Will sleep apnea prevent me from getting dental veneers? I have delayed dental appointments for the past four years. I finally had an appointment with a new dentist two weeks ago because I have several chipped and discolored teeth and want veneers. The hygienist cleaned my teeth, which took a while because I had lots of tartar buildup.
When the dentist came in for the exam and asked about my concerns, I explained my dental anxiety and wanted veneers for the chipped teeth and discoloration. The dentist explained that I had a dry mouth and asked about my sleeping habits. I know that I snore, and the dentist said the lack of rest could contribute to my anxiety. He wants to treat my snoring/sleep apnea before discussing veneers. I already have anxiety, so do I need to prolong dental visits with sleep apnea treatment before we can discuss veneers? Should I see another dentist? Thank you. Montana from NJ
Thank you for your question. Dr. LeSage would need to examine your teeth for an accurate diagnosis, but we will explain the relationship between sleep apnea, anxiety, and your oral health.
Are Sleep Apnea and Anxiety Related?
Obstructive sleep apnea and anxiety are related. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) occurs when throat muscles relax, and your tongue falls back and blocks your airway. Research shows the following about sleep apnea and anxiety:
- 53.9 percent of people with OSAS have anxiety
- 46.1 percent of people with OSAS have symptoms of depression
People with sleep apnea have high levels of glutamate and low levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, brain chemicals that regulate emotions, impact how people think, and influence blood pressure.
Will Sleep Apnea Prevent You from Getting Porcelain Veneers?
Although you can get porcelain veneers without sleep apnea treatment, we understand your dentist’s concerns about the relationship between sleep apnea and dry mouth. Dentists treat mild to moderate sleep apnea with a custom-made oral appliance that moves your lower jaw forward to prevent you from snoring while sleeping.
Although the oral device will not cure your dental anxiety, it can minimize your overall anxiety and improve your dental experience. Additionally, a dentist can use sedation to help you relax during appointments. Some patients eventually overcome their dental phobia.
How Will Dry Mouth Affect Porcelain Veneers?
A healthy mouth helps you avoid future concerns with your teeth behind the porcelain veneers. An oral appliance can reduce dryness in your mouth and promote saliva flow that fights bacteria. If your snoring causes a dry mouth, the dryness interferes with your oral health and increases cavity risks. Also, people with sleep apnea may grind their teeth at night, which can ruin veneers.
Talk to your dentist again about the cosmetic dentistry you want and ask about the pros and cons of porcelain veneers if you decline an oral appliance for sleep apnea. You can also get a second opinion from an advanced cosmetic dentist. A second opinion can help you avoid the need to switch dentists in the middle of porcelain veneers treatment.