Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Surgery
Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Surgery

Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Surgery

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition created when a portion of the upper airway is blocked, causing breathing interruptions during sleep and low blood oxygen levels. As many as 20% of adults are affected by mild obstructive sleep apnea, while one in fifteen suffers from more severe apnea.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime drowsiness, restless sleep, high blood pressure, depression, problems with mental function, as well as a host of other mental and physical concerns. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a long list of serious medical conditions, including hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may initially treat the condition with a CPAP device that you wear while sleeping. While a CPAP machine will reduce the obstruction to the airway, it is not a cure and will only be effective during use. Other non-surgical treatment recommendations may include the wearing of mouthguards to reposition the jaw, sleep position changes, or weight loss.

Tongue muscle advancement involves moving the bony attachment of the tongue muscles, and can be combined with palatal surgery to reduce excess tissues. This therapy may also include removing enlarged tonsils and nasal surgery. These treatments are most often used for milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

However, if these treatments do not work or for more severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, oral surgery offers solutions to correct apnea. Maxillomandibular Advancement is a procedure that repositions the upper and lower jaw and chin to open the airway. This treatment is highly successful and offers the greatest chance of permanent correction in moderate to severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

For more information about how surgical therapies and treatments can be utilized to address your obstructive sleep apnea, consult with a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.


We look forward to seeing you in our Morehead City dental office

Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is often hailed as a solution to all of a patient’s problems regarding dental therapies. It can address anxiety, fear, stress and pain. It can provide a comfortable experience for the dental patient, allowing the dental professional to work safely and quickly. As with any pharmacological agent, there are risks, and before you agree to any sedation dentistry option, it is smart to educate yourself about some of those risks.

While single doses of oral sedatives such as Valium or Halcion are unlikely to harm a patient, there are concerns regarding multiple doses of these drugs that could potentially cause a patient to be overly sedated, or even completely unconscious. Because each patient has a different metabolism, drugs can take between twenty minutes and an hour to become fully effective.

These time-delay issues are not problematic for inhaled sedation or for IV sedation, as these types of sedation dentistry are effective almost instantaneously. For oral sedation, however, a dentist who administers more than one pill could cause an overdose if the medicine kicks in at the same time. Most dentists lack both the equipment and the training to effectively and quickly address an overdose in a patient who is unconscious.

In 2000, a group known as the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation was launched. Its purpose is to train dentists on sedation dentistry methods such as how to properly monitor a patient during a dental procedure to ensure that their heart rates and oxygen levels are healthy. Despite this, there are still concerns about adverse effects of adults with oral conscious sedation. There have been no reported adult deaths from overdosing; however, some children have died from oral sedation, leading to the practice being recommended only for adults.

If you are about to undergo a prolonged dental procedure, or if you are considering sedation dentistry to address personal anxiety or a dental phobia, look for a dentist who has received training in sedation dentistry and has high levels of experience to ensure that your procedure is as safe and comfortable as possible.


If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

While life can be full of moments that are wonderful, there are days that just naturally stand out: your wedding, your graduation, a very special anniversary or birthday, or a big job interview you’ve always wanted. Many of these events are photographed, and when you look back at those photos in years to come, you naturally want to look your very best. Will you look back on your photos and wonder, could my teeth have looked better? The answer could be yes if your teeth aren’t the best and the brightest they can be.

Teeth are covered in enamel, a strong white coating on top of the internal structures of your tooth. As we age, enamel naturally wears away. Because it cannot be replaced naturally, the enamel thins, and the yellow layer of dentin beneath is exposed. This leads to smiles that are discolored and yellowed, appearing dingy and dim.

The foods we eat affect the brightness of our teeth, and some can begin to stain long-term. Beets, blueberries and blackberries can leave stains, as can tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine. Even soy sauce and balsamic vinegar can discolor your smile. If you have any crown, bridges or veneers, those structures aren’t affected by long-term stains, and can begin to stand out in unattractive contrast to your natural, darkening teeth.

