Want to lower your risk of Cavities?

lower risk of cavities

lower risk of cavitiesRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Dental caries, the clinical term of tooth decay, affects the vast majority of Americans. Even though tooth decay is preventable, it’s the most common chronic disease among both children and adolescents, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, the CDC reports that nine of every 10 adults over the age of 20 years old have some form of tooth decay.

It’s up to each of us to take ownership of our dental health to prevent tooth decay. That means brushing your teeth twice per day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist in Royal Oak once each six months for a check-up that includes a professional dental cleaning. Hartrick Dentistry also wants to educate you on how the way you breathe can affect your vulnerability to cavities.

Breathing through the mouth throws off the balance of oral bacteria

There are both good and bad bacteria everywhere in the world, including inside our bodies. Our mouths contain a microbiome with millions of these bacteria. Mouth breathing can encourage the proliferation of the bad bacteria—the ones that cause cavities—and that’s where the problems begin. This can be especially true for people who may have a greater susceptibility to dental issues because of their genetics. The genetic factor can create regular dental problems even if someone is diligent about their oral hygiene.

When you breathe regularly through the mouth, it throws off the pH in your mouth, which has a negative effect on your dental health. According to a 2015 study published by the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, “Mouth breathing during sleep is related to a decrease in intraoral pH compared with normal breathing during sleep, and this has been proposed as a causal factor for dental erosion and caries.”

Mouth breathing while you sleep also makes you more likely to have dry mouth because your moist mucous membranes dry out. This also means a lack of saliva, which is a natural lubricant that helps to scrub away plaque and cavity-causing bacteria from accumulating in your mouth. Dry mouth also can be a sign that the balance in your mouth is changing.

Myofunctional therapy can change the way you breathe

Myofunctional therapy is becoming one of the most popular new methods of treatment in the dental field. This type of therapy can correct an assortment of different disorders in the orofacial system by having the patient perform a series of simple, pain-free exercises that work the muscles of the mouth and tongue. Each patient has his or her own unique experience with any type of treatment, but a course of myofunctional therapy usually lasts at least six months. When the exercises are performed as recommended, myofunctional therapy can help you achieve or regain what is known as the optimum rest oral posture. This means that, when you are not eating or speaking, your orofacial system is at rest with teeth closed, lips closed, and the tongue resting against the roof of your mouth. This posture also encourages nasal breathing, which is far more beneficial to both your oral and overall health.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to offer myofunctional therapy as part of our comprehensive range of services to our patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan. To learn more about this therapy, call our office at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Posted in Myofunctional Therapy

Tips on finding the best Dentist in Royal Oak

finding dentist in royal oak

finding dentist in royal oakRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

You face all kinds of decisions in life. You have to choose where to live, how to make a living, whether or not to have a family. When it comes to maintaining your health, choosing the right dentist to care for you is a major part of the equation. At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe in the mouth-body connection: specifically, that good oral health is a cornerstone to maintaining a high level of overall health. If you find yourself looking for a dentist in Royal Oak to serve you and your family, here are some questions to ask.

Does the dentist offer sedation?

The American Dental Association advises each individual visit the dentist once every six months, but millions of people avoid receiving professional oral health care because going to the dentist provokes feelings of anxiety or even outright fear. Individuals with these fears may have neglected seeing their dentist for years—ironically making them in special need of dental care, but also increasing their risk of oral health problems that can make dental visits more intensive and uncomfortable, magnifying the fears that led to them neglecting regular visits to the dentist in the first place.

At Hartrick Dentistry, we can ease those fears through sedation dentistry offered in the Royal Oak area. We use two forms of sedation—nitrous oxide and oral sedation. Both will calm you and diminish your awareness of your surroundings, although you remain awake and able to communicate with us if need be. Sedation dentistry also can be a good fit for patients with certain pre-existing conditions that may make it difficult to receive dental care.

Does the dentist’s office feature some of the latest technology and tools?

