistry office, or you are starting up a specialty practice that focuses on these two areas specifically, contacting me for consulting is important.

Proper Implementation of Social Media in Dentistry

Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or another social media channel? Are you actively utilizing your platform? If you have answered no to either, or both, it is time to get your office in gear with social networking–and I don’t mean just sharing GIFs. An active social network allows you to reach your patients and even medical professionals with important information any time of the day. Whether you are sharing blog posts or office information, it is important to maintain your social presence in order to remain the go-to place for your patients.

Start Posting Now

If you haven’t posted anything on your social media channels in a while, now is the time to get that going. And, with your posts, be sure to pay attention to when you are posting. While the first couple times might be trial and error, you will soon figure out the times your patients are active on social media by the interaction on each post–pay attention to that. Try in the morning because most people tend to check their social media upon waking in the morning. Another good time is either at lunch or after work.

Share Better Not More

What are you sharing? Can your patients relate? Are you posting non-stop? If you are posting several times day everyday–STOP. The more often you post, the more patients might “unlike” or “unfollow” your page if they can’t relate. Stick to a couple times a week, once a day, and make sure to post interesting information they will want to read and share.

You can help educate your patients by doing the following:

  • Answering questions
  • Providing resources
  • Sharing images
  • Giving tips

Let your patients know that you are available and are listening. Contact my office if you have any further questions about how to better utilize social media, or contact Sara Berg (she helps me manage my social channels).

There’s a New Definition of Dental Sleep Medicine

Attention! Attention! There’s a new definition of Dental Sleep Medicine (DSM)–wait what? I know, I thought the same thing when I read this article. However, it did bring to mind some valuable information we can utilize from here on out for DSM. To begin with, dental sleep medicine is an extension of dentistry in which we an provide appropriate services for the treatment of sleep apnea. So, what is this new definition?

The New Definition

Dental Sleep Medicine’s new definition goes above and beyond sleep apnea. This new definition takes the role of sleep apnea treatment and takes it one step further by incorporating pain into the equation. DSM is the discipline concerned with the study of the oral and maxillofacial causes and consequences of sleep-related problems.

This helps to broaden the subject area to other problems in dentistry, such as orofacial or craniofacial pain, bruxism, and other areas. These disorders have been touched on as their own, but what about together?

Where to Begin

This “new” definition of dental sleep medicine can improve the services offered at your practice. To begin 2017 out on the right foot, I am excited to announce that on January 20-21 my first lecture will be “ABC – Airway, Bruxism & Craniofacial Pain”. This lecture will dive into this “new definition” of dental sleep medicine so you can continue to expand your dental practice services and expertise.

Take the next step in providing proper care to your patients and by educating yourself in the New Year. With the availability of the ABC lecture and others, I can work with you to continue your education.