We are now open!

Greetings to all of our patients!  

I want to take this time to reach out to you all and reconnect so as to let you all know what we've been up to during the Novel Corona Virus Pandemic.  I want to state that our #1 priority is, and has always been the health & safety of our patients, and, of course, to provide to you the highest quality dental care we can!  

I am sure most of you have questions and concerns regarding the safety of dentistry during this time, so we'd like to share the measures and actions we are taking to ensure your safety here at our office.

First of all, the culture here will be a little bit different in the “post novel corona virus world”.  At least until researchers come up with therapies and /or a vaccine!  We will be implementing some new systems in our practice to mitigate the risk of disease transmission here.  

What to expect when you come to the office?  Prior to your appointment, when Diana calls you to confirm your appointment date and time, she will ask a few quick questions regarding your medical status, and any symptoms suggestive of an illness...We ask that if you are ill with a fever, coughing, etc. to please reschedule for when you are well.  

We ask that you please call when you arrive to the office. Diana, Chelsea or Susie will meet you at your car to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, also you will have a small device clipped to your finger called an oximeter. This gadget shines light through your fingertip or earlobe. It works out how much oxygen is in your blood. We will then escort you directly to your treatment room.  

We will be spacing out our patient appointments so that there is only one patient on the dentistry side with Susie and I, and only one patient in the hygiene side with Chelsea.  For the most part, no one is allowed to wait in the lobby until further notice...We will of course, accommodate people escorting children or elderly patients.

All surfaces will be disinfected with Hospital Grade Disinfectants (as we've always done in the past) between patients.  All door knobs, light switches, etc. will be disinfected every 30 minutes throughout the day!  This will mitigate the risk of any infectious disease transmission via surfaces.

Ever since the HIV epidemic in the 1980's, dentistry as an industry has employed “Universal Precautions” (masks, gloves, “single use” disposable equipment, etc.) to mitigate disease transmission.  

The most concerning of transmission routes for infection, including novel corona virus, is via “'aerosols”.  Dentists and hygienists  have used “High Volume Evacuation” (HVE) routinely for decades to capture aerosols generated by dental hand pieces (drill) and ultra-sonic scaling devices.  HVE reduces aerosols by 90% !  

We will continue to use HVE for all procedures that generate aerosols.  In addition to HVE, we've invested in Medical Grade H-13 HEPA aerosol scavengers in our operatories (basically a very powerful vacuum) with a snorkel hose that we can position adjacent to the treatment field to scavenge any aerosol the HVE misses.

We have also invested in nine medical grade H-13 HEPA air filtration units placed throughout the office which will completely clean/turn over the air every 10 minutes, or six times per hour.

Another investment made was having medical grade UVC (Ultra-Violet C) units installed in our Central  Air Conditioning/Heating units that kill Bacteria and Virus as the air passes through. 

Finally, we will fog the office with Hypochlorous Acid, a human safe, yet powerful disinfectant at the end of each day.

We want you all to know that we are taking all possible precautions and measures to ensure your safety, and the safety of our team here!

To further streamline your experience at the office, we will be scheduling return visits for you in the operatory, at the end of your appointment.  We will make available electronic payment options in order to minimize visiting the front desk.

Warm regards,

Dr. Paulerio and Team

Sleep Apnea

Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders which cause snoring, restlessness, fatigue, and an increased risk of health issues.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can impact all areas of your life. It has been linked to heart attack, stroke, and premature death.

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

The Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Decrease Your Quality of Life

During Sleep

One of the most common sleep apnea symptoms is loud, frequent snoring followed by lapses in breathing, waking up choking or gasping, frequent trips to the bathroom, and general restlessness. 

Throughout the Day

Sleep apnea sufferers often wake up with headaches and a sore throat. Because the quality of your sleep is compromised, you may feel fatigued throughout the day and have difficulty concentrating

Day-to-Day Behavior

If left untreated, sleep apnea can cause irritability, depression, decreased libido, and memory loss. It has also been linked to serious systemic health conditions including heart disease. 

