Flushing Oral Surgery

Q&A with Dr. Paul Chin-Fan Li

Dr. Li: A Superior Oral Surgeon in Flushing & Brooklyn NY + Westfield NJ

What Inspired You to Pursue Dentistry?

dr-paul-li smiling

As a child, my parents emphasized the importance of oral health and as a first-generation immigrant access to dental care was considered a luxury.  I wanted to be able to provide oral health care access to give back to the community

When Did You Decide to Further Your Expertise into Oral Surgery?

At Columbia University we went through each dental specialty rotation.  In oral maxillofacial surgery, I was impressed by the depth of knowledge and skills and oral maxillofacial surgeon was trained in.  At times, as the last line of defense in cases for patients seeking help, and it was extremely rewarding to be able to help patients.

What Makes You Excited to Go to Work Every Day?

Knowing that each patient is unique, and each case treatment is unique.  It truly allows me to utilize all my skills and knowledge to provide the best care possible.

What Are Your Favorite Activities or Hobbies Outside of the Office?

I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling.  I believe in experiencing other cultures around the world as much as possible.  It is fun and exciting to experience each culture’s differences and commonality.

What is the Most Important Thing You Want Your Patients to Know About You?

My work philosophy is to do the best I can the first time and to stand behind my work.

Schedule Your Appointment with Dr. Li Today!

What is a Pre-Prosthetic Surgery? Everything You Need to Know in 2022

a dentist shows a patient a model of teeth

Pre-prosthetic surgery is a procedure to prepare your mouth for the placement of a dental prosthesis, like a denture. Before receiving dentures, your oral surgeon might need to make minor adjustments to your jawbone to ensure the prosthesis is as comfortable as possible. There are several types of pre-prosthetic surgery that your oral surgeon might recommend. Read below to learn everything you need to know about pre-prosthetic surgery, why it is necessary, and if you are a good candidate.

Why is There a Need for Pre-Prosthetic Surgery?

Pre-prosthetic surgery creates the ideal conditions in your mouth to comfortably and securely accommodate a denture or set of dentures. A denture rests on the ridge of your jawbone, but the bone ridge is sometimes uneven and jagged. Before receiving the prosthesis, your oral surgeon will perform a pre-prosthetic surgery that aims to prepare the underlying bone in the following ways:

  • Smooth and reshape
  • Remove excess soft tissue
  • Reduce the bone ridge
  • Remove excess bone
  • Extract teeth

When is Pre-Prosthetic Surgery Performed?

The ideal time to receive pre-prosthetic surgery is at least six weeks before your oral surgeon takes impressions of your mouth. The impressions are used to fabricate your denture and ensure the prosthesis forms a stable, comfortable fit. Following a tooth extraction, it takes about 6 weeks for your mouth to heal enough for an accurate impression to be taken for your dentures. It takes about 12 weeks for the underlying bone to fully recover after a tooth extraction procedure.

Types of Pre-Prosthetic Surgery

There are several different types of pre-prosthetic surgery, including:

Palatal and Mandibular Tori Reduction

A tori is a harmless formation of excessive bone on the roof of the mouth or the lower jawbone beneath the tongue. The tori bone formation is not a health risk to patients, but it can interfere with the stability of dentures and create a loose fit. Tori reduction is a simple outpatient procedure that requires sedation, a minor incision, and sutures.

Tuberosity Reduction

The maxillary tuberosity is an area of the gum tissue in the back of your mouth that provides essential stability for a dental prosthesis or denture. Jawbone overgrowth sometimes occurs in this area of the gums, which prevents a prosthesis from making a secure fit. Tuberosity reduction is a pre-prosthetic surgery that involves reducing excess gum tissue and removing overgrown bone tissue. An oral surgeon performs this pre-prosthetic surgery in-office while the patient is under sedation.


Alveoplasty is a pre-prosthetic surgery to smooth and reshape the alveolar bone. The alveolar bone surrounds your teeth and sits atop the basal bone. Following a tooth extraction, the alveolar bone often leaves areas of irregularity that disrupt the proper fit of a prosthesis.


