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National orthodontist month

October is the month for us all to appreciate orthodontists. Not only do they create beautiful smiles, they create functional smiles! Orthodontists use external appliances to help guide teeth to a straight shape.

Usually, these treatments are used on kids and teenagers, as this is optimal for best results, but that’s not to say that adults cannot benefit from orthodontia.

There are many options for orthodontia, as technologies are advancing. There are traditional methods such as braces, and there are also more subtle methods like Invisilign.

We know orthodontic treatments can be unattractive to many adults but the benefits are very promising.

Benefits

Straight teeth make for less nooks and crannies that plaque can get caught in. This leads to healthier overall oral health as well as healthier overall body health. A poor bite can cause abnormal wear on the teeth and jaw issues if not corrected.

Depending on your specific case of crooked teeth or misaligned jaw, your orthodontist may recommend special treatment.

For more of an aesthetic problem, Invisilign is normally used to help. You wear the retainer for 24 hours a day and swap out the retainer every couple of weeks, working your way up to the straightest one.

In more complex cases, traditional braces will be used. This method gives the orthodontist much more freedom to correct your teeth and jaw bite with one appliance and some accessories.

It is important to remember that while you may want one version of orthodontia over another, it is best to listen to your orthodontists’ advice based on your specific dental issue.

Another use for orthodontics is TMJ. A simple mouth guard could possibly help your TMJ case.

No matter what your age, you could benefit from orthodontic treatment!

As always, each case is different and everyone will be treated differently according to his or her dental condition. If you have an orthodontic related issue that you would be interested in learning more about treatment options, contact you dentist or orthodontist.

Please join us by celebrating National Orthodontics Month by expressing appreciation for your orthodontist or exploring orthodontic treatment options for your dental condition. A straight smile is a healthy smile!

If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our dentists or orthodontists or if you’d like to learn more about your options, please give us a call. We would love to chat!

Get Ready for Another Commercial!

 

img_4158_720 This week my marketing team convinced me to sit down in front of a cozy fireplace to talk about one of my passions – helping adults and children get a better night’s sleep. But there was a catch.

They were going to film it!

I love helping people to achieve their perfect smile. I enjoy creating solutions to make my patients more comfortable. I’m passionate about breathing well. And I’m eager to share these things!

We had a long talk in front of TerraBella’s fireplace and the camera crew was so amazing that I felt almost normal despite the mic and cameras surrounding us!

Over the course of the evening, we talked about how I got started in my practice and all of the new things I’ve been learning and incorporating into my practice through the years. We discussed Othro-tain and braces, the connection between breathing well and sleeping soundly, the correlation between poor sleep and ADD, and my collaborations with other providers such as chiropractors and physical therapists. Another key topic came up was all of the new technology that we’ve been incorporating into the practice.

img_4152_720There are so many exciting things happening.  I would love to elaborate on everything we talked about right now but I want to keep some things a surprise for the commercial!

Look for us on your TV soon and let us know what you were doing when we came on screen!

Use DNA to Improve Snoring

 

shutterstock_346374167_720Did you know that 27.4% of Alaskans are sleep deprived?

As we discussed the connection between Sleep Apnea and TMD we touched on some ways that we could help you with snoring and sleep apnea problems. The newest tool in our arsenal is a DNA Appliance System. As one of only two certified providers in Alaska, we are proud to begin introducing this system to our state and helping nearly a third of our state to rest better.

So what is the DNA Appliance System?dna logo

Though your genes can be a factor in whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea, in this instance we aren’t talking about Deoxyribonucleic acid or Ribonucleic acid. The Daytime-Nighttime Appliance (DNA) is a patented, FDA registered device that aims to correct the underlying issue instead of simply masking it. In combination with the mandibular Repositioning-Nighttime Appliance (mRNA) this system allows us to gently and non-surgically correct many of the issues that cause TMD, Sleep Apnea, snoring, and headaches.

The other method that we like to use to manage snoring and sleep apnea is a Mandibular Advancement Device. This simple protrudes your lower jaw in an effort to keep your airway from collapsing as you sleep. This device still has a firm place in our treatment line-up, but it does have some drawbacks. The biggest one being that it has to be worn over a lifetime.

