Can a Dentist Really Stop Sleepiness?

I feel a little foolish contacting a dentist about this, but I’m absolutely desperate. I am exhausted all the time. I’m getting plenty of sleep so that is not the problem. Yet, when I wake up I feel like I’ve hardly slept a wink. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m being kidnapped by interdimensional aliens at night, like that Star Trek Next Generation episode. My friend at church told me that she was having the same thing and her dentist gave her something to put in her mouth while she slept. Ever since then, she’s been well rested when she wakes up in the morning. Can a dentist do that for me too?

Sleepy Sarah

Dear Sleepy Sarah,

Child sleeping mouth open
Sleep Apnea can Cause Excessive Sleepiness

I’m sorry you’re feeling so exhausted. That’s a horrible way to exist because you so often feel like you’re having to drag yourself through life just to barely keep up. It’s a chore just to put one foot in front of the other. Being sleepy has a negative impact on just about every part of your life— family, work, even your health.

Fortunately, there’s no reason to feel foolish in asking a dentist for help with this. There is a good possibility you’re suffering from sleep apnea. A dentist is the perfect person to go to for treatment.

Sleep Apnea and Exhaustion

With sleep apnea, the muscles in the back of your throat close up, cutting off your oxygen. This stops you from breathing momentarily. Your body, recognizing this, startles you awake just enough to get you breathing again. This can happen over and over throughout the night. No wonder you’re tired when you wake up!

You’ll likely need a sleep study to see if this is what’s going on with you. Often you can get your doctor to write you a prescription for the study so it doesn’t cost you very much. If it turns out you do have sleep apnea, your friend is right. A simple orthotic device from your dentist may be all you need to get you back to a full night’s rest.

Dr. Bader is a big believer in starting with the least invasive treatment first. This device is like wearing a custom-fitted sport’s mouth guard. But, it’s designed to gently move your jaw into a position which keeps the muscles in the back of your throat from obstructing your airway. This gives you all the oxygen your body needs along with a full night’s rest.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Holistic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

My Veneers Look Like Chicklets

I spent a pretty penny on porcelain veneers. They look thick and fake, like chicklets. Plus, the visible teeth next to them don’t match which makes it even more obvious they’re fake. Is there anything I can do to fix this? My dentist says I’ll get used to them.

Hannah

Dear Hannah,

A dental tool holding up a porcelain veneer
Getting a beautiful smile makeover requires an expert cosmetic dentist

How disappointing to invest in a smile makeover only to have it look fake. Then, to have your dentist say you’ll “get used to it”. Really? Why would you want to get used to a fake looking smile?

Is it possible your cosmetic dentist gave you a no-prep type of veneer, such as Lumineers? These tend to look bulky and are often marketed to inexperienced cosmetic dentists as being easy to place. I’m pretty sure your dentist falls into that category for two reasons:

True Cosmetic Dentists Know How Many Veneers You Need

You said your teeth next to the porcelain veneers don’t match. That means your dentist didn’t provide enough veneers for the width of your smile. Wider smiles require more porcelain veneers and a great cosmetic dentist would have advised you of that. Additionally, he would have had you whiten your teeth ahead of time so even if some teeth showed which didn’t have veneers, the colors would be close enough not to have an obvious difference in teeth.

True Cosmetic Dentists Aren’t Satisfied Unless You Are

A cosmetic dentist wouldn’t say, “You’ll get used to it.” If you weren’t thrilled with your smile makeover, they’d go back to the drawing board. In fact, most of them have a beautiful smile guarantee.

Unfortunately, the only way to fix this is to have your porcelain veneers redone. You can ask the dentist who did yours for at least a partial refund. Let him know you’re having to go elsewhere in order to get this smile makeover done the way you wanted it. If he cares about his work, he’ll want to make this right.

Finding a Great Cosmetic Dentist

Look on the mynewsmile.com website. They screen cosmetic dentists who are looking to be listed. They can’t just pay to get on. Instead, they have to demonstrate they have both technical skill and an artistic eye to create gorgeous smiles.

If they’re listed on that site, you’ll get a stunning smile you’ll be proud to show off.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.