Orthodontic Treatments For Sleep Apnea

Orthodontic Treatments For Sleep Apnea

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By: Kenny Hackett

When breathing is periodically blocked during sleep you may be suffering from a common condition called obstructive sleep apnea; several conditions may be causing the airway to narrow enough to restrict airflow during sleep. West Paces Ferry Orthodontics specializes in sleep apnea orthodontics, a unique field of dentistry that treats sleep apnea. With custom-fitted dental appliances, your Atlanta orthodontists Dr. Kristin Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest, prevent soft throat tissues from falling back into your throat and interrupting breathing during sleep.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts normal breathing patterns when airways obstruct airflow during sleep. OSA occurs when your anterior throat tissues relax so much they collapse into the airway soon after you fall asleep. Other possible causes of sleep apnea include having larger than normal tonsils, a large tongue, abnormally narrow airways or being overweight.

Man suffering from sleep apnea
Man sleeping with CPAC mask

When you are overweight, excess tissues may thicken your windpipe wall and restrict breathing. Cognitive issues associated with aging may also contribute
to the development of obstructive sleep apnea when your brain’s ability to process sleep signals decreases and your throat muscles do not remain stiff enough during sleep.

Finally, obstructive sleep apnea is often caused by your lower jaw being shorter than your upper jaw (retrognathia). Orthodontists will also measure tonsil and adenoid size to determine whether they may be contributing to airway blockage.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

In addition to experiencing unusual daytime fatigue, signs of possible sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring loudly enough that you abruptly awaken yourself throughout the night
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Feeling depressed and irritable for no reason
  • Having a parched mouth in the morning
  • Gaining weight even though your level of physical activity hasn’t changed (daytime tiredness leads to increased appetite)
  • Having elevated blood pressure when you do not have a previous history of hypertension

How Orthodontists Treat Sleep Apnea

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An Orthodontic Sleep Apnea Appliance.

Your Atlanta orthodontist, Dr. Yurfest & Huber specialize in treating sleep apnea using customized dental appliances that prevent the tongue and/or throat tissues from falling back into the airway and interrupting breathing.

Acrylic dental devices designed by your Atlanta orthodontists can help restore normal positioning of your lower jaw or work as a tongue retention appliance to prevent the tongue from falling over the airway during sleep. By holding your lower jaw in a more forward position, a dental sleep apnea appliance prevents tissue collapse, significantly reduces snoring and improves the flow of air through your airway during sleep.

Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Since sleep apnea causes extremely loud snoring, inhibits breathing and forces you to gasp for air during sleep, untreated sleep apnea will significantly reduce the amount of sleep you get. When you don’t get good enough, sound sleep night after night, severe health problems often develop, such as

Diabetes–daytime fatigue leads to cravings for high sugar, high carb foods that may induce insulin resistance, weight gain, and development of diabetes

Hypertension/Heart problems–sudden decreases in blood oxygen levels due to obstructed airways strain your cardiovascular system, elevate blood pressure and raise the risk of atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rhythms.

Metabolic syndrome–a constellation of risk factors associated with heart disease, metabolic syndrome includes high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol and expanding waist circumference.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease–Research shows that people w
ith untreated sleep apnea could present abnormal liver function test results indicating scarring and defective liver cell activity.

If you think you have sleep apnea or wish to get rid of your CPAP mask, call your Atlanta
orthodontists, West Paces Ferry Orthodontics,  today to learn more about the benefits of sleep apnea orthodontics.

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Dr. Kristin L Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.
Why Choose a Top 1% Invisalign® Provider?

Why Choose a Top 1% Invisalign® Provider?

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you when they meet you. Crooked, poorly spaced teeth can not only affect that first impression but can also impact your self-confidence. Invisalign® clear aligners help straighten your teeth without your having to deal with uncomfortable, noticeable, difficult-to-maintain metal braces.

 

Finding an orthodontist who is experienced with Invisalign therapy is important.  Invisalign Aligners only work at their best when guided by an experienced orthodontist.