A longer term solution is to use non-surgical airway remodeling of the upper airway so that the underlying issues can be fully resolved.

The DNA is worn during the evening and at night. It gently increases the size of your upper jaw over time. Which, in turn, increases the volume of the nasal airway. More volume means more air, less constriction, and more sleep.

The mRNA is worn at night. It corrects the position of your teeth and places them in a more natural position. It also increases the redevelops the upper airway. This combined approach helps to reduce TMD symptoms, headaches, and snoring in patients of all ages.

If you’re looking for a solution to your sleep issues that doesn’t involve surgery, drugs, pain, or injections, contact us today! We’d be happy to tell you more about the new option and see if it’s right for you.

The TMD and Sleep Apnea Connection

headache

Are you suffering from daytime drowsiness, high blood pressure, morning headaches, depression, decreased libido, or impaired concentration? Is your partner suffering with a bed-mate who snores?

You might have sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing.

Do you hear clicking in your jaw, struggle with painful chewing, have trouble opening or closing your jaw properly, feel tension in your temple muscles, have toothaches, or headaches?

Then you might have Temporal Mandibular Disorder.

Be wary though, TMD and SDB share many symptoms and occasionally TMD symptoms can mimic or mask those of sleep apnea. More often however, where there is one you will find the other because the two are interconnected.

Sleep apnea leads to TMD.
When people who suffer from sleep apnea grind their teeth or shift their jaw in an unconscious attempt to find a better position in which to breathe can cause the temporomandibular joint to become inflamed and exacerbate a pre-existing TMD.

TMD leads to sleep apnea.
If your teeth aren’t positioned correctly then your lower jaw can go back too far when it closes. If your jaw goes back too far this can cause problems with your temporomandibular joint. TMD can lead to headaches and jaw aches. Head and jaw aches cause your head to move forward, straining the neck. Ongoing neck strain can cause the normal curvature of your spine to degenerate which restricts normal movements like those needed to breath unobstructed. The DNA Appliance System is a new solution that we’re excited to begin implementing.

In most cases this cycle can be prevented. With a simple treatments such as Six Month Smiles or Ortho-tain, we can make sure that your teeth are properly aligned. And with a simple Mandibular Advancement Device we can prevent your airway from being blocked by your tongue and the soft tissues of your throat.

If you’re suffering with TMD, jaw pain, headaches, and interrupted sleep, contact us today to see if we can help you feel better.

Can Sleep Apnea Affect My Health?

 

How would you rather sleep-

Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when your breathing is interrupted while you sleep. Untreated sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing repeatedly as they sleep, this can deprive the brain and body of much needed oxygen.

The two types of sleep apnea are:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – This is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by the airway being blocked when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses during sleep. A popular analogy is to think of drinking a thick milkshake through a paper straw. As you suck in, the weak paper collapses and you can’t get any of the milkshake. When you’re awake your brain signals the muscles of your tongue and throat to stay strong, acting like a stronger plastic straw. But when you sleep those signals don’t always reach your muscles, especially when you sleep on your back.
  • Central sleep apnea – This type of sleep apnea is not caused by a blockage but by the brain. CSA is caused by instability of the respiratory control center causing the brain to fail to signal muscles to breath.

Who’s At Risk For Sleep Apnea?

Anyone is susceptible to sleep apnea at any age – even kids. But there are certain traits that will increase your risk.

  • Male
  • Overweight
  • Over 40 years old
  • Menopause
  • A large neck (Over 17” in men and 16” in women
  • Large tonsils or tongue
  • Small jawbone
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Nasal obstructions from a deviated septum, allergies, or other sinus issues.

 

How Can You Tell if You Have Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea Anchorage Snoring – When you don’t get enough air into your lungs your blood oxygen level drops and your levels of carbon dioxide go up. With OSA your brain detects that you’re not breathing and wakes up. The amount of time that you can be affected varies from a few seconds to over a minute. Normal breathing resumes, but your airway may not be at its full size. When this happens the tissue surrounding the restricted airway vibrates causing snoring.

