When a dental patient needs substantial reconstructive work, they are typically referred to an Oral Surgeon in Summit NJ. Removing wisdom teeth and placing implants are not the only procedures under the purview of oral surgeons, though. They can also help patients who have issues with snoring or sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes patients to stop breathing while they are asleep. Those suffering from it almost universally snore frequently at night as well, although they may be unaware of it. A host of other symptoms, including fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, headaches, and chronic pain among others, can also be related to sleep apnea. This condition is usually diagnosed by either a physician or a sleep center, who will then refer patients to an oral surgeon for treatment. Most treatments are non-invasive. Medication or the use of a CPAP or other oral device may be prescribed. If these are ineffective, there are several surgical options that can help.
The most popular surgical option for treating sleep apnea is radio frequency surgery, more commonly known as somnoplasty. It is less invasive than the alternatives and boasts lower complication rates after surgery. The procedure shrinks excess tissues associated with conditions such as enlarged soft palate, tonsils, or uvula using radio-frequency ablation. This simple outpatient procedure only takes about half an hour to perform, and generally requires only local anesthetic. Usually, the tissues at the base of the tongue are targeted when the surgery is used in treating sleep apnea, and any airway obstructions are shrunken or removed. The end result is an enlarged airway and lessened restriction of airflow.
This treatment is not recommended for all patients. MMA, or maxillo-mandibular advancement surgery, may be required in some cases. The only way to determine an effective treatment plan is to consult an Oral Surgeon in Summit NJ to accurately diagnose the problem and move forward from there. Some patients with extreme snoring problems who do not suffer from sleep apnea may also benefit from somnoplasty or other medical treatments, although more invasive surgeries are not generally recommended. Contact Westfield Oral Surgery with questions or schedule an appointment for a consultation today.