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Drs. Yurfest & Huber accepting their Life Time Achievement award from Align Technology CEO Joe Hogan.

The most experienced providers are designated as Top 1% providers.  These providers are the most experienced Invisalign providers in the world, and there are less than 100 of them in practice.  These Top 1% providers are given access to the newest and most advanced technology used in the Invisalign process.  Drs. Yurfest and Huber are two such providers. Together, they have treated more than 4,000 patients using these products, and their practice is frequently asked by the company to test new Invisalign products and techniques. They were even instrumental in the switch from a two-week wear protocol with Invisalign to the current one-week wear protocol.

 

 

 

 

About Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign aligners fit snugly over your teeth gently guiding your teeth to their desired positions. The aligners allow each tooth to be manipulated individually, helping to create a perfect smile and healthy bite. You will wear these aligners for most of the day and sleep in them. However, unlike traditional braces, they can easily be removed for cleaning and so that you can brush your teeth thoroughly. You can also remove your aligners when you eat.

 

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The iTero Digital Scanner at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

During your initial appointment, our staff will make a digital 3D model of your teeth that will be used to create your first set of aligners. You will have follow-up appointments so that we can track your process. Once this set of aligners is complete, you will be scanned again for a second set of aligners. You will start out replacing your aligners with a new set every week so that a constant pressure is kept on your teeth as they move into their new positions.

 

 

At the end of the treatment, which can last between 12 and 24 months, patients transition to wearing a retainer. This retainer keeps teeth in their new position and prevents them from shifting back to their previous location.

Benefits of using Invisalign aligners

Invisalign aligners give patients all the benefits of traditional braces without having to endure heavy metal bands around your teeth for months or years. Also, Invisalign aligners also offer these benefits:

Appearance. Invisalign aligners are clear and fit tightly over your existing teeth. Most people will not even notice that you are wearing them.

Easy care. Since Invisalign aligners are removed for brushing, you do not have to worry about food getting trapped in them as can happen with traditional braces. You simply brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.

Easy monitoring. Invisalign aligners also make it easy to see how your smile is improving at every step in the process. You do not have to wait until the end of the treatment to see the result.

Comfort. With Invisalign aligners, there are no sharp edges or wires to cut your mouth.

About our practice

Dr. Yurfest and Dr. Huber have been helping Atlanta residents perfect their smiles for more than 40 years.  They have treated more patients with Invisalign than any other orthodontist in the Atlanta area.  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics was the first office in the world to treat adults, so you know that they have the experience to successfully treat you and your family.

To learn more about Invisalign and to make an appointment for a complimentary consultation, call their office today at (404) 262-2212 or visit wportho.com!

The Legacy of Dr. Marvin Goldstein, of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

The Legacy of Dr. Marvin Goldstein, of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

The Godfather of Adult Orthodontics

Part 1 Of A 3 Part Series

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By:  Kenny Hackett

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Dr. Marvin Goldstein

Dr. Marvin Goldstein started his Orthodontic practice in 1941.  This practice would eventually become known as  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  Along the way, Dr. Goldstein had some impressive achievements.  In this three-part series, we will explore some of these achievements in more detail.

In 1947 in a paper entitled “Adult Orthodontics” Dr. Goldstein made an extensive study of the available literature on orthodontic treatments of the time and found little mention of adult orthodontics.  He concluded that orthodontic treatment was not attempted if the patient was over 20 years old.  Dr. Goldstein quickly realized there was no legitimate rationale as to why adults couldn’t be treated successfully with orthodontic therapy.  He also realized that adults needed to be treated differently than children.   Dr. Goldstein told the Orlando Sun Sentinel ” Many adults who have orthodontic work, even if the treatment is begun in middle age or later, may be able to keep their remaining teeth all their lives.”   This was radical thinking at the time.  Many orthodontists not willing to accept the changes Dr. Goldstein was pioneering went as far as sending him hate mail.