Technology has advanced at a rapid rate, affecting every industry—including the dental field. Hartrick Dentistry is proud to boast some of the cutting-edge technology in dental science. In addition to being a fully digital office, which applies to our record keeping as well as our X-rays, we also use a diagnodent laser pen that can identify areas of tooth decay that never would be visible to the naked eye. Also receiving crowns is more convenient than ever thanks to our CEREC system, which allows us to fabricate beautiful porcelain crowns while you wait during your appointment.

Does the dentist perform cosmetic treatments?

The stated goal of cosmetic dentistry is to improve the appearance of your teeth and mouth, but many of the finest practitioners in all of dental science actually specialize in cosmetic work. In many cases, the procedures that correct aesthetic flaws in teeth also produce teeth that function at a higher level with a comfortable bite. Plus, patients who undergo cosmetic procedures have improved self-confidence, which can boost their personal and professional relationships. Some of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments offered in the Birmingham, Michigan area at Hartrick Dentistry include teeth whitening, crowns, veneers, bridges, and tooth-colored fillings.

Can the dentist screen for and nanage sleep apnea?

Does your family complain about your snoring during the night? Do you often feel fatigued during the day, no matter how early you go to bed? If so, you could suffer from a serious sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. A patient with sleep apnea experiences obstructed or complete pauses in their breathing. These attacks may occur hundreds of times per night, constantly disrupting the sleep cycle. At Hartrick Dentistry, we provide sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak thanks to Dr. Nancy Hartrick, who has trained in detecting sleep apnea and treating the disorder by identifying and treating the airway issue at the root of the problem.

Does your dentist practice orthodontics?

Having straighter teeth boosts your self-esteem and also reduces your risk of oral health problems throughout your life. Orthodontic treatment has come a long way since traditional metal braces. Dentists and orthodontists working at the forefront of the field can straighten teeth through the use of clear plastic aligners, which apply consistent and gentle pressure to achieve treatment goals. Hartrick Dentistry is proud to offer Invisalign to patients in the Royal Oak area. This nearly invisible form of orthodontic treatment uses clear plastic aligners to obtain straighter teeth.

Finding a dentist in Royal Oak

Hartrick Dentistry can answer yes to any of the questions above. Dr. Hartrick prides herself on running a practice that is a “one-stop shop” for all of your needs related to oral health care. We even offer myofunctional therapy, which can correct negative oral habits such as thumb sucking and tongue thrust, or that may be prescribed as a follow-up to the removal of a tethered oral tissue such as a tongue-tie or lip-tie. To learn more about any of our services or arrange a tour of our facility in Royal Oak, give us a call at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve the oral health care needs of patients in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in General Dentistry

How Technology has changed Dentistry

changes in dental technology

changes in dental technologyRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Restorative dentistry looks to repair structural problems in teeth, either by repairing damaged teeth or replacing missing ones. Restorative treatments like fillings and crowns have been around for decades, but have come a long way in the past few years. Your Royal Oak dentist at Hartrick Dentistry wants to take a deeper look at how technology has changed industry standards like X-rays, fillings, and crowns for the better. The result of this change means better services to our patients, in less time, and at a good value.

Diagnostic tests provide dentists with even more ways to detect problems

More and more dental practices now use digital technology for their X-ray needs. X-rays have been a tried and true diagnostic method in dentistry for decades, but digital X-rays represent a major upgrade from what you may remember from 10-20 years ago. Digital X-rays produce clearer images that are more precise and emit a fraction of the radiation as compared to traditional X-ray machines. Hartrick Dentistry also uses a diagnodent laser pen, which can detect tooth decay in its earliest stages—well before it would be visible to the naked eye of even an experienced dentist, and with a 98 percent rate of accuracy.

Modern fillings repair teeth while also making them function better and even improving the appearance of your smile

Forget about the silver-looking dental amalgam fillings you remember from your childhood. Dentists that are operating at the forefront of dentistry work with composite fillings that can be matched to the color of your existing healthy natural teeth. These fillings also are metal-free, making them ideal for patients who suffer from a metal allergy, and are known to be safer since composite is free of any mercury.