Vestibuloplasty is a pre-prosthetic surgery to correct the front area of the lower jaw to accommodate dentures. This procedure is necessary if a patient has been missing teeth for long enough that the jawbone shrinks from resorption. Resorption occurs when tooth loss has gone untreated, and the jawbone starts losing mass. Vestibuloplasty increases the height of the jawbone by lowering the lower lip muscle to create a stable foundation for dentures. This type of pre-prosthetic surgery is performed under in-office sedation or general anesthesia.


The frenum is an area of muscle that connects your top and bottom lips to the upper and lower jaws (respectively). The lingual frenum is the tissue that sits under the tongue. The lingual frenum restricts the tongue’s ability to move when it is too short or too long. This condition is commonly referred to as “tongue-tied.” This condition interferes with the proper fit of dentures, but it is easily corrected. A frenectomy is a simple and quick pre-prosthetic surgery to release the tongue from the frenum by cutting or removing the excess tissue. This surgery is performed in-office under sedation.

Are You a Good Candidate for Pre-Prosthetic Surgery?

Your candidacy for pre-prosthetic surgery is a determination between you and your oral surgeon, prosthodontist, or dentist. Patients are recommended for pre-prosthetic surgery if a patient’s alveolar ridge, gums, and underlying bone show abnormal development. A loose-fitting denture invites food debris and bacteria to fester in small crevices, increasing the risk of gum disease and infection.

A barrier to your candidacy is if you suffer from chronic health problems. Ask your oral surgeon if you are healthy enough for pre-prosthetic surgery during your initial consultation. Call our office to schedule your consultation and determine if pre-prosthetic surgery is necessary for you.

Are You Too Old to Replace Your Teeth with Dental Implants?

Happy asian grandparents with their granddaughter

Getting older can mean losing teeth, but it doesn’t have to mean losing your natural oral function. Dental implants are comprehensive tooth replacements that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. But how old is too old for dental implants?

Learn everything you need to know about how old you have to be to get dental implants. Find out what the requirements are to be considered for dental implant surgery. And see if you are too old to begin treatment.

How Old is Too Old for Dental Implant Tooth Replacements?

There is no upper age limit on candidates for dental implants. Most patients seeking dental implant tooth replacements are between their 60s and 90s. So, if you are wondering whether you are too old for dental implants, the answer is no – you are not too old.

Implant teeth permanently replace the roots of a missing tooth to support your natural bite force. Dental implants can change your life by restoring your natural oral functions, like chewing, speaking, and laughing. Unlike traditional dentures and dental bridges, you can eat a restriction-free diet and never worry about embarrassing slippage.

So, are you too old for dental implants? No! If you are over 18, you are the right age to consider replacing your damaged or missing teeth with dental implants!

What issues affect your candidacy for dental implants?

Although you cannot be too old for dental implants, age does play a role in your candidacy. Dental implant placement procedures require the patient to be sedated by IV sedation or general anesthesia. Age-related health factors, like periodontitis or heart disease, might present too many risks of complications while you are unconscious.

The most common issue that accompanies tooth loss is jawbone resorption. When you lose a tooth, your jawbone stops growing and shrinks by 25% in the first year. Patients need sufficient bone mass for the dental implants to Osseo integrates with the jawbone. If your tooth loss has gone untreated, your doctor might recommend bone grafts before implants can be placed. Talk to your oral surgeon to determine if bone grafts are necessary for your procedure.

Are you too young for dental implants?

If you are under the age of 18, you are probably too young for dental implants. The jawbone continues growing through adolescence until around the age of 18. Even though most patients’ jaws stop getting bigger around the age of 18, some patients’ jawbones grow until their early or mid-twenties. Placing dental implants in a jaw that is still growing might alter your occlusion or healthy alignment of your top and bottom teeth.

If you are a senior citizen with missing or damaged teeth, you are not too old for dental implants. The best candidates for dental implants are in good general and oral health. Call our office to schedule a consultation to determine if dental implants are right for you.

Missing Teeth? Consider Dental Implants!

Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call (347) 943-1960 with any questions or

Top 4 Reasons to Be Grateful for Dental Implants in 2022

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Dental implants are the best choice if you are considering replacement options for missing or damaged teeth. Implant teeth are comprehensive replacements for the entire structure of a missing tooth, right down to the jawbone. No other tooth replacement is as extensive and permanent as implants. Look at the four top reasons to be grateful for replacing your missing teeth with dental implants.