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An adult with braces.  picture courtesy of Usnews.com

 

Dr. Goldstein found that adults could be treated, but the treatment was not achieved the same way.  Since there is not a clinically significant amount of growth in the adult, one must consider how best to accomplish tooth movement.  For instance,  before tooth movement space may need to be secured within which to move the teeth.  This space can be achieved by extracting a tooth or several, or by interproximal reduction.

 

Another trend Dr. Goldstein changed was when a patient sees the orthodontist.  A generation ago it was all too common for the adult seeking orthodontic treatment to see the orthodontist only after having extensive periodontal or aesthetic dental work completed.  Now it is advisable for only the worst periodontal problems to be treated before seeing the orthodontist.  Also, cavities should be filled but crowns, implants, and extensive restorations should be done after orthodontic treatment is completed.  This allows for all needs to be addressed to take advantage of creating space while preserving the teeth with the greatest potential to remain healthy.

History has proven Dr. Goldstein correct, as now almost all orthodontist treat adults as well as children.  Dr. Kristin Huber and Dr. Paul Yurfest continue to innovate orthodontic therapies that make new treatments ever more efficient and effective here at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

Are there dental concerns you thought could not be treated?

It Is Nothing Like Carpool Karaoke

It Is Nothing Like Carpool Karaoke

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By: Renee Hartz

I am pretty new to the preschool pick-up line.  What I have learned thus far is that whether it is an after school program or daycare; pick up lines are a nightmare!  All you do is wait and wait for your darling rug rat. When picking up your child, you must have proper identification & an identification number on your car.

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Picture courtesy of Tampa Bay Times.

I appreciate this. The more security, the better, especially today. Once you finally get to the front of the line and can retrieve your child, you are hoping for a brief update on how your child ate & what they did today.  Instead, you hurried off so the next parent can get their child.  It is a long and dreadful procedure.  Seeing that smiling face and the words, “Hi, Mama,” make up for the painful experience.

Check out this website to find out ten ways to kill time: www.the-golden-spoons.com.

The 411 on the 911 (of teeth)!  What to do if you have a tooth emergency?

The 411 on the 911 (of teeth)! What to do if you have a tooth emergency?

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By: Kristin Huber DMD

If a tooth is knocked out or avulsed, you should attempt to put the tooth back in the socket and soon as possible. Every minute counts. A tooth that is replaced within the first 30 minutes has a good prognosis for long-term survival. If the tooth is out of the mouth for over two hours, the chances of keeping that tooth long term is minimal. If the tooth cannot be replaced immediately, it should be placed in a solution of either milk or a balance salt solution that can be purchased from the drugstore. If neither of these solutions is available, the best thing to do is place it in saliva (it can be held in the cheek) until it can be replaced.

 

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Picture courtesy of Todaysdentist.org

If the tooth simply gets knocked out of position, see an orthodontist immediately. The sooner that it can be moved back in position, the better long-term prognosis it will have.   When trauma occurs to the tooth, the nerve/vascular bundle is disturbed. It is also not uncommon for fractures of the surrounding alveolar bone to occur.  As these areas heal, the cells of the tooth and bone can become confused, and ankylosis of the tooth can occur. This makes orthodontic correction impossible.  If orthodontics is immediately initiated, the proper signals are sent to the brain that helps differentiates bone from the tooth, and ankylosis is not as likely to occur.

 

These valuable tips are not widely known, so spread the word and knowing the 411 may help you or a friend save a tooth!

Are Amalgam Fillings Safe?

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Kenny Hackett, Communications Director –West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

By:  Kenny Hackett

As the communications director of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, it is my responsibility to manage our blog and social media presence.  Part of that job includes reviewing and vetting articles a service sends to me to possibly share with you, our audience.  Yesterday I was sent an article on a controversial subject.  The safety of Amalgam fillings.  The article shared an opinion that is in opposition to my own, but as the editor in chief of our publication efforts, I try to be open minded to views other than my own.  My hope was that a colleague would address the article and a dialog would result, and my further intention was to post an article today expressing the opposing view.  I was not disappointed.  I decided to take today’s response a step further by writing an editorial regarding the safety of amalgam myself.

