Our Blog

Sleep Apnea

November 10th, 2021

Sleep apnea is a disorder where people stop breathing while they sleep.  There are two different kinds, Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep apnea.  In Obstructive sleep apnea, there is something in your airway that blocks air from getting in and reduces the oxygen in your body.  The blockage can be caused by your tongue or something in your nose that prevents breathing through your nose at night. In severe cases, this can happen hundreds of times in one night!

Usually, the air blockage is either from your tongue blocking your throat or an obstruction in your nose.  Many people with crowded or worn-down teeth have less room in their mouth, creating less room for their tongue, pushing their tongue into their throat and increasing risk of an airway blockage while they sleep.  Weight gain is also a common cause of sleep apnea as it puts pressure on the airway.

Sleep apnea creates an increased risk for multiple general health issues. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke and pre-mature death.  Many of these diseases are caused by inflammation in the body.  When you are not getting deep, restful sleep, your body cannot heal as well, creating a cycle of inflammation and health issues.

Symptoms

Some patients with sleep apnea have no symptoms and are unaware of the disorder until more severe health consequences begin occurring or someone observes them holding their breath while sleeping. Others can feel tired during the day, falling asleep easily while watching the tv or just sitting down, or they will have difficulty concentrating. Some people will snore or wake up easily during the night, including waking to use the bathroom.

The types of sleep apnea include Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Central Sleep apnea is caused by something happening in your brain that turns off automatic breathing at night and must be treated by a sleep physician. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction in your nose or throat that blocks air from traveling to your lungs. You then have to wake up to start breathing again each time this happens, so it is difficult get deep, restorative sleep.

Our Experience

Sleep Apnea is diagnosed by a sleep physician. At Dyras Dental, we screen patients for signs in your mouth that indicate you may have a sleep breathing disorder.  We will then discuss our findings with you to determine if a referral to a sleep physician is needed.

For patients that have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we will fabricate an Oral Appliance that positions your jaw forward to open up your throat at night so that breathing can be maintained.  It is a small device that is easily cleaned; no tubes or face masks that are needed with a CPAP machine. The oral appliance is also easy to travel with and can be adjusted to fit future dental treatment.   It is important that you have a dentist fabricate any oral appliances for you so that any bite changes or joint problems can be managed and side effects can be minimized.

Our office has done extensive training in fabricating oral appliances and can help you pick the device design that will most effectively treat your unique situation.   We also work with your medical insurance so that you can use your benefits and decrease your financial investment.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or are having troubles with tolerating your CPAP, please call us at (517) 485-1900 to schedule a free consult today!

Invisalign

September 28th, 2021

Invisalign is a clear aligner system that provides many of the same movements as traditional metal braces, in the same amount of time with much less pain.   The treatment is digitally planned so that we know where each tooth should be moving throughout your entire treatment before you even begin wearing the aligners.  Each tray moves the teeth about 0.25 mm and small tooth-colored attachments are used to create different forces on the teeth and move them in the planned direction.

Traditional braces tend to cause soreness after each appointment and some patients can have cheek and lip irritation from the wires and brackets on your teeth. Traditional braces can be used for more extreme tooth movements, like moving impacted teeth into position or for cases needing surgery.  However, the vast majority of malalignments can be treated with Invisalign.

There are advantages of Invisalign over traditional braces.  One being that there are no wires to poke at your cheeks and lips. They are safer for patients placing contact sports as they are less likely to injure themselves than with wires. Invisalign also tends to be less painful because the movement is slow and controlled over time.

Invisalign treatment can be as short as a few months to a few years depending on how much movement your teeth need. More advanced cases usually take 1.5-2 years, where the shorter, minimal movement cases are usually closer to 6-8 months.

The best way to have a successful outcome with Invisalign is to wear your aligners at all times. The only time they can be taken out is to eat.  Invisalign recommends that patients wear the aligners for 22 hours a day.  The more often they are worn, the more predictable your outcome will be.