4 Reasons to Be Grateful for Replacing Teeth with Dental Implants

You don’t know what you have until you lose it, particularly for patients with dental health problems and missing teeth. Losing a tooth causes a cascade of negative repercussions, including jawbone resorption and causing healthy teeth to become unstable and misaligned. For patients with missing teeth, getting dental implants is the only solution to restoring your natural oral function and good dental health. Here are the top four reasons patients are grateful for dental implants:

#1. No Dietary Restrictions

When you replace missing teeth with dental implants, you can say ‘goodbye’ to dietary restrictions. Dental implants replace the roots of your missing teeth and bond with your jawbone to support your natural bite force.

Traditional dentures and dental bridges place all the pressure from chewing onto your gums instead of the jawbone. Eventually, patients’ gums become sensitive and sore, and they often are forced to amend their diet to avoid oral discomfort. Dental implants support your biteforce into the jawbone, just like the roots of your natural teeth. Implant teeth restore your natural ability to eat what you want, when you want, without restrictions.

#2. No Messy Adhesives

Dental implants permanently bond with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Dental implants screw into the jawbone to replace the roots of a missing tooth, so there is no need for adhesives to support an arch. Patients with dentures often complain that the glue is messy and cumbersome to clean. Patients with full-arch implant-supported dentures enjoy their full range of natural function and smile aesthetics.

#3. Healthy Jawbone Growth

The jawbone is integral to your natural oral functions, like chewing, breathing, and speaking. And the jawbone is the most critical support for your facial structure. When you lose a tooth, the roots die and your jawbone begins to resorb or lose mass and shrink from lack of stimulation. Over time, your jawbone stops supporting the bones that constitute your facial structure, causing signs of premature aging and loss of previously healthy teeth. Dental implants are the only treatment for replacing missing teeth that restores your complete and natural oral function by stimulating healthy jawbone growth.

#4. Confident Speech and Smiles

Patients with traditional dentures are at a disadvantage when it comes to communication. Dentures tend to slip when smiling or speaking, and it always seems to happen at the most inopportune moments. Dental implants anchor your replacement tooth or prosthetic appliance to your jawbone. You never have to worry about your prosthetic slipping because it functions with the same strength and support as your healthy teeth.

Dental implants restore more than just a patient’s teeth, they also restore a patient’s quality of life and sense of self. You may not realize what a gift it is to be in good health until you no longer have access to your natural functions. But dental implants are a comprehensive restorative solution for severely damaged or missing teeth. Take a moment to be grateful that you don’t have to live without your full and natural abilities to eat, speak and smile. Call our office to schedule a dental implant consultation to restore your missing teeth.

Missing Teeth? Consider Dental Implants!

Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call (347) 943-1960 with any questions or


Are Dental Implants Safe in the Long Run? Facts and Statistics – 2022

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Dental implants are the safest and most permanent replacement option if you have missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants have a higher patient success rate after 10 years than any other tooth restoration option. Overall, implant teeth placement presents minimal risk of future complications as long as you follow the aftercare instructions from your doctor. Choosing the right oral surgeon or implantologist is the most critical factor in the long-term success of your dental implants.

Are dental implants safe, and are there possible long-term complications?

The short answer to whether or not dental implants are safe is yes: dental implants are safe and permanent. In a 2012 study of 108 participants with dental implants, the success rate after 6 years was 94.3%. Today, advanced technology and computer-guided implant placement systems ensure a higher success rate than ever. But, like any surgery, there are inherent risks associated with dental implants.

Risks and Possible Complications

A tiny percentage of patients with dental implants experience complications during or following the procedure. The possible complications from dental implants include:

  • Oral infection
  • Damage to surrounding oral tissue
  • Damage to nerves
  • Sinus problems

Dental implants, like natural teeth, require you to follow a diligent dental hygiene routine and attend a dental cleaning every six months. Long-term complications with dental implants are exceedingly rare. Around 5% of patients with dental implants have difficulties after 6 years or more due to:

  • Low oral hygiene standard
  • Poor oral health
  • Age-related complications

Are dental implants right for you?