Silence – No snoring does not necessarily mean that someone is breathing unobstructed. Silence could indicate that they’re not breathing at all as a result of sleep apnea. If you listen or watch carefully when someone is sleeping you can see when they semi-wake up and take a deep breath.

 

What are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?

Untreated sleep apnea has a large variety of effects on your health. Your body and brain are extremely sensitive to oxygen levels and when those drop it can wear on your overall health. The longer your periods of no breathing are, the higher your chances for more serious effects.

Effects due to your heart being under extra stress.

*Inflammation                                                *Diabetes

*High Blood Pressure                                    *Stroke

*Irregular heartbeat                                      *Heart attacks or heart failure

Effects due to increases in hormones and neurotransmitters.

*Increased inflammation                              *Higher stress

*Mood swings                                                 *Hypothyroidism

Because you have to wake up to end an episode of sleep apnea you will be forced to wake up over and over again during the night. This reduces the quality and quantity of sleep you get. Even if you don’t notice the periods of wakefulness your brain does.

Effects due to insufficient sleep.

*Headaches                                      *Poor performance at work

*Insomnia                                         *Academic underachievement

*Heightened ADHD                         *Motor vehicle crashes

*Daytime sleepiness                       *Fatigue

*Lowered concentration               *Reduced memory

*Depression                                      *Cognitive Deficits

 

How Can I Treat Sleep Apnea?

Depending on the cause of your sleep apnea, there are several options available. Most require the care of a doctor or sleep specialist.

*Weight Loss – If your sleep apnea is caused by being overweight then shedding some of those pounds can reduce the pressure on the muscles around your airway.

sleep-device*Removal of the tonsils – If you have larger than normal tonsils then having them removed will open up your airway.

*CPAP – A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine provides a positive flow of air via a mask worn all that keeps your airway open and prevents it from collapsing.

*Oral Appliance – These appliances work by keeping the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open and prevents the tongue and muscles from relaxing and blocking the airway.  These simple mouth pieces are custom made for each individual and can be worn at night without restricting movement or limiting comfort. This is not suitable for all cases of sleep apnea, but it is the best, least invasive, first defense. A simple trip to your dentist is all it takes to get started.Sleep apnea process illustrator

 

To Choose, or Not to Choose the Toothbrush

shutterstock_206881837How much thought goes into choosing your toothbrush? Chances are your choice was based on price and color, but what about the health and well being of your mouth? Did you think about that?
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months, after you have been sick, or when they start to show wear.  This means at least four times a year you will find yourself in the toothbrush isle faced with the decision of what type of toothbrush to purchase.
So what should you consider when selecting a toothbrush? Bristles, the shape of the head, and the handle are all important factors.
Soft bristles are often the best choice because they are best at removing plaque from your teeth, while staying gentle and not damaging the gum line.
The shape of the toothbrush head can be important as well. A small toothbrush head allows you to navigate better and reach further back in your mouth, where plaque is hiding. It also proves to be less invasive for those prone to gagging.
Additionally, a nonslip flexible handle can ease the process. It will also allow you to cover more surface area without the risk of slipping and harming the inside of your mouth.
Next time you find yourself in the toothbrush isle, be sure to consider the head, handle, and bristles of the brush as well. If you have any other questions, please give me a call today at 907-276-5522.  

Illumisure Insurance

shutterstock_197338823Are you one of the 131 Million Americans without dental insurance? Dr. Mandanas now offers a solution for those who are without or think they can not afford dental insurance.

The Illumisure Plan allows you to receive all the rewards of dental insurance with less time and money. There are no deductibles, no yearly maximum benefits, and no exclusions for cosmetic or elective care. Illumisure member advantages also include complimentary preventative care (cleaning, exams, and x-rays), a 15 percent discount on all restorative or cosmetic treatment, and affordable monthly payments.

The amount of companies providing dental insurance for their employees is decreasing and Medicare does not cover your dental needs. You never know when an incident will occur or if you or a family member will need costly and extensive dental work. Illumisure offers membership plans for adults as well as children and covers both in an emergency.

