According to the Journal of Oral Implantology, new research reveals that obstructive sleep apnea can have an effect on dental implants and other oral prosthetics. Discover more about the link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the implants that are filling the gaps in your smile.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is considered a sleep disorder. While a person with OSA is asleep, he or she stops breathing and starts again periodically. Over and over, the body is subjected to a brief lack of oxygen and sometimes a resulting panic response. It can be terrifying for the sufferer’s spouse or partner, who may constantly worry over whether or not the loved one beside them will start breathing again. It’s also hard on the person with the condition, since the much-needed rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep cycles are disrupted by sleep apnea.

Bruxism and Sleep Apnea

In the past, researchers found links to various health issues, including a connection with bruxism. People with bruxism tend to tighten and clench their jaws during sleep, often grinding their teeth as well. Not only does this condition put undue wear and tear on the teeth, it also affects the health of the jaw and can cause the sufferer pain.

OSA and the Increase Risk to Dental Implants

In an interesting turn of events, a recent study discovered another dental connection with OSA. The study, conducted by a team at the OSI Araba University Hospital in Victoria, Spain and published by the Journal of Oral Implantology, shows that patients with sleep apnea have a higher risk of complications with oral prosthetics like dental implants.

Surprising Statistics

Out of a pool of 67 participants, 16 of them experienced complications with their dental implants. All but three of those 16 patients suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. In some cases, the porcelain of the dental implant broke; in others, the actual screw portion of the implant was broken. Other patients suffered from loosening of the implant screw or failure of the cement used during its installation. All of this happened within an average time frame of 73 months from the date of the implantation.

Another statistic from the study revealed that 81 percent of patients with obstructive sleep apnea had problems with their dental implants. Since the usual rate of success for non-OSA patients is 92-94 percent, those rates confirm the strong correlation between OSA and implant failure. “Among dental practitioners, there has been increasing awareness of the reciprocal relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and dental diseases,” the research team stated. “One new aspect of interest would be the occurrence of technical complication in fixed prosthodontics.”

Your Risk Factors and Options

If you have OSA, and you’re considering getting a dental implant, speak with your Singapore dentist at Orchard Scotts Dental first. Ask about the correlation between OSA and oral prosthetics, and get expert advice about the risks you could face or the measures you could take to minimise the chances of implant failure. At Orchard Scotts Dental, we are dedicated to helping you resolve your oral health issues and achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.

Source: Benzinga, March 14, 2017