A dental implant is a foundation for a dental prosthesis or crown. If you have missing or damaged teeth, dental implants are a replacement that looks, feels, and functions like your natural teeth. Call our office to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon and determine if dental implants are the right long-term tooth replacement solution for you.

Missing Teeth? Consider Dental Implants!

Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call (347) 943-1960 with any questions or

Top 7 Advanced Surgical Technology in Oral Surgery – 2022

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Thanks to surgical technologies and technological advances, oral surgery has come a long way in the past few years. Dental procedures and oral surgeries are more effective and safer than ever. See how the top seven technological advancements in oral surgery help produce optimal procedural outcomes.

The 7 Most Advanced Surgical Technology and How it Helps in Oral Surgery

Surgical technologies enable your doctor to provide the most effective treatment and highest quality care. Over the years, many technologies have come along that have changed the medical landscape by creating more effective means of treatment, improving patient comfort, and reducing the risk of surgical complications. In 2022, these seven advanced surgical technologies are the backbone of advanced oral and maxillofacial surgery:

#1 Stem Cells

Stem cells have special restorative properties unique among other cells, but they are notoriously few and far between. Recent advances in surgical technology have made the acquisition of stem cells easier and safer than ever before by discovering stem cells in teeth.

Stem cells regenerate and restore the cells in the skin, bones, muscles, cartilage, nerves, and other natural tissue. Stem cell technology in oral surgery is used to treat gum disease and periodontal problems. Cosmetic applications for stem cells include anti-aging treatments and skin rejuvenation. Other applications for stem cells include:

  • Brain Injury
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • Arthritis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • And many others

#2 Endoret® Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF®)

Endoret® Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF®) is a procedure that speeds up and enhances your body’s ability to heal from surgery. Growth factor cells are taken from your blood and placed directly in the surgical area to accelerate healing. Endoret® Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF®) reduces pain and inflammation while stimulating tissue regeneration and resilience against infection.

#3 Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelets are in your blood and are responsible for directing the proper types of cells needed to heal from surgery. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) serves many functions, including accelerating the healing process after surgery. PRP enables stem cells in your body to quickly move to where they are most needed.

Until recently, PRP was only accessible in a hospital setting, but surgical technology now enables oral surgeons to perform this procedure in-office during outpatient surgery. Whereas a large amount of blood used to be necessary, doctors can now extract PRP from as little as 55cc of blood.

#4 Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP)

Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) induces the formation of new cartilage and bone where a patient might otherwise need bone grafts. Using BMP, surgeons can grow new bone tissue on the jaw without grafting. Instead, the BMP soaks into the bone over time and naturally boosts healthy bone growth. BMP is widely applied for dental implant placement procedures.

#5 X-Guide™ by X-Nav Guided Implant Placement

When it comes to placing dental implants, X-Guide™ by X-Nav is a state-of-the-art and revolutionary advance for implantology, oral surgery, and restorative dentistry. X-Guide™ by X-Nav is a computer-guided dental implant system that ensures optimal dental implant accuracy, predictability, and positioning.

In tandem with CBCT 3D imaging technology, the computer-guided implant system identifies the most efficacious location for each implant. It creates a step-by-step treatment plan for surgeons to follow during the procedure. This advanced technology enables surgeons to choose the best type of implant for the optimal location in your jaw and reduce the healing time and cost of the procedure for patients.

#6 PIEZOSURGERY® Same-Day Dental Implants

PIEZOSURGERY® enables patients to get dental implants the same day as their tooth extraction. The PIEZOSURGERY® system uses ultrasonic vibration technology to extract bone from the implant placement location. The ultrasonic vibrations effectively remove bone fragments while preserving the surrounding soft and hard tissue. This advanced surgical technology reduces the timeline for a single-tooth replacement procedure down to a single appointment.

#7 The CS 9300 CBCT 3D Imaging System

Many of the aforementioned surgical technologies rely on advanced 3D imaging made possible by CBCT scanners. CBCT is the evolution of traditional CT scanners, creating fully digital and hyper-accurate 3D models of a patient’s mouth and maxillofacial structure. The digital 3D model replaces traditional oral impressions and produces a fraction of the radiation of a standard CT scan.

