Category Archives: sleep apnea

Implant Options Expand

Being healthy in today’s society is time consuming and expensive without shortcuts. Diet, exercise, and healthcare all demand attention. One of the fastest and easiest ways to maintain overall health can start with oral health.
To help you with the basic knowledge needed to keep your oral health at its best, we publish a series of helpful tips in short articles. These give you a simple guide to reveal options, save time, money, and effort. They help you easily do your dental diligence and we hope you find them helpful.
Dr. Arnold K. Chernoff DDS
Office: 847-475-4080

 

Dental Explanations You Can Understand

Being healthy in today’s society is time consuming and expensive without shortcuts. Diet, exercise, and healthcare all demand attention. One of the fastest and easiest ways to maintain overall health can start with oral health.
To help you with the basic knowledge needed to keep your oral health at its best, we publish a series of helpful tips in short articles. These give you a simple guide to reveal options, save time, money, and effort. They help you easily do your dental diligence and we hope you find them helpful.
Teeth as Best Friends
Until something happens, most of us take our teeth for granted. We may not always remember to brush and floss. We often procrastinate visits to the dentist. Teeth can be easy to ignore because problems don’t develop quickly. Rarely are there true emergencies. Like a best friend, they are always there to help our well being. Like a best friend, we depend on them when we need them. But, also like a best friend, they do need attention. They have needs as well. …
 
Cleaning Towards Total Health
Getting your teeth cleaned affects your health in unexpected ways. Though most people find it a mundane routine, research proves that your dental diligence is a measure of your total health. …
The Boost and Advantage of a Whiter Smile
Nothing impresses more than a dazzling smile. Many choose to whiten teeth for special occasions like weddings or job seeking. Others have jobs dealing with the public where first impressions are critical. White teeth says conscientious, healthy, prosperous—qualities people want around them—qualities we wish not only to project, but to live. …
Gum Health: An Early Warning System
The relationship between your bones, gums, and teeth is collaboration at its best. When all three work in harmony, life is good. But when this harmony is disturbed, the structure of your lifestyle is undermined. Gums are like an early-warning system for problems that only escalate in seriousness, and do not go away. Though the body is an amazing healer, when it comes to gums, help is needed. …
The Hidden Risks of Sleep Apnea 
You might be surprised to learn SA affects more than just your sleep. If you have SA, or believe you might, get informed and get treated. Not just because you’ll experience better insurance rates, but you’ll likely live longer, too. …

The Deception of Dental Insurance

About once a day, a patient declares: “I can’t get my teeth fixed because I don’t have dental insurance.” Many patients do not understand how dental insurance works. It is not fair to blame the patients for being confused about what benefits are offered. The general information that the insurance companies provide is vague and there is much it does not explain. Though it would be impossible to convey every coverage detail here, so-called dental insurance is not what most expect.

In the mid-70’s, when dental insurance was just coming onto the scene, the benefits were about $1000-$1500. Of course, the premiums that were paid to insurance companies have steadily increased over the last 35 years. Additionally, today $1000 does not buy nearly the same amount of dentistry that it bought in 1975. Back then, a crown fee was $222. Now it is about $1200. The coverage has not kept pace.

The purpose of any insurance is to protect you from catastrophic loss. You buy home insurance in case your house burns down. You buy medical insurance in case you have to be hospitalized. Do you need insurance to pay a $1500 dental bill? The insurance generally only covers 50-80%. This so-called insurance is of more benefit to the insurance company than it is to you!

Most seriously, this kind of insurance distorts your perception of dentist’s recommendation. It complicates your treatment plan because there is now a third party advising you on what dental care you can receive. 

Consider a common situation: a patient needs to be re-evaluated for periodontal disease in three months, but the insurance company will only pay if seen in six months. The adjusters have pre-set rules for every condition, regardless of personal situation. But no two patients have the same conditions! Nonetheless, those unfamiliar with patient needs are determining what the patient receives. Sometimes such a patient will forgo the needed appointment because the insurance company refuses to pay for it.

Another example: you need a crown and the insurance determines they will only pay for an amalgam. This confuses you because you may think we are recommending unnecessary work. But the insurance examiner has never seen you, and yet they dictate your treatment. Please remember: the insurance companies are not interested in your dental health. They are only interested in charging you as much as possible, and paying out as little as possible. They profit most when they deny as many procedures as possible.

In contrast, our goal is to protect your teeth, and keep you out of dental trouble. 

Dental coverage may be a benefit provided by your employer and you do not have to pay the premiums yourself. Whatever your employer pays does help with the treatment fee. If you pay individually, evaluate how much it will cost you versus what they are willing to pay. Quite often the “benefit” is not worth the cost.

If you are an employer, proceed with caution. Providing dental insurance as a “benefit” may not be as valuable as other ways to aid employees. More dangerously, buying into this system does help to perpetuate it. There could be other benefits that are more helpful.

It is the responsibility of the insurance company to make coverage policies clear to patients. But it is in their economic interest misrepresent and keep vague. So to understand the benefits of your policy falls into your hands. And, unfortunately, we have only limited ability to help you understand policy. Rather, we can help you make the best choices for your health and circumstances.

