We proudly offer a variety of dental appliances in our New Jersey office. Each appliance targets a different area of treatment, based on your individual needs. Some of the many appliances we offer include:
Our team is committed to preventive dentistry, so we are always on the alert for symptoms that could lead to chronic difficulties like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This is a common problem that involves the joints used in chewing, swallowing, and talking. TMD can lead to localized symptoms or seemingly unrelated headaches and earaches. One of the first culprits we look for during regular examinations is bruxism. Bruxism is the name for forceful grinding and/or clenching of your teeth. Grinding is usually noisy; clenching is silent. Either can create so much stress on the jaw joints that patients experience serious and even debilitating muscle spasms and pain, common symptoms of TMD.
Many individuals are unaware that they “brux,” so we look for telltale signs that include:
- worn-down teeth
- sensitive teeth
- chipped or broken teeth
- cracked or loose restorations
- scarring of the tongue and cheeks
Snap On Smile
Snap-On Smile is an affordable, non-invasive and completely reversible, cosmetic removable arch that can easily and painlessly enhance your smile. The Snap-on Smile is a temporary smile design, made out of acrylic, that snaps over your natural teeth.
It can be used for special events, such as weddings or graduations, or it can be used to “try on” a smile design to see if it works. Or it can be used as a low-cost smile makeover to cover an imperfect smile while you save up money to get a permanent restoration.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Do you snore at night? Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, lasts long enough so that one or more breaths are missed, and such episodes occur repeatedly throughout sleep. Common signs and symptoms include gasping, choking or silences during sleep, sudden awakening during sleep, loud snoring and daytime sleepiness. Not only can sleep apnea affect your energy levels throughout your day, but chronic sleep apnea carries potentially dangerous health affects.
Sleep apnea (a lack of oxygen) carries a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, diabetes, and sleep deprived driving accidents. Stroke is associated with obstructive sleep apnea as well, as sufferers have a 30 percent higher risk of heart attack or premature death than those unaffected. Risk factors can often be managed easily without major medical intervention. Being overweight or obese, nasal congestion or blockage and relaxed tongue/throat muscles often contribute to sleep apnea. Avoiding the intake of relaxants like alcohol or sedatives can play an important role in reducing the occurrence of sleep apnea.
There are three basic types of sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the only type of sleep apnea that can be treated by Dr. Courey. Central Sleep Apnea is when a person’s brain “forgets” to signal the chest muscles to breathe during sleep. This variation of sleep apnea requires medication prescribed by your physician. Mixed Sleep Apnea is a combination of the preceding two types, and is the most difficult type of sleep apnea to diagnose and treat.
What can be done about sleep apnea – and how can your dentist play a role? The first step is diagnosis. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with a “sleep study”. An individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening, and is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body. Symptoms may be present for years without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance.
Once a breathing problem during sleep has been established, there are two main routes of therapy for mild or moderate sleep apnea. The first is Oral Appliance Therapy, to reposition your lower jaw into a forward and downward position, opening up your throat. This appliance is custom made for you by Dr. Courey. There are several designs from a simple diagnostic one to more sophisticate double jaw design. Dr. Courey will determine which would fit you better and restore a restful night’s sleep.
For more severe cases, the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device can help, which ’splints’ the patient’s airway open during sleep by means of forcing pressurized air into the throat. The CPAP machine assists only inhaling, whereas a BiPAP machine assists with both inhaling and exhaling and is used in more severe cases. Home remedies to treat sleep apnea include lose weight, treating allergy to decrease the volume of inflamed soft tissue of the airway, using a humidifier (in conjunction with the CPAP machine), trying a saline nasal spray before sleep.