Don’t leave your dental needs to chance and be slammed with a hefty bill. Save time and join online at ladydentistanchorage.com, or call us today with any questions at (907) 276-5522.

Conquering Your Fear of The Dentist

shutterstock_200626970Many people have huge anxiety and fear at the thought of going to the dentist. Some even postpone their necessary routine teeth cleanings, which can lead to infection, cavities, root canals and more. If you are someone who dreads going to the dentist, here are a few tips to overcome your fear:
 
-Request break times if you are feeling overwhelmed
-If the noise of dental tools is scaring you, bring earplugs or headphones
-If you feel that you cannot breath, try a nasal strip to help with blockage
-Find an escape. Focus on an interesting picture or the view outside
-Relax. Unclench you jaw, unfurrow your brow, and close your eyes
-Find a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Someone who can calm you and you know you can put your trust in.
Dr. Mandanas never overbooks, and gives all her focus and care to each patient one at a time. If your are experiencing dental anxieties, give her a call today at 907-276-5528, and she will be happy to discuss any special care and requests you need.

Innovative Alternatives to Braces

shutterstock_197324459We understand the importance of a healthy bite structure and the aesthetic appeal of brilliantly straight teeth. We also understand the financial and physical pain of braces (snapping rubberbands and food stuck in your brackets is never fun).

Therefore, Dr. Mandanas has teamed up with Ortho-Tain® and Six Month Smiles® in order to offer our customers alternatives to traditional braces.

Ortho-Tain®

What differentiates Ortho-Tain® from metal braces is that the appliance is the only removable orthodontic appliance approved by the FDA to correct both functional and aesthetic issues regarding your teeth. Ortho- Tain® can even correct overbites, buck teeth, crowding, spacing, TMJ disorders, and malocclusion, all at a lower more affordable price than traditional braces.

Six Month Smiles®

Six Month Smiles® is designed for those who wish for a short-term orthodontic solution. The use of clear brackets and wires that match the shade of your teeth, serves to be less noticeable than traditional braces in a manner that is more comfortable and conservative. Results can be obtained in approximately six months.

Are you interested in any of these new and impactful treatments? If so, give us a call today at (907) 276-5522.

What is Sleep Apnea?

snoring AnchorageSleep apnea is a condition where the individual ceases breathing multiple times while sleeping. One of the symptoms can be chronic snoring, but snoring can be the result of many other conditions so one should not jump to the conclusion that they are suffering with sleep apnea just because they snore.

Sleep apnea can be a very serious problem … if you suspect you may suffer with this sleeping disorder, there are several approaches to take.

  • Lose weight as carrying extra pounds can contribute to the problem.
  • Stop smoking, which is excellent advice for your overhaul good health.
  • Try a different sleeping position like moving from your back to your side.
  • Make an appointment with your dentist.

What does your dentist have to do with a sleeping disorder? Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the throat and/or tongue collapse blocking the airway. The individual usually awakens and their movement causes the airway to open. Your dentist can fabricate a mouth guard that will keep your jaw positioned in a way to prevent the blockage from occurring.

What side effects occur if the problem is not corrected? The most obvious, of course, is oxygen deprivation.  This can lead to a stroke. High blood pressure is another.

The inability to think clearly can be the result of night after night of interrupted sleep patterns. The patient might not even realize this is happening. Even though they might be waking up as much as hundreds of times each night, they may not be aware of this occurrence.

A partner may provide the first clues that sleep apnea is a possibility. Snoring, choking or gurgling sounds while asleep are indicators. Daily fatigue when you felt like you had a good night’s sleep or the need for regular naps can be a hint as well as persistent morning headaches.

If you suspect this sleep disorder is disrupting your life, a sleep study is often required to determine if sleep apnea is occurring. Following a sleep study, a consultation with your dentist for a sleeping device that will position your jaw to prevent the blockage is the next step. In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended for a more permanent solution.

If you have questions about your sleep apnea concerns, contact our skilled dental team today to schedule an informative consultation.