Surgical advances are changing how doctors and patients engage and determine the best course of treatment. There has never been a better time to restore, repair, or enhance your oral health. Thanks to technological advancements in oral surgery, recovery is shorter, and surgery results are more reliable than ever before. Call our office to schedule your consultation and discover a healthy smile that our surgical technology and expertise make possible.

Premier Oral Surgeons in Flushing, Brooklyn NY & Westfield NJ!

Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call (347) 943-1960 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan, or

Why Wisdom Teeth Removal is Sometimes Necessary and What to Expect

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If you just found out that wisdom teeth removal might be necessary, don’t worry! Getting your wisdom teeth removed is entirely normal and usually occurs between 17 and 25. Most people don’t have enough space in their mouth for an extra set of molars, so your dentist may recommend removing your wisdom teeth to avoid dental health complications.

Learn everything you need to know about getting your wisdom teeth removed. Find out why most dentists and oral surgeons highly recommend wisdom teeth removal as soon as they emerge. And see what to expect down the road if you decide to keep your wisdom teeth.

Why Wisdom Teeth Removal is Necessary and What You Should Expect

Wisdom teeth removal is necessary to prevent damage to your healthy teeth and jaw. Technically, you can keep your wisdom teeth if they are unimpacted when they emerge. To keep them, they must be healthy and fully erupt without disturbing any other healthy teeth or causing pain. Additionally, you must be able to efficiently and effectively clean the third molars if you don’t want them extracted.

Your dentist will likely recommend an extraction, regardless of whether they are impacted or not, when the teeth emerge. Wisdom teeth are trouble-makers, and there is no good reason to keep them in the first place. Humans no longer have an anatomical need for a third set of molars and keeping them puts you at risk for a host of problems down the road.

Impaction, Infection, and Decay

The vast majority of the time, wisdom teeth do not have enough space to grow without causing complications. An impacted wisdom tooth becomes trapped and unable to fully emerge from the gums. It erupts at an odd angle, sometimes appearing out of the side of the gums, which can lead to oral infections and cysts.

Partially-emerged wisdom teeth also pose a risk of infection because they are challenging to keep clean. Teeth that have not fully emerged leave avenues for bacteria to invade below the gum line and attack the roots of your teeth. Even if your wisdom teeth appear without complication, they can still be hard to reach with your toothbrush and eventually become the gateway to gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay.

The Sooner, the Better for Wisdom Teeth Removal

When it comes to removing your wisdom teeth: the sooner, the better. Wisdom teeth usually emerge in your teens or early twenties. The molars do not yet have strong roots connecting them to your jawbone when they arrive. As you age, the roots of your wisdom teeth grow stronger in their bond with the jawbone. The roots are fully developed by your late twenties to early thirties, and extraction is more complex.

Is wisdom teeth removal necessary for you?

Keeping your wisdom teeth is a choice you should make with your dentist if the molars are healthy. If you experience pain, cysts, tooth decay, gum disease, or repeated infections behind your back teeth, your dentist will recommend immediately removing your wisdom teeth. Call our office to schedule a consultation and determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary for you. 

To read more about wisdom teeth view our informative pages below.

Are you or your loved ones suffering from wisdom tooth pain?

Call our Flushing NY office (347) 943-1960 to schedule an a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan or

Tooth Implant Benefits Over Dental Bridges: Are Dental Implants Better?

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If you lose a tooth, your dentist will recommend a replacement option, such as a tooth implant or a dental bridge. An implant tooth is a complete and permanent replacement, whereas a dental bridge replaces the tooth’s visible crown, but not the roots. Unlike bridges, dental implants have restorative benefits that enable you to retain your natural teeth and oral functions for life.

Learn everything you need to know about the benefits of dental implants over dental bridges. Find out how dental implants work and why they are better for your long-term health than other tooth replacement options. And see if you are a candidate for a dental implant tooth replacement procedure.

Is a tooth implant better than a dental bridge for replacing teeth?

In short, yes – a tooth implant is superior to a dental bridge for replacing missing teeth. Implant teeth are the standard in modern dentistry because they have significant advantages to your health compared to a dental bridge or removable dentures. Although bridges are less costly at first, you may spend more on health and dental expenses in the long run. Dental implants are a one-time expense that restores the complete functionality of your missing teeth. 

