By Progressive Dental Solutions
October 16, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Appliance  

What your Pittsburgh area dentist wants you to know

Do you suffer from sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint issues? If you do, did you know that there are dental appliances available that can help you? It’s true. Your dentist can provide you with a simple, easy-to-wear dental appliance that can help relieve your symptoms.

Dr. Michael Hnat at Progressive Dental Solutions in McMurray, PA, wants to tell you more about dental appliances. He proudly serves residents of McMurray and Pittsburgh, PA, and he can help you too!

If you wake up suddenly, are gasping for breath, and you are tired during the day, you could have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that you shouldn't ignore. A Continuous-Positive-Air-Pressure machine, commonly known as a CPAP, used to be the only way to treat sleep apnea. Many people have found the CPAP difficult and uncomfortable to wear, so they stop using it.

Fortunately, an easier way is available from your dentist. It’s a dental sleep appliance. This device keeps your airway open during the night by positioning your lower jaw and tongue forward. People love the dental appliance because it is comfortable, small, portable, and easy to maintain.

A dental appliance can also help if you suffer from temporomandibular joint problems. The temporomandibular joint, also known as the TMJ, is a unique joint that opens and closes your jaws. This joint can be displaced, causing friction and wear on the joint. The joint becomes inflamed, resulting in an aching jaw, headaches, earaches, facial pain, and other symptoms.

If your TMJ symptoms become chronic and your TMJ joint becomes damaged, you may progress to temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. To limit TMJ symptoms and prevent TMD, your dentist may recommend dental appliances like night splints or bite guards to cushion your jaws and limit jaw stress.

Today’s dental appliances can help relieve symptoms of sleep apnea and TMJ issues. You can get relief by calling Dr. Michael Hnat at Progressive Dental Solutions, serving residents of McMurray and Pittsburgh, PA. Call today!

By Progressive Dental Solutions
June 18, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

sleep apneaBetween 50 to 70 million American adults have a sleep disorder according to the American Sleep Association. It’s possible that a dentist could be the one to assist you with your sleep disorder if it’s related to obstructive sleep apnea(OSA) . OSA is associated with significant medical comorbidities including high blood pressure,A-fib, increased risk of heart attack and stroke as well as Type 2 Diabetes, acid reflux and ,most recently, glaucoma. Learn about how Dr. Michael Hnat at Progressive Dental Solutions for Sleep and TMJ in McMurray, PA is helping patients improve their quality of life and reduce their medical risk by managing their disorder using a custom-fabricated dental mouthpiece.

Why Uninterrupted Sleep Is So Important
While popular culture sometimes pushes the narrative that it’s not necessary to get that much sleep, it is essential for physical and mental reasons. Having an uninterrupted night of sleep comes with the following benefits:

- Faster processing of thoughts and ideas when working.
- Better memory.
- An overall better mood throughout the day.
- Sleep heals and restores your body.

Sleep Apnea: A Common Sleep Disorder
One of the most common sleep disorders that patients struggle with is called obstructive sleep apnea. The air passageway becomes blocked while you are sleeping due to fatty tissue or the tongue falling backward to the throat. You’ll wake up dozens of times throughout the night and not realize it. Snoring is also a symptom. A common treatment for this problem is a CPAP machine, but a less complicated solution oral appliance therapy may be available from our Pittsburgh area dentist Dr. Michael Hnat.
How Your Dentist Can Help
To diagnose your sleep disorder, your dentist will ask you questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing and can refer you to a sleep lab for diagnosis if sleep apnea is suspected. If obstructive sleep apnea is the problem, a special oral appliance will be created. Wearing this custom-made mouth device while you sleep can clear up the air passageways and stop loud snoring. Simply wear the device at night and wake up knowing that you have had a better night of sleep.

Call Your Dentist
Restore your ability to sleep throughout the night comfortably with the help of Dr. Michael Hnat at Progressive Dental Solutions for Sleep and TMJ, serving the Pittsburgh, PA area. Call (724) 942-5630 today to schedule a sleep disorder examination with Dr. Michael Hnat, board-certified in dental sleep medicine and craniofacial dental sleep medicine.

By Progressive Dental Solutions
April 09, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Snoring   Sleep Apnea  

Have you heard snoring described as loud enough to shake the windows? Really, though, snoring is no joke because it often signals a real snoring, sleep apneahealth problem called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. Your Pittsburgh dentist Dr. Michael Hnat, at Progressive Dental Solutions in McMurray, PA, helps people with their disruptive snoring so they can sleep, function well, and feel healthy.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

OSA is a sleep disorder. It occurs when the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax, vibrate, and cover the airway. Breathing stops for up to 10 seconds several times a night, disrupting sleep.

Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are linked with serious health conditions, including:

  • Obestiy
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Dementia
  • Type-2 diabetes

More than 18 million people in the United States experience some degree of sleep apnea. CSA, or Central Sleep Apnea, is the less common type, but it, too, is very dangerous as the brain fails to signal the respiratory system to continue breathing. Other individuals have a mixed form of sleep apnea which exhibits features of both OSA and CSA.

What can you do?

Contact Dr. Hnat. He may recommend an at-home or in-office sleep study under the supervision of a physician who specializes in sleep disorders. Once diagnosed, many people use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) devices at night to keep their airways. However, some patients find the required mask and bedside apparatus difficult to tolerate.