Certain Factors Could Put You at Higher Risk

You are at higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Have a family history of snoring 
  • Are a smoker
  • Are experiencing menopause
  • Are of Black, Hispanic, or Native American descent

The disorder can affect men, women, and children of all ages.  

There Are Three Types of Sleep Apnea

Obstructive

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is caused by overly relaxed or enlarged throat muscles and large tonsils, adenoids, or a large overbite which cause narrow airways and restrict the flow of oxygen. 

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Central

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common but much more serious. The condition is caused by a lapse in neurological activity, where your brain stops signaling your body to breathe. This can happen several minutes at a time, sometimes dozens or hundreds of time throughout the night.

Complex

Also known as mixed sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea is caused by a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea. Patients with complex sleep apnea do not respond to treatments for OSA alone. This type affects 15 percent of all sleep apnea patients.

Treating Sleep Apnea Can Improve Your Mental Well-Being

New studies have shown that depression decreased from 73 percent to 4 percent in sleep apnea patients after therapy

"Effective treatment of obstructive sleep apnea resulted in substantial improvement in depressive symptoms, including suicidal ideation..." -David R. Hillman, MD

*According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 

How Can You Prevent Sleep Apnea?

Stop drinking and smoking.

Studies have shown a link between chronic drinking and sleep-disordered breathing. Doctors recommend quitting smoking because it can reduce your sleep apnea and prevent the onset of other health problems. 

Lose weight.

Studies by the researchers at the American College of Physicians (ACP) have indicated that weight loss is one of the most effective ways to improve the symptoms of sleep apnea. 

Sleep on your side.

The American Posture Institute has found that obstructive sleep apnea is aggravated by incorrect sleeping posture. They recommend sleeping on your side to improve your breathing during sleep. 

Both Your Dentist and Doctor Can Diagnose Your Condition

In most cases, a doctor or dentist can perform a formal diagnosis for sleep apnea. In order to determine the severity of your sleep apnea and prescribe the most appropriate treatment, they may order a sleep study at a special facility. During the study, a specialist will monitor your activity, movement, oxygen levels, and other vitals. 

Your level of sleep apnea will depend on the number of episodes you have during sleep: 

  • 0-5 per hour: Normal
  • 5-15 per hour: Mild
  • 16-30 per hour: Moderate
  • 31 or more per hour: Severe

Many dentists can also let you borrow a device such as a WatchPAT, which allows you to track your sleep patterns in the comfort of your own home.

Treatment Will Depend on the Severity of Your Sleep Apnea

Oral Appliance Therapy

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, you may be a good candidate for oral appliance therapy. Your dentist can design a custom mouthpiece that fits snugly over your teeth and repositions your lower mandible to a forward position during the night, opening your airways and reducing snoring. The treatment can be very effective, even for patients with more severe sleep apnea. 

CPAP Therapy

Continuous positive airway pressure therapy, or CPAP, is the most effective way to reduce moderate to severe sleep apnea. CPAP patients will wear a mask during sleep which delivers positive airway pressure to open their airways. However, the device takes some getting used to, which can affect the patient compliance. 

Combination of Both

Combining oral appliances and CPAP machines is well-tolerated by most patients. A study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that combination therapy reduced daytime sleepiness and normalized breathing disturbances.  

Surgery

If excess tissue, large tonsils, or enlarged adenoids are blocking your airway, surgery may help. During the procedure, a surgeon can remove the excess tissue and increase your chances of a healthy airflow.

Talk to a Doctor

The sooner you seek out treatment, the sooner you can sleep better, improve your overall health, and enhance your quality of life. To find out if you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with your doctor today.

Point Loma Family Dentistry team

Point Loma Family Dentistry

Dr. Louis E. Paulerio is a top-rated dentist who is committed to providing the latest dental treatments in a caring, warm setting. He is a member of several prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Dental Implant Association

He also uses CEREC technology to create beautiful, long-lasting dental restorations in just one appointment. Ready to schedule a consultation at our Point Loma office? Request your appointment online or call us at (619) 223-3811.

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