Dental insurance should not determine getting the care you need. Such a decision belongs with you, supported by our care, skill, and judgment. —Arnold K. Chernoff, DDS, http://www.chernoffdds.com/

Dr. Arnold K. Chernoff DDS
Office: 847-475-4080

 

Hidden Risks of Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea (SA) is a common disorder. During sleep, it means you have pauses in breathing or shallow breaths, according to the NIH.gov website.
“Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep Apnea is usually a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you’ll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep Apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.”
However, you might be surprised to learn SA affects more than just your sleep.
Perhaps, like me, you will be startled to learn that if you have untreated SA (you’re suffering from it, have been diagnosed, and you fail to either treat it with a CPAP machine or a dentist-prescribed device) you very likely can be denied life insurance? Only doing a little research online shows that having SA, and applying for life insurance coverage, can be fraught with challenges, even earning you outright denials by most insurance companies.
The obvious question is “why?” Simply put, it’s all about risk. If you have SA and are not taking it seriously, you are in a higher risk pool for insurance carriers. And, not to be “grave,” but rather blunt, your chance of dying is greater if you have SA and leave it untreated, than if you have SA and are being treated (or you don’t suffer from SA at all).
The website insurance.com states:
“Two recent studies mark the first time that sleep apnea has been linked to higher cancer risk and increased mortality rates…
During episodes of sleep apnea, oxygen levels in the blood drop. Episodes can be caused by obstruction of the upper airway (obstructive sleep apnea) or by a failure of the brain to initiate breathing (central sleep apnea). Symptoms often include excessive daytime sleepiness and loud snoring. More than 50 percent of people who have sleep apnea are overweight.
The condition is serious, and if not treated, can lead to hypertension, lung damage, heart problems, lack of concentration and a high risk of car accidents. When combined with other disorders like cardiac diseases, mortality increases. A recent CDC study shows a link between obstructive sleep apnea and depression.
Now two studies, which were just presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Francisco, are tying sleep apnea to cancer outcomes. One study by researchers in Spain found that people with severe sleep apnea had a “65 percent greater risk of developing cancer of any kind,” according to The New York Times.
In the second sleep apnea study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that ‘people with severe sleep-disordered breathing died of cancer at a rate 4.8 times higher than people with no sleep breathing problems.'”
If you have SA, or believe you might, get informed and get treated. Not just because you’ll experience better insurance rates, but you’ll likely live longer, too. And what better payoff is there than that?
A great place to start is your local dentist who’s been specifically trained to help patients with SA. While not all dentists are so trained, if yours is not, simply ask for a referral to one that does have the training.  —Jerry Jones, Direct & ClearPath Society, Salem, Oregon
[Fortunately, our office has the certification and equipment expertise. There are options to explore for what will benefit you besides the CPAP machine. A visit to our Evanston dental office will determine your best comfort and success for putting Sleep Apnea to sleep.—Dr. Arnold K. Chernoff]

Could it be Sleep Apnea?

Eye-Opening News on Sleep Apnea

We are discovering that many people have a life threatening oral health-related disorder which has not been diagnosed. It is called Sleep Apnea. 

The first symptom to watch for is loud snoring. While snoring is the subject of many jokes, it can also be a serious problem. Snoring doesn’t only interrupt your bed partner’s sleep (which is no laughing matter), it is also associated with sleep apnea, which can increase your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke. If you snore or are a affected by someone else’s snoring, please read on.

Snoring is produced when the muscles and soft tissues in the throat and mouth relax, making your airway smaller. The decrease in airway space increases the velocity of the air that flows through it as you breath, which, in turn, causes vibrations of the soft tissues of the mouth and throat. This vibration is what produces the “snoring” sound.

Ninety million adults in North America suffer from the effects of snoring. We are 100% committed to helping our patients with snoring and sleep apnea problems.

Another symptom is not sleeping well and being tired during the day.  We have a screening tool to evaluate the amount of sleepiness you have during the day. It is called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and we encourage all of our new patients to use it.

To take the test, chose the most appropriate of the following numbers for each situation below:

0 = would never doze
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing

Situations:

Sitting and reading                                                                                                          _____

Watching TV                                                                                                                  _____

Sitting, inactive in a public place (eg: a theater or a meeting)                                              _____

As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break                                                           _____

Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit                                          _____

Sitting and talking to someone                                                                                         _____

Sitting quietly after a lunch with no alcohol                                                                        _____

In a car, when stopped for minutes in traffic                                                                       _____

Total (out of 24)                                                                                                               _____

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

Score explanation:

0-7        It is unlikely that you are abnormally sleepy
8-9        You have an average amount of daytime sleepiness
10-15    You may be excessively sleepy depending on the situation. You may want to consider seeking medical attention.
16-24    You are excessively sleepy and should consider seeking medical attention.

Apnea is a very treatable condition, yet it causes so many people to suffer. The only way to solve this problem is to identify it, and I hope that these tools will help you do that. Deep and sustained sleep is so crucial to your overall well-being. Everyone deserves to get the best sleep possible. If you have any concerns about this, I urge you to call us. It may save your life!