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Dr. Nanci Lubell, The Right Smile Center. Picture courtesy of www.rightsmilecenter.com.

Dr. Nancy Lubell, of The Right Smile Center, had this to say on the subject  “Amalgam has been tested by numerous organizations over the decades and not one well executed scientific study done by dental, MS, Alzheimers, WHO, FDA, or other organizations has been able to link amalgam to the wide array of diseases, disorders, symptoms, etc., claimed to be caused by it. I have not placed an amalgam in over a decade, but not because of mercury.’  Dr. Lubell continued, “Before dentists wore gloves and masks, there was no higher incidence in any of these conditions among dentists vs. the general population. Mercury vapor is highest at placement and removal of amalgams. It would be logical to assume those of us who breathed this all day before masks would be affected. I don’t argue with patients who request that their amalgams be replaced, but I don’t perpetuate this sensationalism.”

Further research found that the American Dental Association held that “Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper, and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.”

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An amalgam filling commonly referred to as a “silver” filling.

No one is disputing that Mercury is an ingredient in amalgam, but one must understand that is not dangerous as the mercury in amalgam is what scientist refer to as a bound chemical.  Quackwatch.com explains: “Mercury is a component of the amalgam used for “silver” fillings. The other major ingredients are silver, tin, copper, and zinc. When mixed, these elements bond to form a strong, stable substance. The difference between bound and unbound chemicals can be illustrated by a simple analogy. Elemental hydrogen is an explosive gas. Elemental oxygen is a gas that supports combustion. When combined, however, they form water, which has neither of these effects. Amalgam’s ingredients are tightly bonded to each other. Although the types of chemical bonds in water and amalgam differ, saying that amalgam will poison you is just as wrong as saying that drinking water will make you explode and burst into flames.”

The conclusion I have come to after looking at the information available on this subject is that your best and safest course of action with this and other issues regarding your teeth and your health is to ask your dentist!  There is so much information available on the internet that it becomes tough to divine truth from fiction.  Your dentist, on the other hand, has very specialized and thorough education regarding your health.  When in doubt ask your dentist!  We are always happy to answer your questions at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics!  Are there any dental topics you have that you would like us to look into?  Ask us in the comment section!

Sweet Auburn Music Festival

Sweet Auburn Music Festival

 

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Niecy Harris

By: Niecy Harris

 

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, you should go to the Sweet Auburn Music Festival. The Sweet Auburn Music Fest is an annual event, and it is full of music, food, and fun. There will be two days of non-stop music from nationally known artists, and local artists that are performing alternative, R&B, Gospel and Rap/Hip-Hop genres. What I love about this event is that it is FREE for everyone and that it is a family event. Yes, you can bring your children. The kids can participate in scheduled fun activities that are free and some that have a fee. Take a stroll into the car and bike show to see some of the most beautiful cars. Grady Health System is offering FREE health screenings in their pavilion area with lots of information available. Or you can visit the Ford Experience and test drive the latest model vehicles, and you might have a chance to win one!

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Picture Courtesy of The Sweet Auburn Music Festival.
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Picture courtesy of The Sweet Auburn Music Festival.

With everything there are a few rules, you can’t bring coolers into the event because there will be an array of food truckers and vendors with reasonable priced food and drink available to purchase. They are encouraging you to support small businesses here in Atlanta. There is a no pet rule, but it only applies to large breeds. If your dog is small enough for you to carry them, they are permitted. The Sweet Auburn Music Fest is a great opportunity to hang out with friends and family and enjoy the culture of Atlanta. Festival organizers suggest that you take MARTA to Five Points Station or Peachtree Station and ride the Street Car down to the festivities.  I hope to see you there!  If you attend be sure to tag #wportho in your pictures so we can enjoy them!

Can Straightening Your Teeth Improve Your Posture?