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant tooth replacement has three parts: the implant screw, abutment, and crown. The titanium implant screw replaces the roots of a missing tooth and bonds to the jawbone. An abutment post connects the implant screw to the artificial crown. The result is a permanent tooth replacement that looks, feels, and functions like your natural teeth. 

What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a prosthetic that spans the two healthy teeth on either side of a gap. The bridge is attached to the neighboring teeth using dental cement. Ultimately, a bridge supports the same type of artificial crown as a dental implant.

What makes them so different?

Your natural teeth develop roots in your jawbone to support the force of your bite. When you place pressure on your teeth, your bite force stimulates healthy jawbone growth, without which your jawbone will stop growing and lose mass. Implant teeth replace the roots of your missing tooth, but dental bridges do not.

Your jawbone is critical to supporting your facial structure. Without stimulation from the roots of your teeth, your jawbone shrinks and changes your facial features to show signs of premature aging. In addition, when your jawbone shrinks, it can cause root decay to your healthy teeth and lead to further tooth loss. Your jawbone will resorb or lose its mass and volume by 25% in the first year after tooth loss. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants, first and foremost, stimulate healthy jawbone growth by permanently replacing the roots of your missing teeth with a biocompatible implant screw. Over three to eight months, the titanium screw fuses with your jawbone, called osseointegration. Unlike a dental bridge, a tooth implant is a comprehensive and life-long replacement for your missing tooth.

Strong and Secure

Implant teeth are indistinguishable from your healthy teeth and enable your natural oral functions without restriction. An implant tooth replacement supports a dental crown. The crown, abutment, and implant are securely bonded together using dental cement.

Dental bridges are not securely bonded to your jawbone, so your jaw will lose mass over time; when chewing and speaking, a dental bridge places the pressure of your bite force against your gums, not your jawbone, so your jaw goes through resorption.

As your jawbone shrinks, the bond that holds your bridge may become unstable and cause unintended slippage when you eat, talk, or smile. Many patients with bridges find it necessary to follow a restricted diet to avoid accidentally dislodging the dental prosthetic. 

Permanent for Life

Dental bridges have a lifespan of about seven years, on average, whereas dental implants are 94% successful after ten years and often last for life. Even if you break the artificial crown, your dental implant screw is durable and permanent, so you can replace the crown without replacing the implant. If you damage your dental bridge, your only option is to purchase a replacement.

Don’t Wait to Replace Your Tooth

The longer you wait to replace your missing tooth, the more likely you will require bone grafting before your implant tooth placement. If you have strong oral health, you may avoid additional expenses for bone grafting if you see your implant dentist or oral surgeon immediately following tooth loss. Call our office to schedule a consultation and see if you are a good candidate for a tooth implant replacement procedure.

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Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call (347) 943-1960 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan, or


Do You Have Sleep Apnea Symptoms? Warning Signs and Treatments – 2022

An asian couple on bed with husband snoring


Snoring is one of the most common warning signs of a sleeping disorder, but it is only one of many sleep apnea symptoms. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea do not all exhibit loud snoring and vice-versa. Many people are unaware that they show signs of sleep apnea until told by a family member, partner, or roommate.

Learn how to recognize the warning signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. See what types of sleep apnea you could have and the treatment options available. And find out how to limit risk factors that contribute to the severity of sleep apnea symptoms.

Millions of people living with sleep apnea symptoms go their whole lives without ever receiving a diagnosis or treatment. Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder where the muscles in your throat close up and disrupt your breathing while you sleep. Patients with sleep apnea often snore loudly during the night and have difficulty waking up, even after a full night of rest.

Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are three different types of sleep apnea, but the warning signs and symptoms overlap. If you experience these symptoms, it may be a warning sign that you have sleep apnea:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Stop breathing during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Waking up with a dry mouth
  • Frequent headaches in the morning
  • Insomnia: Inability to stay asleep
  • Hypersomnia: Chronic fatigue throughout the day
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Focus and memory problems

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of the disorder and occurs when your throat muscles relax too much and close off your airway in your sleep. The muscles in the back of your throat support a great deal of your maxillofacial structure, including your soft palate, uvula, sidewalls of the throat, tongue, and tonsils. When the muscles relax, your airway can become narrow enough to close completely from the pressure of your natural breathing.

