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Palatal expansion

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DeterminedCeruleanEmu5289 +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster

I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea for a few months now. I've read about jaw expansion as a possible long term solution. What do people think?

Is there anyone from British Colombia who can recommend a good dentist there?

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BGailDemko140 +0 points · almost 3 years ago

Jaw expansion is a form of treatment that has been studies in children who have narrow upper jaws. In children, the upper jaw is actually in two halves (right and left) until the age of 15 or so. By adulthood the two halves fuse into a solid piece. This means that palatal expansion (the medical term for this procedure) can be done with no muss and no fuss in young children by pediatric dentists or orthodontists. It is normally done as part of overall orthodontic therapy. In adults, this treatment requires a surgical procedure to cut the fused bone apart to allow expansion and must be followed by orthodontic therapy so you won’t have a huge space between your upper front middle two teeth. This is not to be confused with maxillomandibular (that means both the upper and lower jaw… in Latin) surgery in which a surgeon moves both jaws forward. All published studies on this topic have been done ONLY!!! on people who had skeletal deficiencies leaving them with abnormal bone structure. Single case studies have been published in which an adult has been successfully treated, but a case study is often an unusual finding. As to your request about providers in British Columbia, the biggest research team in oral appliances and sleep apnea is at the dental school at UBC in Vancouver. Dr. Fernanda Almeida and Benjamin Pliska are two of the most famous.

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SusanR +0 points · almost 3 years ago Researcher

Thanks for the expert input, Dr. Demko! I am sure many MyApnea members appreciate this.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

I second SusanR's opinion that professional input to this forum is highly welcome. The lack of professional input and guidance on a personal level is what drove me to seek advice on a forum such as this one. My sleep doctor was not engaged (never spoke or communicated with this prescribing doctor) and my primary care physician admitted knowing next to nothing about OSA or its treatment). My PCP has been supportive in making referrals and general health. Fortunately, the prescription given based on an in-clinic sleep study I was given has worked very effectively and I have been able to navigate the murky waters of the DME and insurance scene to get the equipment set up properly and fitted correctly (mostly self-education). Others are not as fortunate and that is why professional input for folks, especially those seeking advice on a therapy path, it highly valuable. Also want to commend Dr. Luisi for taking the time to provide input on the dental side of therapy as he is capable of explaining in a manner I can readily understand!

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