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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.

 

Tuesday
Apr282015

Dentist Dr. Roy Hakala, St. Paul, Minnesota Explains the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines

 

Dr. Roy V. Hakala, founder of the Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN, is the Dental Director of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines. In this report, he discusses the academy’s mission and functions.

 

Dr. Hakala explains that the ACSDD is the only truly interdisciplinary sleep academy. Most academies are highly specialized and include practitioners from only one field of medical or dental practice. The ACSDD takes the opposite approach. This is important because “sleep disorders do not exist in isolation.” Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can cause or aggravate a variety of medical problems, including hypertension, congestive heart failure, COPD, hypercholesterolemia, high blood sugar in diabetic patients, gastroesophogeal reflux disease, thyroid dysfunction, anxiety, irritability, depression, and chronic pain.

The effective treatment of sleep disorders involves a host of people, including sleep physicians, sleep technologists, dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, ENT specialists, endocrinologists, neurologists, psychologists, and oral facial mycologists. The ACSDD provides a place where members of all of these disciplines can learn together.

The ACSDD offers live and online educational opportunities. Dr. Hakala points out that there is no substitute for live, in-person learning where the attendees have the opportunity to talk with each other and ask questions of the leading experts in their fields. This is what happens at the ACSDD’s annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona every September.

The ACSDD has online and on demand courses that are high quality, affordable, and easily accessible. It gives a learner the opportunity to gain relevant information any time and at almost any location.

The Academy also has a very accessible credentialing program. The availability of online, on demand courses reduces the time demand and expense of traveling to training courses. And the Executive Director of the Academy is accessible by phone to all Academy members.

In addition to other things, the Academy offers its members the opportunity to participate in Sleep Better TV, a video marketing program that “grows the members’ practices through geo-targeted marketing.” The Academy also offers its members a very low cost credit card processing service and other helpful services.

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
Jan292015

Over-the Counter Sleep Apnea Appliances: Don't Use Them!

 

Our television screens provide us with many commercials advertising over-the-counter devices we can put in our mouths to eliminate snoring. Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN explains why the use of these one-size-fits-all gadgets are a bad idea in this report.

 

Dr. Hakala says that some of the non-prescription oral appliances may provide some benefits, but they have a number of problems. One major problem of these items is that they are bulky. Most of them are of the one-size-fits-all variety, and then they are put in hot or boiling water and molded to fit a person’s mouth. But the bulk is an issue.

In sleep apnea, a common problem is that the tongue is too big for the mouth. Since people don’t sleep with their tongues hanging out, the tongue goes into the throat and becomes a problem. If a bulky appliance is put into the mouth, it may crowd the tongue and actually make the apnea worse. Dr. Hakala is concerned that someone may buy one of these appliances, have a bad experience, and then rule out oral appliances entirely, missing the chance to have an effective treatment for their sleep apnea.

Soft appliances present a different problem. One problem is that the appliance is soft, and people tend to chew on soft things in their mouths. This can encourage bruxism (teeth grinding). Soft appliances also affect the way people swallow and the way the tongue moves. This combination can allow a patient’s teeth to move. Also most soft appliances don’t fit the mouth very well, and in the process of holding the jaw forward overnight, they can actually move some of the upper teeth backward. This could put a patient in the position of needing orthodontic treatment in order to be able to get treatment for apnea.

In some cases, these non-prescription appliances may be all right as an emergency, stopgap step. Someone might want to keep one in a suitcase should the made-to-order device be forgotten and left at home on a trip out of town.

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 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
Jan292015

Treating Sleep Apnea and Relieving TMJ Problems: Dr. Roy Hakala Explains

Treating Sleep Apnea and Relieving TMJ Problems: Dr. Roy Hakala Explains from Sequence Media on Vimeo.

Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN treats both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In this report, he explains how the use of oral appliances in the treatment of OSA can also have a positive effect on TMJ problems.

Dr. Hakala says that some doctors are so concerned that a sleep apnea appliance will adversely affect a TMJ problem that they refuse to even consider having their patients take this approach. However, in Dr. Hakala’s experience, this is a mistaken view. In his practice, he works with both OSA and TMJ problems, and he has found that the oral appliance used to relieve sleep apnea may relieve TMJ problems as well.

Dr. Hakala explains that, for most patients, the basic TMJ problem is a compression of the joint. The bones of the joint are pressed so tightly together that the lubricated disc that allows the joint to move freely is unable to do so. Often, there is pressure on substantial structures inside the joint. This is very common in sleep apnea because of misalignment of the lower jaw. In other words, OSA can be the origin of the TMJ problem.

The challenge for the dentist, then, is to design an appliance that specifically provides more tongue space, that separates the teeth, putting some space inside the joint, that brings the lower jaw forward to open the airway, and that allows the bones within the TMJ to function normally.

In examining a patient for such an appliance, the dentist checks the range of motion of the jaw. It is also necessary to palpate the muscles, listen to the facial joint with special instruments, and examine x-rays. This is very important in treating sleep apnea so as to have a clear picture of what needs to be done. It is also necessary to take an impression of the teeth. All of this is a very analytic process that must be done correctly so that the patient’s situation improves as a result of the treatment.

Dr. Hakala points out that there are many oral appliances available for the treatment of sleep apnea. Some are larger, some are smaller, but all of them need to be adjustable to insure that they do not damage the TMJ.

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 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
Jan292015

TMJ Problems and Sleep Apnea: Dr. Roy Hakala Explains the Connection

 

TMJ disorders can be related to sleep problems. In this report Dr. Roy V. Hakala with Minnesota Craniofacial Center in St. Paul, MN explains the TMJ and its possible connection to sleeping problems.

 

TMJ is an abbreviation for the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. It is located right in front of the ear, on each side of the head. As Dr. Hakala points out, TMJ is not a disorder, but a part of the human body. His concern is what TMJ problems a patient might have.

There are a variety of TMJ disorders. The most common ones are headache (including migraines and tension headaches), facial pain, noises from the TMJ (such as a clicking jaw), and ear problems. This latter set of problems can include pain, congestion, a sensation that something is in the ear, or noises such as buzzing or ringing.

TMJ can be related to sleep apnea. Among other things, many people who have sleep apnea have complaints similar to those associated with a TMJ disorder. Headaches in the morning are frequently associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and, of course, with TMJ problems. Other shared symptoms include facial pain, tight jaw joints, and ear problems.

The connection largely relates to the fact that people with sleep apnea are prone to clenching their teeth in their sleep. The reason for that is that clenching the teeth will help to open the airway that is being blocked during sleep apnea. Clenching the teeth causes the genioglossus muscle to pull the tongue forward and open the throat. People who clench their teeth all night (and perhaps during the day) can make their muscles very tight and even damage the TMJ.

As to clenching related to stress, Dr. Hakala says that is folk wisdom, but it is not borne out statistically. There is no real scientific evidence to support the theory. What is well documented is the clenching to breathe that may be associated with sleep apnea.

Dr. Hakala notes that, very often when people come to his office believing they have a TMJ problem, he discovers that in fact they have a sleep breathing problem. Frequently, when the sleep apnea is treated with an appliance to solve the sleep apnea problem, the TMJ symptoms go 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.

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