We usually have patients come in every 6-8 weeks to check on their movements and make sure the treatment is progressing along as planned.

Invisalign is a comfortable and non-invasive way to make your natural teeth more beautiful and function better.  A beautiful smile is a healthy one!  Call us today for a consultation on what Invisalign can do for you!

Dental Implants

August 11th, 2021

Many people are turning to Dental Implants as an option to replace their missing teeth.  A dental implant is generally a titanium screw that supports a crown in order to replace a missing tooth. They have been around since the 1980’s and their technology continues to improve to make dental implants a more predictable and affordable tooth replacement option.

Dental implants have a multitude of advantages. They help support your bone to help prevent naturally occurring bone loss after a tooth is lost. They help replace a missing tooth without causing damage to the adjacent teeth.  They are also surprisingly easy to have placed with minimal post-operative pain.

If a tooth can no longer be restored, we will extract that tooth and place a bone graft in order to create the best possible bone support for the implant. Once the bone graft has healed, the dental implant will be placed.  The implant placement appointment is generally painless with minimal soreness afterwards.  Once the bone around the implant has healed and is adequately supporting the implant, impressions are made to create an abutment and crown to be attached to the implant, which will provide you with your final restoration.  The process of getting an implant from start to finish usually takes anywhere from 4-12 months depending on the complexity of the site.

The best way to care for a dental implant is with a Waterpik. While they will not decay since it is made from titanium, the gum and bone around the implant can still be susceptible to gum disease and inflammation.  It is important to get regular dental hygiene cleanings and care for the gingiva to keep your implant healthy and happy.

We place implants in our office for the vast majority of our cases.  In cases where the bone is not ideal or the treatment is more complex then we will work with either an oral surgeon or periodontist for the implant placement.

We have had experience with multiple types of implants and have found a system with which we have had great success.  Our office goes above and beyond to help you through the process to make sure you have a long lasting, comfortable and functional result that you can be confident in.

Caring for Your Smile While Wearing Invisalign®

March 24th, 2021

Getting your braces off is exciting. You’ve been working on your new smile for months or years, and it’s time for the trips to our Lansing office to pay off. Can you imagine how bad it would be to discover that your teeth are straight, but that there’s decay?

Caring for your smile while wearing Invisalign goes beyond just waiting for your teeth to get straighter. It involves cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly to prevent tooth decay. That way, your smile will be more beautiful than ever when you’re done with your Invisalign treatment.

Take Your Trays Out

The first difference you may notice between Invisalign and traditional metal braces is that Invisalign aligners are invisible, but there’s another important distinction as well. Invisalign braces are removable. You can take the trays out, and you should. Remove the trays while you’re eating so you don’t get food stuck in them. Also, remove them while you’re cleaning your teeth so that you can have full access to all the nooks and crannies in your mouth.

Brush Normally

The guidelines for brushing your teeth with Invisalign don’t change compared to braces. Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste, being sure to get all surfaces of your teeth. If possible, brush after each meal.

If you can’t, be sure to drink some water and swish it around in your mouth when you’re done eating to get rid of the extra food on your teeth. Leaving carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, on your teeth opens the door to tooth decay.

Floss and Wash

Flossing your teeth gets out the bits and pieces stuck between them. It’s a time-consuming task when you need to navigate the wires of traditional metal braces, but thanks to Invisalign’s removable design, flossing is no problem. Rinsing your mouth with a fluoride antibacterial mouthwash also helps clean your teeth because it gets into all of the spaces. Floss and rinse one or two times daily.

Cleaning Your Trays

Cleaning your Invisalign trays keeps them from getting riddled with bacteria, and it helps keep your teeth free from excess food. You can use the Invisalign cleaning system, which involves placing the trays in a tub with cleaning crystals. The plastic trays are clean after 15 minutes. You can also ask Dr. Laura Dyras and Dr. Jeremy Zaluski for other ways to clean your trays.