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Dr. Roy Hakala, Minnesota 
Dr. Hakala graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1975 and has been working in the field of TMJ disorders and obstructive sleep apnea ever since. He first did this in the context of his general dental practice in Red Wing, Minnesota from 1976 to 1994. His practice also included restorative dentistry, implant surgery, general oral surgery, periodontics, and orthodontics.
He taught orthodontics for the United States Dental Institute from 1982 to 1996. He established the Minnesota Craniofacial Center Midway specifically for the treatment of TMJ disorders and sleep disorders in 1994. Dr. Hakala is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain, a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, a Diplomate of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines, a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a member of the Society of Pain Practice Management, and a member of the American Academy of Pain Management.

 

Thursday
Jan282016

Sleep Apnea Appliance Complications by Dentist Dr. Roy Hakala, St. Paul, MN

There is a lot of available information about sleep apnea appliances and the great things they can do. But there can be complications as well. In this report Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN explains .

For starters, Dr. Hakala says, sleep apnea appliances have to be custom fit to patients. One-size-fits-all is not an option. It is important that the appliance has a good, tight fit and that it stays on the teeth all night long. No good will be done if the appliance lifts off when a patient swallows or rolls over in bed. It’s also important to understand that the appliance, even when it has been properly adjusted, was made to fit a patient’s teeth when the impression of the teeth was taken. This means that you must take your sleep appliance with you to every dental appointment. In case the dentist finds a small cavity and decides to fill it, the appliance will have to be checked to be sure it fits over the tooth with the new filling.

Another issue, probably a minor one, is that some people who get appliances tend to salivate a great deal for the first few nights before the body accepts that the appliance is not food. In that case, a person might develop a dry mouth and might need to take a sip of water during the night. For that reason, it’s helpful to for an appliance to have an open space in front so that the appliance does not have to be removed in order for a little water to be ingested.

A third issue has to do with the functioning of a sleep apnea appliance to hold the jaw forward overnight. Some people have a hard time getting the jaw to drop back into its normal position after they get up in the morning. Dr. Hakala says that, if a patient’s bite stays out of position for more than five or ten minutes in the morning, the patient should go back to see the dentist right away. The dentist can make a special kind of retainer for a patient to wear perhaps thirty minutes in the morning to help the bite go back to its normal position. It’s important that the dentist learn of any bite problems right away.

Dr. Roy V. Hakala graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1975 and has been working in the field of TMJ disorders and obstructive sleep apnea ever since. He established the Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C., specifically for the treatment of these disorders in 1994. Dr. Hakala is, among other things, a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Thursday
Jan282016

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep by Dentist Dr. Roy Hakala, St. Paul, MN

A lot of people would like to improve their sleep quality. Many of us have tried various tricks to get better sleep, often with mixed results. In this report Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN explains some proven methods that anyone can use to get a better night’s sleep. He also mentions a few things that don’t really work as you would expect.

In the category of home care, Dr. Hakala explains that one of the most important things that people can do is to maintain a schedule. The human body has a circadian rhythm, an internal clock that prepares us, biochemically and emotionally, to go to bed at night and to wake up about the same time each morning. So it is important for people to go to bed at more or less the same time every night and to get up at more or less the same time every morning.

It is not a problem to sleep in occasionally on a weekend. However, Dr. Hakala says, it is destructive to make a practice of staying up late and then sleeping late. But, he says, “if you had to pick one of the two as the more important factor, it’s more important to get up at roughly the same time each morning.” People who need extra sleep should go to bed a little earlier rather than sleeping in.

Exercise is another important consideration. The old theory used to be that exercise in the evening was a bad idea because it would speed up the metabolism and make it difficult for someone to go to sleep. However, Dr. Hakala says, more recent studies have shown that the old theory is not true. A regular exercise program at any time of the day improves sleep quality “pretty dramatically.” Exercise in the evening is fine, provided you don’t work up a sweat, develop a rapid heartbeat, and then try to go right to sleep.

Sleeping pills are another method some people try. Dr. Hakala says that sleep aids can help in the short run. These pills are only intended for intermittent use. Dr. Hakala points out that the body has an amazing ability to rebound. If you take the same medicine every night, the body will find ways to work around the medicine. The body then becomes dependent on the medicine. The medicine is difficult to quit but is not really helping with sleep problems.

Some people like a glass of wine, or something similar, before bed. Dr. Hakala says that alcohol is not the answer to sleep problems. Alcohol is not only a sedative, it’s a muscle relaxant. So the throat muscles relax, and that tends to close off the airway. The result is that the person who had the drink before bed sleeps poorly. A typical sleep pattern might be sleeping for about four hours, but with poor breathing, then waking up briefly and then sleeping poorly the rest of the night. Dr. Hakala suggests that no one should have any alcohol within four hours of going to bed.

Dr. Roy V. Hakala graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1975 and has been working in the field of TMJ disorders and obstructive sleep apnea ever since. He established the Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C., specifically for the treatment of these disorders in 1994. Dr. Hakala is, among other things, a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Thursday
Jan282016

Sleep Apnea Appliances, Dentist Dr. Roy Hakala, St. Paul, Minnesota

It seems that there are a host of sleep apnea appliances available from a variety of sources, all claiming to treat the sleep disorder. But they aren’t all the same. In this report Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN explains that there are important differences in these appliances.