Get crowns in a single day

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: You need a crown, so you go into the dentist’s office, have the damaged tooth drilled and cleaned, then receive a temporary restoration before returning to your dentist about two weeks later to have the permanent crown installed. Hartrick Dentistry has made the process of getting a crown more convenient than ever before by offering same-day crowns through the use of CEREC technology. This technological advance allows your dentist in Royal Oak to make a crown in an hour that is the same quality as the one that used to take two weeks to receive from an off-site dental laboratory. Make Hartrick Dentistry your choice for same-day dental crowns in the Royal Oak area.

State-of-the-art dental practice in Royal Oak

At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe it is important to take advantage of the latest technological advances so that we can provide the highest level of convenient and comfortable oral health care. Our dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick and her staff of oral health professionals also pursue continuing training so that they are up to speed on the cutting-edge techniques in the field of dentistry.

To learn more about how Hartrick Dentistry uses technology to improve the level of care we provide, call (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is here to serve patients in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Dental Technology

Why it’s not Normal for your Child to Snore

not normal for child to snore

not normal for child to snoreRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Parents, does your child snore at night? This may seem harmless, but frequent audible snoring in children actually is cause for concern. Unless your child has a cold or congestion from allergies that can block the nasal passageways, this type of frequent snoring is not normal, and you should have your child evaluated by a pediatric sleep apnea doctor in Royal Oak such as Dr. Nancy Hartrick.

Learn about what causes snoring

Snoring occurs when something impedes the passage of air in the throat when you sleep. As air passes around this obstruction, it creates a vibration, which produces the sound you hear when someone snores. In children, the most common causes for snoring include enlarged tonsils and adenoids, impeded nasal breathing because of an enlargement of the inner lining of the bones in the nose, allergies, and a deviated septum. Snoring also can be caused by a narrowing of the airway—either from weight gain or the shape of your child’s airway.

It is estimated that approximately 10 to 20 percent of children snore.

Snoring may be a sign of a sleep breathing disorder in your child

Snoring is considered the major warning sign of a serious sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who suffer from this disorder experience a blockage of their airway when they sleep. These blockages can be partial or complete, either decreasing airflow or causing total pauses in breathing. Each time one of these breathing interruptions takes place, the brain reacts as if the body is choking and sends warning signals that rouse you from sleep. Most often, a person with sleep apnea never consciously wakes, but these disruptions to the sleep cycle deprive someone of the restoration to mind and body that occur during deepest sleep. Any individual with sleep apnea also experiences hypoxia—the clinical term for a decrease in oxygen levels, which certainly is not healthy for a growing child.

Sleep apnea can provoke a host of different, serious, long-term problems in your child. The potential issues could include difficulty concentrating and performing at school, growth delays, high blood pressure, and chronic daytime fatigue no matter how early their bedtime is. Many children with sleep apnea also exhibit symptoms of a hyperactivity disorder like ADD or ADHD.

A sleep apnea dentist in Royal Oak has the training to diagnose a sleep breathing disorder in your child

Dentists who practice sleep apnea dentistry undergo special post-graduate education focusing on airway management. Your Birmingham sleep apnea dentist at Hartrick Dentistry can perform a sleep study on your child, then analyze the data to detect whether or not he or she is suffering from a sleep breathing disorder.

Pediatric sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak

In most cases, removal of tonsils and adenoids resolves the airway obstruction that is causing sleep apnea in children. Hartrick Dentistry also can provide your child with an oral appliance, which helps maintain ideal oral resting posture—lips closed, teeth closed, and tongue resting against the palate—to keep an open airway throughout the night. These oral appliances look like the anti-snoring night guards that are available for purchase in stores but are made of higher-quality materials and fabricated from impressions of the mouth to ensure a snug, secure, comfortable fit.

Remember that sleep apnea is a serious condition that will not go away on its own. If your child is snoring, contact the office of Hartrick Dentistry today by calling (248) 549-0950 to schedule a sleep study.