An alternative and simpler treatment, if appropriate, is an oral appliance from our Pittsburgh area dentist. These customized acrylic devices either hold the tongue downward and more forward or re-position the lower jaw. Either way, the airway stays open as the patient sleeps, controlling sleep apnea and snoring.

Find relief

So if you're struggling with snoring or just can't get used to your CPAP machine, contact Dr. Michael Hnat. Board-certified in dental sleep medicine, Dr. Hnat will help you arrive at a solution that works. Oral appliance therapy could be just what you need for a healthy sleep pattern. Call Dr. Hnat in McMurray, PA, and serving the Pittsburgh, today to arrange a personal consultation at (724) 942-5630.

By Progressive Dental Solutions
February 05, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Teeth Grinding  

Waking up in the morning with jaw pain from grinding your teeth is a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. Understanding theteeth grinding symptoms, diagnosis process, and treatment can help you find the best treatment options for you and your condition. Find out more about teeth grinding and its solutions with our Pittsburgh area dentist Dr. Michael F. Hnat at Progressive Dental Solutions.

Teeth Grinding Symptoms
Many cases of teeth grinding, known medically as bruxism, occur at night while you sleep. The can leave you with some questionable symptoms that you may have trouble getting to the bottom of. Not all patients get symptoms of bruxism, but those that do often experience:

  • facial soreness
  • headaches
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)/Jaw Pain
  • wear on the biting surface of the teeth
  • disrupted sleep
  • broken teeth
  • earaches

Many of these symptoms clear up on their own after treating teeth grinding and rarely need separate treatment. However, it is important to speak with your dentist to ensure that your teeth remain healthy even after dealing with your teeth grinding habit.

How can my dentist help me with my teeth grinding habit? 
Many dentists begin treating bruxism conservatively, providing help to deal with a common source of teeth grinding: stress and anxiety. Sleep problems like sleep apnea or sleep talking can also trigger your teeth grinding habit. Your dentist can assess your teeth and jaw and help you determine the cause of your bruxism.

Teeth Grinding Treatments in Pittsburgh, PA 
Your dentist may recommend a mouth guard, worn at night, to protect your teeth from damage. A mouth splint can also work toward a healthy smile. Treatments like a sleep study can help treat the underlying issues causing bruxism. Talk with your dentist to determine the extent of your teeth grinding habit and which treatments may be suitable for your situation.

For more information on teeth grinding and its treatments, please contact Dr. Michael F. Hnat at Progressive Dental Solutions serving the Pittsburgh area. Call (724) 942-5630 to schedule your appointment.

By Progressive Dental Solutions
July 10, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a growing epidemic in our US adult population. Current research indicates that it is a very underdiagnosed and undertreated malady. Less than 5% of those who actually have OSA have been diagnosed and successfully treated1. Obesity (BMI greater than 30)) has been shown to be the underlying cause in half of the cases. But there are numerous other risk factors for the condition that must not be overlooked. It is hardly just the overweight male with an 18 inch neck who snores loudly that can be afflicted with sleep apnea. I have treated many a patient who-on the contrary- is as “skinny as a bean” but for other anatomic characteristics that effect their breathing airway during sleep are just as susceptible.

Some of the “classic” risk factors for OSA are loud,disruptive snoring, large tongue,undersized upper and/or lower jaw, droopy and loose soft palate, neck size greater than 17 inch in men and 15 inch in women and nasal breathing limitations which often cause habitual mouthbreathing. The use of alcohol and sedative medications like xanax, valium and the like -especially in the evening hours-that relax and collapse the supporting muscles of the airway are considered lifestyle risk factors for sleep apnea. In addition, apneics may have one or more characteristic subjective symptoms such as unrefreshing sleep,excessive daytime sleepiness and lack of alertness, witnessed breathing stoppages and gasping episodes during sleep observed by their bed partner, and reduced dreaming (REM sleep). Physiological symptoms may include high blood pressure,acid reflux, nocturia (frequent nitetime bathroom visits), irregular heart rate including atrial fibrillation and pulmonary hypertension.

Like many other medical conditions, individuals can complete self-screening to help determine if they may be at risk for OSA and need to followup with an evaluation by a health professional. If clinical evaluation supports subjective screening then referral for diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out sleep apnea is in order.

The “gold standard” for assessing daytime sleepiness is the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). The scale scores one’s tendency to doze off in various passive and slightly active situations. A score of 10 or higher warrants clinical followup.

0 = no chance of dozing
1 = slight chance of dozing
2 = moderate chance of dozing
3 = high chance of dozing


Sitting and reading
Watching TV
Sitting inactive in a public place (e.g a theater or a meeting)
As a passenger in a car for an hour without a break
Lying down to rest in the afternoon when circumstances permit
Sitting and talking to someone
Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol
In a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

To check your sleepiness score, check total points shown above.

Other simple self screening tests like the STOP-BANG or the SLEEP Observer’s Scale can similarly support the need for followup by a health professional.

A research study showed that OSA was two times the risk factor than smoking and three times the risk factor than high blood pressure and obesity for heart attack2. Other recent information indicates that untreated severe sleep apnea results in five times the number of cancer deaths for those with all types of cancer3 . If you suspect that yourself or a loved one may have obstructive sleep apnea based on the information above a self-screening may be the first step you take in saving yours or their life.


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