Dr. Hakala says that there are many different patents for oral appliances to treat sleep apnea. All of them are intended to accomplish the same result, but they are all different. The idea of any appliance is to support the jaw and to keep the tongue from falling into the throat at night. How these appliances accomplish that varies from appliance to appliance.

There are several features that a patient should be looking for. Dr. Hakala says that an appliance must be thin enough that a patient can wear the appliance overnight. An appliance must provide plenty of tongue space. And, most important, it must keep the jaw in the proper position all night and do so dependably and comfortably.

One appliance that will fit all these criteria is the EMA, demonstrated by Dr. Hakala and made by Glidewell Laboratories. The differences in the appliances is often the mechanism used to keep the lower jaw forward. Dr. Hakala points out that the EMA is a thin appliance, even thinner than many orthodontic appliances. The thinness of it provides plenty of tongue space. The EMA also provides small platforms in the back of the appliance to permit a dentist to adjust it to the desired height. The platforms make the tongue taller, providing more room for the tongue to stay in the mouth. The EMA uses elastic straps to allow a range of adjustments by a dentist.

Dr. Roy V. Hakala graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1975 and has been working in the field of TMJ disorders and obstructive sleep apnea ever since. He established the Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C., specifically for the treatment of these disorders in 1994. Dr. Hakala is, among other things, a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Thursday
Jan282016

TMJ Appliances, Dentist Dr. Roy Hakala, St. Paul, Minnesota

Many people are aware that problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause headaches and jaw pains. TMJ problems are often treated with splints that fit in a patient’s mouth. There are ads for mouth guards for sale in drug stores, but will they work as well as custom-made appliances? In this report Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN explains that generic appliances won’t solve TMJ problems like an appliance provided by a dentist.

Dr. Hakala explains that there are several problems associated with the use of these generic mouth guards to realign a jaw. One obvious problem is that these guards are bulky, crowding the user’s tongue into places it shouldn’t go. Also, the generic guards don’t fit very well, even when a user boils the guard to fit it to his or her teeth. Any generic appliance will only give an approximate fit. A third problem with these guards is that they are soft, encouraging users to chew on them. Anyone with a bruxism, or clenching, problem will only make the problem worse with a chewable mouth guard.

Dr. Hakala points out that there is no single appliance that will work for everyone. “I wish there were,” he adds. It is necessary for the dentist to do a complete diagnosis to figure out what particular appliance will work best for a particular patient. “There is no ‘one size fits all.’” There are several factors to be considered in the design of a TJM appliance. Most important, says Dr. Hakala, is figuring out exactly what a patient’s problem is. For example, if a patient’s lower jaw sits too far back, the appliance needs to have a biting surface that will move it to the proper position.

Dr. Hakala explains how the process works using a sample appliance he has designed to fit a model he uses for demonstration purposes. The appliance is very compact and does not crowd a patient’s tongue. It is very thin, similar to an orthodontic retainer. The sample has a very well-defined biting surface. The surface is designed after a thorough examination of a patient’s impressions, dental models, and x-rays. This insures that the appliance will do what needs to be done.

The sample appliance has another feature worth noting: it leaves the front teeth open so that a patient can wear it during the daytime. This is very important for a patient with a TMJ problem. The jaw has to be brought into proper alignment and kept that way all the time.

Dr. Roy V. Hakala graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1975 and has been working in the field of TMJ disorders and obstructive sleep apnea ever since. He established the Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C., specifically for the treatment of these disorders in 1994. Dr. Hakala is, among other things, a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Tuesday
Apr282015

Dentist Dr. Roy Hakala, St. Paul, Minnesota Discusses the ACSDD Annual Conference

 

Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN and Dental Director of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines explains that the Academy will hold its annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona September 25 and 26, 2015.

 

Dr. Hakala points out that the Academy has a history of producing annual conferences that have all been rated as outstanding by the attendees. The conferences are truly interdisciplinary, providing attendees with multiple perspectives on the problem of sleep disorders. Attendees come away with valuable information to help them work better as health care providers, understanding the perspectives, priorities, and concerns of members of other professions also involved in sleep medicine.

The result is better patient care. Over the years, conference topics have covered a wide range: pediatrics, teens, young adults, adults, and seniors. Speakers have included physicians, dentists, and doctors with a variety of specialties. Formal presentations are structured to include time for questions from the floor, and presenters have been very responsive to special concerns and situations of particular attendees. And the networking time allows for some additional valuable learning.

While the conference is an intense learning experience, says Dr. Hakala, it is not stiff or formal. The conferences are presented so as to be fun and engaging. Attendees have the opportunities to develop friendships with others in the sleep medicine field.

Dr. Roy V. Hakala graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1975 and has been working in the field of TMJ disorders and obstructive sleep apnea ever since. He established the Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C., specifically for the treatment of these disorders in 1994. Dr. Hakala is, among other things, a Diplomate of the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. He spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.