Dental Sleep Medicine

Coming in 2019, our office will offer treatment for people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Oral appliances are created for individuals who have been diagnosed by a Sleep Doctor with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or for those who are CPAP intolerant. For patients who have not been evaluated for, or diagnosed with OSA, we would suggest a referral for a sleep study, or to a medical doctor specializing in sleep disorders for proper evaluation. If a patient is in need of an oral appliance, we will work with them to provide a treatment estimate and explore any insurance benefit coverage the patient may have. The final steps in the process would be fabricating and fitting the oral appliance for the patient.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. OSA is a chronic, lifelong medical condition that can affect your sleep, health, and quality of life. It has been linked to hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, work and driving related accidents and stroke.

The primary cause of sleep apnea is the tongue falling back in the throat and closing or “obstructing” the airway causing periods of low oxygen uptake and frequent arousal from sleep. These disturbances have a significant impact on quality of life due to lack of proper rest, which can place unnecessary strain on relationships between bed partners, family members and affect performance in the workplace.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

One of the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring and choking or gasping may follow the pauses in breathing. These brief periods of breathing cessation don’t often trigger full alertness, but do disrupt sleep enough to leave sufferers groggy in the mornings, which impacts their waking lives. Many people don’t even realize there is a problem. You likely won’t know that you’re having interrupted breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem is, unless you seek out the confirmation of a sleep study or medical doctor specializing in sleep related conditions. A family member or bed partner often will notice problems first and will bring up the possibility that something may be wrong in terms of proper sleep pattern. If a loved one or partner has brought up these concerns, we urge you to seek out further information or consult with a sleep doctor for potential remedies.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

One of the most common signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is loud and chronic (ongoing) snoring. Pauses may occur in the snoring and choking or gasping may follow the pauses in breathing. These brief periods of breathing cessation don’t often trigger full alertness, but do disrupt sleep enough to leave sufferers groggy in the mornings, which impacts their waking lives. Many people don’t even realize there is a problem. You likely won’t know that you’re having interrupted breathing or be able to judge how severe the problem is, unless you seek out the confirmation of a sleep study or medical doctor specializing in sleep related conditions. A family member or bed partner often will notice problems first and will bring up the possibility that something may be wrong in terms of proper sleep pattern. If a loved one or partner has brought up these concerns, we urge you to seek out further information or consult with a sleep doctor for potential remedies.

Dental Sleep Medicine Treatment

Dental Treatment for OSA does not involve anesthesia, surgery, or drilling. The method is much less invasive than other treatment options. Impressions of the mouth are taken and a device is custom fabricated to fit the upper and lower jaws. This device gently guides your lower jaw forward, pulling your tongue away from the back of your throat and allowing air to pass without interference. Follow up sleep studies can be performed to test the improvement of breathing events and the device can be adjusted as needed for maximum effectiveness and comfort.