Hartrick Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

How your Dentist can make you Appear Younger

dentist can make you appear younger

dentist can make you appear youngerRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Changes in appearance are part of the natural aging process, but that does not mean people are happy with the changes that come with age. You can undergo cosmetic surgery or have procedures like Botox administered in order to achieve a more youthful appearance, but did you know that your Royal Oak dentist also can help “turn back time” and bring back the appearance of your youth through rejuvenation dentistry?

Rejuvenation dentistry can be better than a facelift because it is about more than just improving your appearance

When performed by a well-trained and highly experienced dentist in Royal Oak with experience in rejuvenation procedures, a patient not only looks younger but benefits from an improved function of the teeth and jaws, while also receiving a beautiful smile full of perfect-looking teeth.

Not everyone is suited for rejuvenation dentistry. Certain symptoms can be indicators that you can benefit from procedures of this kind. Worn teeth, for example, can cause issues with the alignment of your bite and lead to other oral health problems. You can check yourself for excessive tooth wear by examining the biting edge of your teeth; if you notice a different color of material on the inside of your tooth, then your tooth wear is significant.

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder also can be managed through rejuvenation dentistry. Also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this disorder occurs when the temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull, enters a dysfunctional state. Tooth wear is one of the problems that can be symptomatic of TMJ disorder, as can teeth grinding as your jaw slips out of position and inordinate stress is placed on the jaw joint and musculature. Be on the lookout for symptoms of TMD such as jaw pain, popping and clicking sounds as the jaw opens and closes, limited range of motion in the jaw, ringing in the ears, or headaches of a migraine-like intensity that occur on a regular basis. Rejuvenation dentistry procedures can relieve symptoms of TMJ disorder, especially if they are performed by a neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak such as Dr. Hartrick, who has unique post-graduate training focusing on the alignment of the bite and jaw.

Rejuvenation dentistry in Royal Oak also can be used to improve the appearance of other aesthetic facial flaws

  • Wrinkles around the mouth form when your teeth lose their length, forcing your lips and the skin around the mouth to compress closed. You may see these referred to as smoker’s lines or lipstick lines.
  • Jowls develop when the fat pads inside your cheeks cross over the jawline. The formation of jowls often is attributed to diminished elasticity in the skin of the cheeks. However, these jowls also can form due to tooth wear, tooth loss, or a shrinking jawbone—all of which can reduce the space between the upper and lower jaws.
  • A rounded face develops when the face changes shape due to the rise of the jaw; this often occurs in conjunction with the formation of jowls. A facelift will not correct this change in your appearance.
  • Profile changes cause an obvious alteration in your appearance by literally altering the shape of your face. These changes may include a shorter profile, a receding chin or hanging skin under your chin—also known as a turkey neck.

Look Younger in Royal Oak

A smile rejuvenation can help correct any of the above symptoms of facial aging through the use of dental restorations that are constructed in adherence to neuromuscular dimensions, maintaining or often improving the shape of your face and resolving some of the appearance changes that occur as you age or as a consequence of other oral health problems. At Hartrick Dentistry, your Royal Oak cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick puts her years of education and expertise to work for you to provide exceptional dental care to her patients. To learn more about the services offered at Hartrick Dentistry, call our office at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

Why Functional Medicine should be part of your Overall Healthcare

functional medicine and oral health

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

Functional medicine is a growing area of medical science today. If you are a proponent in functional medicine, which emphasizes the whole health of the patient rather than treatment of specific diseases or conditions, then receiving care from a professional and experienced dentist should be part of your overall healthcare plan.

What exactly is functional medicine? The website for the Institute for Functional Medicine defines the discipline as a system-oriented approach that engages both the patient and the medical practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. In essence, functional medicine seeks to minimize disease and the development of chronic conditions by emphasizing healthy lifestyles through good nutrition, exercise, proper sleep habits, stress management, and the elimination of negative habits such as smoking. By providing moral and emotional support, in addition to caring for the body, functional medicine attempts to lower the average cost of healthcare—which totals up to $3.2 trillion each year in the United States to care for all Americans.