Since your throat is obstructed, you are not intaking enough air, and your blood oxygen level decreases to the point where your brain wakes from sleep just enough to activate your throat and allow air intake. You probably will not remember waking up, but you won’t feel well rested either.

Throughout the night, your body repeats this pattern, over and over. As soon as you fall asleep, your airway becomes obstructed, and your brain rouses you just enough to breathe. Then you drift back to sleep only to experience the same cycle again and again throughout the night. This pattern can occur from five to 30 times an hour, causing gasping or choking and preventing your brain from completing a healthy sleep cycle.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common and occurs when your brain fails to send neuro signals that control your breathing during sleep. CSA interrupts the brain’s neurotransmitter and neuro-receiver system that regulates and manages your body’s unconscious functions. When a patient falls asleep, the brain stops transmitting instructions to the rest of the body for a short while and prevents the sleeping mind from making an effort to breathe.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CompSAS)

Complex sleep apnea syndrome (CompSAS) is when a patient suffers from CSA and OSA. Currently, scientists and doctors are unsure about the cause of CompSAS. Talk to your doctor or oral surgeon about ways to treat your sleep apnea and relieve symptoms.

Sleep Apnea Treatments and Therapy Options

The best treatment for sleep apnea depends on your case, symptoms, and health history. Patients with sleep apnea suffer from mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. For mild cases, lifestyle changes can often cure apnea, such as quitting smoking, treating allergies, and addressing other peripheral health conditions.

It is considered moderate to severe if lifestyle changes alone cannot adequately treat your apnea. Your doctor or oral surgeon can recommend various treatment options and medical devices to help open your airways while sleeping. For severe cases of apnea, oral surgery may be the best solution. 

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine delivers air through a mask you wear during sleep. The air pressure in the mask is higher than that of the air in the surrounding room, which works to keep the upper passageways of your throat open. Many patients experience disturbance-free sleep and no longer snore.

Other airway pressure devices are also available for patients with sleep apnea. An Auto-CPAP machine can automatically adjust the air pressure while you sleep, which is helpful if you travel to higher or lower elevation areas with different air pressures. And bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machines supply more pressure when you breath-in than when you breath-out.

Oral Sleep Appliances

Some patients prefer oral sleep appliances in addition to or in replacement of a CPAP machine. Oral sleep appliances work to keep your throat open while you sleep by slightly moving the jaw forward. The result can be a complete cessation of snoring for patients with a mild to moderate case of sleep apnea. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon to find out how these appliances can help alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms.

Supplemental Oxygen and Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV)

Adaptive servo-ventilation is a modern treatment devise that works by learning and storing information on your natural breathing pattern. When you sleep, the device monitors your breathing to provide precision positive airway pressure throughout the night. If your case is moderate to severe, supplemental oxygen might be necessary to deliver oxygen to you during sleep.

How to Find the Best Treatment Solution for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can cause damage to your heart and lead to a range of medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. If you think that you might be living with a form of sleep apnea, treatment can add years to your life and improve how you live it. Contact our office for a free consultation to learn how treatment can alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms, extend your longevity, and improve your quality of life.

Premier Oral Surgeons in Flushing, Brooklyn NY & Westfield NJ!

Personalized, gentle, comprehensive patient care is our #1 priority

Call (347) 943-1960 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan, or


Jaw Surgery and How it Can Help: Everything You Need to Know

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If your jaw is out of alignment and negatively affecting your health, jaw surgery may be necessary. Following an injury, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon might recommend orthognathic surgery to correct trauma-induced misalignment or repair the jawbone. Learn everything you need to know about jaw surgery, who needs it, and how it helps correct problems and misalignment in the jaw.

Jaw Surgery: What is it, who needs it, and how does it help?

Jaw surgery can correct alignment, functionality issues, and other irregularities in a patient’s jaw. It is a standard method of fixing jaw problems stemming from skeletal abnormalities, dental damage, or tooth misalignment. Jaw surgeries can correct the cause of breathing, speaking, and chewing problems that patients may otherwise live with their entire lives.