Begin the process for your important day by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Have your teeth examined and cleaned, and learn what teeth whitening procedures would best benefit your particular smile needs. Don’t wait until the last minute, as some whitening procedures take time to reach optimal effects. Some whitening methods increase the sensitivity of your teeth or surrounding gums. Planning ahead can allow your teeth some time to recover prior to your special event.

After your professional teeth whitening, you’ll be surprised at your self-confidence. Your mood will improve as you face those around you with your best and brightest smile, and everyone you meet will sense it. Love the photos you’ll be taking for years to come, and talk to your dentist today.


If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

A Perfect Smile Thanks to Dental Veneers

A Perfect Smile Thanks to Dental Veneers

If your desire is to transform your smile quickly and easily, dental veneers may be the way to go. They hide cosmetic problems that range from minor issues to very noticeable ones. Veneers are customized so that they give you the exact look you want for your new beautiful smile. These restorations, often made of porcelain, offer a variety of benefits to meet many needs.

Straightening:
Crooked, misaligned, or uneven teeth can be hidden with veneers. An impression will be taken of your teeth, which will be sent to a lab so that veneers can be created specifically for you. Once the veneers are finished, the dentist will attach them to your teeth to give you a perfectly straight smile without having to wear braces.

Strengthening:
If you have cracked or otherwise weakened teeth, you do not have to replace them in order to get dental veneers. Once the teeth are stabilized, veneers can be applied and actually act like a splint for your teeth. Veneers create a strong bond with your teeth and can even protect against tooth decay.

Durability:
Another benefit of veneers is their durability, as they can last up to 20 years. Caring for them just means proper brushing and flossing, and regular checkups. No changes to your diet are necessary, and porcelain veneers are stain resistant so they maintain their bright appearance.

Easy procedure:
Getting dental veneers is a painless process, and quicker than many other cosmetic procedures. You can get your new smile in just two or three appointments.

Natural:
Veneers are one of the most natural-looking ways to improve your smile. They look similar to real teeth because they reflect light naturally, and the thin material fits snugly to your teeth.

Versatility:
Veneers correct a variety of cosmetic dental problems. Examples include discolorations, stains, breaks, misalignment, overcrowding, and unevenness. Just about any aesthetic flaw you have with your teeth can be covered with veneers, giving you a brand new beautiful smile.

If you live in the Morehead City area contact us today

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

People are talking about dental implants. They’re talking about what a secure, longterm solution they are for patients with missing teeth and how successful they are for dental patients of all types. Are you wondering if you’re a candidate for dental implant treatment? The answer is yes, you probably are!

The one factor that’s a must for being a dental implant candidate is that you must have a missing tooth. The AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons) estimates that as many as 70% of all adults have lost a minimum of one adult tooth. If you are among this group and you have a missing tooth, you’re a candidate for dental implants. Some patients are better suited to this particular treatment, however, so making an informed decision regarding your particular tooth replacement is vital.

The healthier you are, the more successful your dental implant surgery will be. Some health conditions and diseases should be strongly factored into whether or not dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. Patients with the following conditions may experience difficulty in the fusing of implant and bone:

  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Radiation to the jaws or face
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or alcohol dependency
  • Acute gum disease/periodontitis

Typically, a tooth is lost due to an accident, tooth decay, advanced gum disease or a failed root canal treatment. Even though the cause of the tooth’s loss might be through poor oral health, the healthier your mouth and surrounding teeth are, the more successful a dental implant will be.

Because the health of the bone is directly related to the strength of the fusion of the bone to implant, patients with healthier bones will have more successful experiences with dental implants. Maintain a diet high in calcium and other bone-nourishing nutrients and drink plenty of fluids.

If you live in the Morehead City area contact us today

When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

  • Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.
  • Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.
  • Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.
  • Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

Our dental office is located in Morehead City

Comprehensive Dental Center

Dr. Jack T. Winchester
3705 Symi Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557
252-247-3510

Our practice is conveniently located in Morehead City, NC

Our Hours
Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: Closed

Directions to our office