Although dental implants are normally a tooth replacement situation, they can sometimes be used to stop snoring and treat sleep apnea. A recent case study highlights the situation of a man who had sleep apnea, couldn’t tolerate CPAP, but had no teeth to support an oral appliance.
A Complicated Case of Snoring
The snorer in question is a 65-year-old man. His wife complained of his loud snoring, and he had problematic daytime sleepiness indicative of sleep apnea. He had a sleep study indicating that he had moderate sleep apnea. He was prescribed CPAP.
Unfortunately, like more than 50% of people who use CPAP, he didn’t tolerate it, and he needed an alternative. Oral appliances offer just such an alternative, but, there was a problem there, too. Like about 25% of people his age, the man had no teeth to support an oral appliance. Even if he had great fitting dentures that could potentially support an oral appliance, it would still not be recommended that he wear it overnight.
Dental Implants to the Rescue
The man’s dentist came up with a good solution: using dental implants to secure the lower denture, making it capable of supporting an oral appliance. But even here there was a problem.
As a long-time denture wearer, the man had suffered significant bone loss in his jaw. As a result, the jaw was no longer capable of supporting full-size dental implants. However, mini implants could be used. Mini implants were placed to secure the denture, and they also had a secondary function. An orthotic was designed that fit directly onto the dental implants, holding his jaw in the appropriate position to help hold his airway open.
As a result of treatment, his wife reported that his snoring had resolved, and his daytime sleepiness was much better.
This case shows us that there are always alternatives for people suffering from sleep apnea but unable to tolerate CPAP. If you want to learn more about the benefits of dental implants or sleep dentistry, please call 619-299-5925 today for an appointment with San Diego sleep dentist Dr. Rod Strober at Strober dental.