January 2019

The Serious Risks of “Mail Order” Dental Appliances

Clear Dental Aligner Atlanta GAIn recent years a new trend has emerged that closely borders being unlawful, and will most certainly prove to worsen the dental health of our nation, probably killing a few along the way; Mail-order dentistry. In this month’s article, I will present the risks associated with ordering “Do-it-yourself” dental appliances to straighten teeth, stop snoring, or treat bite and tooth grinding problems.

Mail Order Snoring Appliances:  While these have been available for several years, there is no mail order therapy endangering more lives than “snoring appliances”. The big problem here is that while the “quick buck” mail order companies understand the relationship of snoring and the disease of sleep apnea, most of the public does not. The fact is that if snoring is loud or frequent enough to the point of someone seeking relief, there is a 70 %; yes, 70 % likelihood that the patient will test positive for Obstructive Sleep Apnea without any other signs or symptoms!

The National Institute of Health also tells us that un-treated, un-monitored apnea can lead to a 12 to 15 year reduction in life expectancy, and represents the single most dangerous risk factor for heart attack or stroke, more than double the risk of smoking. No person should ever have a snoring appliance made without a test to rule out Sleep Apnea; Not even by a dentist! If my warning is unconvincing, try this; Call a mail-order snoring appliance company and tell them you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and would like one of their appliances. The point is that even the telemarketers have been instructed to tell customers that these appliances are not intended to and cannot treat sleep apnea.  To take this a step further, for an oral appliance to be used in the treatment of sleep apnea, it must be an FDA cleared appliance for this purpose and must be both delivered and supervised by a licensed dentist. In this same phone call, ask what bite position will be used to make the appliance. The silence should prove deafening as the appliance will be put into an arbitrary jaw relationship that could cause jaw joint pain or prove ineffective. Simply put, snoring is a symptom of a life-threatening disease and proper diagnosis/treatment is almost always paid for by medical insurance and/or Medicare.

Mail-Order/Over-The-Counter Bite, TMJ and Grinding Appliances:  The products that have been most available to the public over the last decade are the bite, TMJ and grinding appliances. These have typically been over-the-counter and have been seen as cost-saving options to professional night-guards and TMJ appliances. Though these have been on the market longest, the possibility of doing physical harm is no less than the previously discussed categories of “do-it-yourself” appliances. The first and most obvious concern are the appliances that are made for grinding or clenching.  Most of these appliances are made of a “boil and bite” soft material. The inherent problems with the soft materials is that when a patient has a problem with clenching or grinding the “squishy” material can actually stimulate the clenching the patient is trying to prevent, making the condition worse.

Another concern is that many of the patients who present with night-time grinding, do so as part of the Sleep Apnea muscle response to arousals or awakenings. Therefore  many patients are seeking the wrong treatment, and in doing so can actually make the apnea worse than it was prior to using the over-the-counter appliance. This could ultimately be life threatening. Finally, TMJ appliances should NEVER be store or mail bought. Dentists such as this author have spent thousands of continuing education hours understanding the nuances of the TMJ and how to selectively treat the muscles, bony component, ligament and disk problems that are associated with this generalized condition and buying a generic appliance is more likely to worsen the condition than fix it.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
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Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD – Atlanta Dentist
1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752

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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Marietta GADo you wake repeatedly during the night? Do you feel tired during the day despite getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep? Do you snore? If you answered, “yes,” to any of these questions, it is time to call your dentist. Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s breathing is paused as a result of the blockage of the pharyngeal airway. A pause in breathing means that the body, especially major organs like the brain and heart, are not receiving adequate and consistent oxygen repeatedly. Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD understands that sleep apnea poses health risks and lessens a person’s quality of life. He offers specific treatment for his patients that suffer from sleep apnea so that they can enjoy a full night’s sleep and eliminate future health problems.

The word “apnea” is defined as the temporary cessation of breathing. While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, snoring is a common indicator for many. Other indicators include:

• Restless sleep
• Interrupted sleep
• Waking suddenly
• Waking with a gasp for air, or waking with a cough
• Sleepiness throughout the day despite receiving a full night’s sleep
• Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
• Moring headache
• Insomnia
• Attention problems

If you have any of these symptoms, it is time to have your sleep evaluated. Dr. Wayne Suway offers custom oral appliances designed specifically for patients with sleep apnea. These appliances are similar to a mouth guard, but they are designed to keep the airway open. Worn only at night, they can eliminate snoring and sleep apnea, allowing for a full, successful night’s rest.

If you think that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact the dental practice of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD. With over 30 years of dental experience, he is the trusted name in Marietta, Vinings, and surrounding areas as the reputable source for comprehensive dental care. Dr. Suway can relieve your sleep apnea symptoms and help you receive a better night’s sleep.

Posted on behalf of Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
Circle Us on Google+

Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGDAtlanta Dentist
1820 The Exchange SE, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 953-1752

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Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD.

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Through the years, we have found Dr. Suway to be a skillful perfectionist in all areas of his profession. He keeps abreast of and utilizes the latest dental techniques to improve and ensure the longevity of his patient’s teeth. He is a caring, personable professional who always greets his patients with a sincere, ready smile. Dr. Suway is also a ‘confidence booster.’ I say this because by the time I was 30 years old I was wearing dentures. He immediately recognized a self-conscious young wife, mother and professional who needed his professional help. His approach to boosting my confidence was through dental implants. At that time dental implants were a relatively new procedure. Dr. Suway carefully explained to me the advantages of dental implants and was proactive in working with my insurance provider to ensure that they understood the correlation between the required dental procedures and health plan benefits. I can smile with confidence forever because of Dr. Suway. Dr. Suway’s staff is a mirror image of his positive professionalism. They are always courteous, knowledgeable, efficient and personable. Appointments are scheduled at your convenience. You know that your time is valued because at the precise time of your appointment you are greeted, then immediately seen by either Dr. Suway or a hygienist. His work is outstanding and he is one of a kind.

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My husband and I have been patients of Dr. Suway since 1988. Dr. Suway and his staff have provided us with state-of-the-art oral health care in a pleasant, friendly and compassionate environment for many years. Dr. Suway has done many procedures for me including root canals, crowns and a bridge. His work is beautiful. He is truly a perfectionist and that is exactly what I want in a dentist. I would never trust my smile to anyone other then Dr. Suway.