Can Straightening Your Teeth Improve Your Posture?

 

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Kenny Hackett, Communications Director – West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

By: Kenny Hackett, Communications Director

 

There are many obvious benefits of straight teeth.  Better chewing, a more esthetic smile, and better oral hygiene are well-known benefits of properly aligned teeth.   A new study from both the University Barcelona in Spain and the University of Innsbruck in Austria show that our posture and balance are also affected by the relationship of our upper and lower jaws while biting.  The alignment of our jaws when we bite is called our occlusion.  When there is a misalignment of the occlusion, it is known as a malocclusion.

Sonia Julia, a researcher from the University of Barcelona, states ” Postural control is the result of a complex system that includes different sensory and motor elements arising from visual, somatosensory — denoting a sensation such as pressure, pain, or warmth — and vestibular information — regarding motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation.  Malocclusion has also been associated with different motor and physiological alterations, especially when people were fatigued.  But postural control was shown to improve — both in static and dynamic equilibrium — when different malocclusions are corrected by positioning the jaw in a neutral position.”

She continued “This relationship can play a crucial role in athletes in how well they ultimately perform as well as in the prevention of injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures caused by unexpected instability as fatigue increases and motor control capacity decreases.”

Picture courtesy of CBC News.
Picture courtesy of CBC News.

“Therefore, it would be helpful for both the general population and athletes to consider correcting dental occlusions to improve postural control and thus prevent possible falls and instability due to a lack of motor system response,” she concluded.

Orthodontists specialize in the occlusion and correcting malocclusions.  If you feel like your bite may be misaligned you should schedule a complimentary consultation with experts such as Dr. Paul Yurfest and Dr. Kristin Huber of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

Did You Know You Can Get Scars On Your Teeth?

Did You Know You Can Get Scars On Your Teeth?

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By: Renee Hartz, Treatment Director

Decalcification marks are a common occurrence when venturing into the orthodontic world.

Here at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, we provide a prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.  This toothpaste helps fight against these decalcification marks. Many people will blame the braces and say that the braces have caused these marks. This idea is not true!

Once the braces go on, the teeth are at higher risk for these decalcification marks. Braces DO NOT cause these white scars. Lack of proper brushing and not getting the toothbrush on the teeth is what causes the scars to occur.

Plaque built up on a patients teeth and braces. picture courtesy of Askaorthodontist.com.
Plaque built up on a patients teeth and braces. picture courtesy of Askaorthodontist.com.

Once these marks set into the teeth, they are there; that is why they are scars. The prescription strength fluoride toothpaste helps prevent these decalcification marks from occurring.

At West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, we take the extra step to teach proper brushing techniques. These educational tips ensure that our patients leave with only a beautiful smile- without scars caused by decalcification.  Schedule your complimentary consultation with West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  Ensure you receive the best care from the experts!

Teeth after braces with good oral hygiene. Picture courtesy of Maximum Living.
Teeth after braces with good oral hygiene. Picture courtesy of Maximum Living.
The iTero Element Laser Scanner

The iTero Element Laser Scanner

New technology at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

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By: Kenny Hackett

The iTero Element is the newest piece of technology at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  It is a digital laser scanner used to provide Invisalign with an accurate model of the mouth.  The machine uses laser light to read the surface of the teeth and then recreates a virtual model of these teeth.

Orthodontic Technician Michele scanning a patient for Invisalign with the iTero Element.
Orthodontic Technician Michele scanning a patient for Invisalign with the iTero Element.

“As of March 2016, iTero scans have been used in more than 2.7 million iTero orthodontic scans, including more than 1 million Invisalign® scans.”According to the iTero website.  The scanner is more accurate than the older model and the scans also take half the time.

For a patient, this means getting in and out faster and having a lower chance of needing a second scan.  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics was so impressed with how much the machines improved the patient experience that we bought two of them!  Visit Westpacesferrryortho.com to request an appointment today and experience the latest technology available to orthodontic patients!