Many patients worry that jaw surgery might leave unsightly scars or degrade their appearance. On the contrary, correcting a patient’s jaw often improves their overall facial appearance and symmetry. Contact us today to schedule your jaw surgery consultation at Flushing Oral Surgery and determine if a corrective jaw procedure is right for you.   

What necessitates corrective jaw surgery?

Jaw surgery may be recommended for patients who have experienced or exhibit:

  • Injury to the face
  • Chronic breathing from the mouth
  • Persistent jaw pain and headaches
  • Trouble swallowing, chewing, or breathing
  • Protruding jaw
  • Straining to make the lips touch
  • Physical congenital disabilities
  • Recessed jaw
  • Receding chin
  • Open bite
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Asymmetrical side-view facial appearance
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

What does jaw surgery fix?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon often collaborates with a patient’s orthodontist in preparation for jaw surgery. They work together to determine the diagnosis and create a treatment plan. Some of the most common issues that jaw surgery addresses include:

  • Correcting facial symmetry
  • Adjusting teeth to align when biting
  • Decreasing pain caused by TMJ disorder
  • Repairing cleft palates and other congenital problems affecting the maxillofacial structure
  • Restoring natural oral function (speaking, biting, chewing, swallowing)
  • Resolving breathing issues causing obstructive sleep apnea

Types of Jaw Surgery

The type of jaw surgery you undergo depends on the details of your case. There are five common types of jaw surgery:

Maxillary Osteotomy

A maxillary osteotomy is a surgery on your upper jaw to reduce or correct –

  • Open bite: When your mouth is closed, your molars don’t touch.
  • Crossbite: When your mouth is closed, some of your bottom teeth sit in front of your upper teeth.
  • Midfacial hyperplasia: This is a condition in which your upper jaw, eye sockets, and cheekbones do not develop as much as the rest of your facial structure.

During this procedure, your surgeon makes an incision above your upper teeth allowing access to the upper jawbones. The surgeon realigns your upper jawbone to fit over the bottom teeth before securing the jaw in the new position with plates and screws. Finally, your surgeon closes the incision in your gums using oral stitches. 

Mandibular Osteotomy

A mandibular osteotomy is surgery on your lower jaw. The procedure can correct the alignment of a jaw that excessively recedes or protrudes. Like a maxillary osteotomy, mandibular osteotomy procedures involve cutting the bone connecting your upper and lower jawbones.

Once the lower jawbone can move freely back and forth, your surgeon realigns it to fit with the upper jawbone. The correction to the jawbone is secured in its new position using screws and plates. Finally, your surgeon closes the incision with stitches.

Bimaxillary Osteotomy

A bimaxillary osteotomy is surgery on both the upper and lower jaw. It combines elements of the maxillary and mandibular osteotomy. Since it involves complex surgical techniques, your surgeon may use 3-D imaging technology to help guide the procedure.


Genioplasty is chin surgery to fix a receding chin, and it sometimes coincides with a mandibular osteotomy procedure on the lower jaw. Your surgeon disconnects the chin bone from the rest of the jaw to move it forward into its new position. Then, they secure your chin bone into place with plates and screws.

TMJ Surgery

TMJ surgery might be recommended if other procedures have been unsuccessful at relieving TMJ symptoms. The different types of TMJ surgery include:

  • Arthrocentesis: Minimally invasive surgery to clean and lubricate the joints.
  • Arthroscopy: A thin tube, called a cannula, is inserted into the joint to enable surgery.
  • Open Joint Surgery (Arthrotomy): Procedure to remove and replace the affected components of your TMJ.

Understanding the Risks of Surgery

Every surgical procedure carries a certain level of inherent risk. When it comes to jaw surgery, the risks are the same as any minor surgery, including the possibility of infection, nerve damage, and injury to the local area. The success rate for jaw surgery patients is exceptionally high, and minimal risk exists.

Find Out if Jaw Surgery Can Help You

Your oral surgeon and you determine if jaw surgery is the best treatment option and which procedure will be most successful. Surgery is always a big decision, and patients are encouraged to consult with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. If you think jaw surgery might help you live a healthier life, contact our office to schedule your initial jaw surgery consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan.

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Call (347) 943-1960 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Li or Dr. Fan, or