When evaluating a patient, functional medicine places special emphasis on their past history, lifestyle, and physiology. One of the main goals of functional medicine is to prevent chronic diseases from developing in the first place, rather than manage their symptoms.

Dentistry is incorporated into the discipline of functional medicine as part of a comprehensive focus on the entire human body; specifically, functional medicine is applied through dentistry by looking at the connection of the mouth to overall health. Many dentists who subscribe to functional medicine maintain a metal-free practice—they do not use metal in any of their restorations, both out of consideration for any patients with a metal allergy and because of the presence of mercury in dental amalgam, and the risks of neurological and physiological damage associated with mercury exposure. 

Airway management is another example of the whole-body approach that can be put into place by a dentist as part of an overall program of functional medicine. A sleep apnea dentist in Royal Oak such as Hartrick Dentistry, for instance, has special training to diagnose and treat any airway problem that may be causing a sleep breathing disorder.

One of the most versatile treatment applications with regard to functional medicine is myofunctional therapy, which seeks to help patients achieve a harmonious state in their orofacial system. A course of myofunctional therapy consists of a series of simple exercises working the tongue as well as the muscles of the face and mouth.

The goals of myofunctional therapy include achieving the ideal oral resting posture, which can help alleviate airway issues that can cause a sleep breathing disorder, while also being used to treat issues such as mouth breathing, issues with the facial growth and development of children, or eliminating negative oral habits like thumb sucking and tongue thrust.

At Hartrick Dentistry, we believe that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to dentistry. No two people are alike, and we treat each of our patients accordingly, taking all factors such as oral health history and lifestyle into consideration when determining which method of treatment is best. We also believe in the importance in involving the patient in each decision related to treatment.

Functional Medicine in Royal Oak

Ready to learn more about how good oral health can help improve your overall health? Call the Royal Oak office of Hartrick Dentistry today at (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Oral Health

How to get a Smile Makeover before Christmas

merry christmas

merry christmasRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

This time of year everyone is thinking about gifts to give to their friends or loved ones. Often times, we think of everyone but ourselves! This Christmas, your cosmetic dentist in the Royal Oak area at Hartrick Dentistry wants you to know how you can get a smile makeover before Christmas. It could be the perfect gift for yourself.

There’s still time! Most cosmetic dental procedures can be done within a couple of weeks or less. Take a look at some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures to see which one may be the best fit for you. As with any treatment, be sure to schedule a consultation with Birmingham, Michigan’s cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Hartrick to see which treatments will be best for your case.

Teeth Whitening

Make your teeth dazzle this Christmas with a professional teeth whitening treatment using ZOOM! in Royal Oak. By using professional grade whitening gel, only available at the dentist’s office, your smile can be made shades whiter and brighter in as little as your lunch break. For those times when you need a little touching up, custom made tray and professional grade whitening gel can be provided to you for added convenience.


For those patients looking to really revamp their smile, taking care of multiple smile imperfections at once, veneers may be the answer you have been looking for. By using ultrathin layers of porcelain, we handcraft veneers to fit over the front surface of your teeth. The veneers can hide imperfections such as teeth that are slightly crooked, misshapen, or discolored. The best part about veneers is that they never stain! A white shade can be chosen to give your smile an overall whiter appearance, just in time for the holidays. Act fast, however, because it takes a couple of weeks for our dental lab to fabricate the restorations.

Dental Crowns

Need a dental crown or have an old one that needs repair? Our CEREC crowns are made of high-quality dental porcelain that mimics the look of natural teeth. Also, our custom-made crowns are made in our office while you wait, which means you can have your new crown ready by Christmas.

Are you looking to replace a missing tooth? We also offer dental implants for those patients living with missing teeth. Known as the premier tooth replacement, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. While it takes several months or more to achieve the final results of a dental implant, we can certainly begin the implant process to have you well on your way to smiling confidently again in no time!

Smile Makeover

Not sure which cosmetic dental treatment is for you? Our smile makeover includes only the finest cosmetic dental treatments that are specific to your needs. A thorough assessment of your oral health and a strong consideration of your desires for a new smile will be combined, along with Dr. Hartrick’s knowledge and expertise in cosmetic dentistry, to fabricate the most confident smile for you – just in time for Christmas.

Cosmetic Dentistry for Christmas in Royal Oak

If you would like to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry treatments or to schedule a consultation before the holidays, please contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950.

Hartrick Dentistry welcomes patients of Royal Oak and Birmingham areas.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry

Show Thanks for your Smile this Thanksgiving

show thanks for your smile

show thanks for your smileRoyal Oak and Birmingham, MI

As Thanksgiving approaches, what are you thankful for this year? Family, friends, your home, your job, and even your pets likely will make the list. Have you ever thought about giving thanks for your smile, though? After all, your teeth work hard for you for 365 days a year. Your Birmingham family dentist at Hartrick Dentistry suggests you show appreciation to your smile this Thanksgiving by making sure it is protected for the holiday season.

That Thanksgiving feast can threaten your oral health

Foods and drinks that are high in sugar, or high in acid, can cause the biggest problems for your teeth. Unfortunately, these high-sugar and highly acidic options are in abundance during the holiday season. When you eat or drink something with a high sugar content, any lingering sugar particles in your mouth become a food source for cavity-causing bacteria. Acid is arguably even more harmful. Unlike sugars, which are converted into acids by those bacteria, any acid you eat directly goes to work deteriorating your tooth enamel—the protective outer layer of your tooth structure. How you eat is important as well. When you eat a lengthy meal, or snack sporadically all day long, your teeth experience more exposure from these potentially harmful sugars, starches, and acids. Try to limit meal times and curtail snacking. How? We recommend planning some activities at holiday get-togethers that are not food-related.

Limit the sweets

Cake, cookies, candy, fudge, sweets… they’re all seemingly everywhere during the holiday season. We believe it is too harsh to try and bar yourself and your family from eating sweets during the holidays, but remember that balance is crucial. Limit your consumption of these sweets—not only to help your teeth but also in the name of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One small purchase that can help manage a sweet tooth is a pack of sugar-free gum. Chewing gum can fulfill that craving without the potential oral health risks from sugar, while also promoting the production of saliva, a natural lubricant that scrubs away food particles before they can accumulate on or between tour teeth. While we know that you will want to enjoy some pie this Thanksgiving, pop some sugar-free gum in your mouth afterward to help remove food particles and sugars that may accumulate.

H2O is the way to go

At any time of the year, water is the healthiest beverage choice available. Pure drinking water has zero calories, contains no sugars, and is not acidic. It will not increase your risk of cavities and is also the best source of hydration you can have. When you drink water during a meal, or even just rinse with it after a meal, it helps keep your mouth clean. This can be especially handy when eating that Thanksgiving meal loaded with sweets and carbs—as is the case on many holidays. Looking to bolster your dental health? Put aside the water bottle and drink tap water, assuming it comes from a fluoridated water supply.

Dental cleanings in Royal Oak

Maintaining optimal oral health means finding the right dental practice to care for your family. At Hartrick Dentistry, Dr. Nancy Hartrick and her team of dental professionals pride themselves on treating each individual with care and respect, while also using state-of-the-art tools and techniques to meet all of their oral health needs. We welcome patients of any age to our comfortable facility. To learn more about our services or schedule a tour of our facility, call (248) 549-0950 to schedule a consultation.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve the dental needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.

Posted in General Dentistry

When Snoring becomes Scary

snoring becomes scary

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

We all experience a bit of snoring from time to time, especially when sick or congested. However, snoring also can be a sign of a more serious disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. Your Royal Oak sleep apnea dentist at Hartrick Dentistry wants you to know when snoring becomes scary, and what you should do about it.

What causes snoring?

Snoring usually occurs when the airway is restricted or blocked either by excess fat around the neck, natural anatomy or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. However, sometimes the airway becomes blocked as a result of a collapsed airway, which occurs when the lower jaw falls backward during sleep.

How do I know if I snore?

If you live alone, you likely will find it difficult to learn whether you snore or not. However, snoring results in cutting off airflow to the body, which causes the brain to wake out of deep sleep. When this happens several or more times a night, it results in chronic daytime fatigue, difficulty focusing, memory problems and more. If you have a partner, however, ask them if you snore. Since snoring is the number one indicator of a sleep breathing disorder, it’s best to get it checked out to protect your long-term health.

Why is snoring dangerous?

Snoring can be dangerous because it means that your body and brain aren’t receiving enough oxygen. When this happens, it increases your risk of diseases and ailments including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It even can lead to certain types of cancer and death, especially when left untreated.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

At Hartrick Dentistry, Dr. Hartrick can perform an airway evaluation or a sleep study to determine how well you’re breathing when you sleep. If sleep apnea is discovered, we can discuss treatment options that are non-invasive, and that does not involve the use of a CPAP machine.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Dr. Hartrick prefers to treat sleep apnea with a custom-made oral appliance that can be worn while you sleep. The purpose of the appliance is to reposition the lower jaw during sleep, which facilitates an open airway. The oral appliance is comfortable to wear, and convenient since it does not require any cords or electricity to work, unlike the CPAP. Plus, an oral appliance for sleep apnea will not make any noise, therefore, does not interfere with your partner’s sleep either.

What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea?

If you experience symptoms associated with this sleep breathing disorder, do not ignore it. Get help by seeking an evaluation with us at Hartrick Dentistry. Sleep apnea dentist in Royal Oak, Dr. Hartrick, can provide a simple evaluation to determine if you have sleep apnea, and then provide treatment that not only helps you rest better but improves your health by decreasing your risk of certain diseases and ailments.

Sleep Apnea Screening in Royal Oak

To learn more about sleep apnea or to receive a screening, please call Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients of Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

CPAP is not the Only Option

cpap not the only option

Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI

If your physician has diagnosed you with sleep apnea, most likely the only method of treatment you were given was the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.

Why the CPAP?

For decades, the CPAP has been the go-to treatment for sleep apnea sufferers and has been proven to be an effective treatment. Physicians tend to stick with treatments that work, hence why they recommend the CPAP time and time again. Also, until recently, insurance companies would not cover any other type of sleep apnea treatment, leaving patients with little to no options for treatment.

How the CPAP works

CPAP therapy works by efficiently forcing air into the patient’s airway by way of a mask that the patient wears while sleeping, which facilitates proper airflow and relieves sleep apnea symptoms. So, what’s the problem?

The problem with CPAP is that many patients do not adhere to treatment for reasons such as it is cumbersome, the mask causes irritations, the noise from the machine keeps their partner awake, the machine is bulky and difficult to take along when traveling. The list goes on. The bottom line is that many CPAP users discontinue treatment after only a few months. This is not good because sleep apnea should not be ignored due to its negative impact on one’s health. Here’s the good news; you have options.

Alternative treatment for sleep apnea

Oral appliance therapy is a breakthrough in sleep apnea treatment. Every patient is different, and so are these custom-made oral appliances. Dentists today are relying more and more on effective treatment by use of these oral appliances such as ResMed, SomnoMed, and Micro 2 appliances. Oral appliances are custom made, offering comfort and convenience.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

It is important not to ignore your symptoms of sleep apnea. If you have symptoms such as daytime fatigue, changes in mood, or snore while sleeping, you may have sleep apnea. The good news is that you do not have to be bothered by using an inconvenient CPAP machine. Come and see us at Hartrick Dentistry for a simple solution to your sleep apnea.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and seek an alternative treatment, contact Hartrick Dentistry today by calling (248) 549-0950. Dr. Hartrick can assess the severity of your sleep apnea, and work with you to customize an oral appliance that fits your changing needs for sleep apnea treatment.

Hartrick Dentistry is proud to serve the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI.

Posted in Sleep Apnea

Contact Us





View our privacy policy

Dr. Nancy Hartrick, DDS
32609 Woodward Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Call: 248-549-0950
Fax: 248-549-1180