Several Sleep Disorders
Sleep Disordered breathing encompasses several sleep disorders associated with varying degree of airway blockage due to large tonsils, long soft palate, excessive fleshy tissue, or excessive relaxation of the tongue. In our dental sleep practice, we see some of the conditions that lead to snoring such as small or retruded jaw and airway obstruction.
Dentistry is an integral part of sleep medicine. Working together with physicians, a trained sleep dentist is a valuable member of the SLEEP TEAM. With the intense, special education we have acquired in our practice, we provide an alternative or an adjunct to CPAP or surgery. For many patients, snoring does not involve a serious medical disorder and can easily be treated successfully with an oral appliance.
When is oral sleep appliance the answer?
Clinical trials show that oral appliances are very effective in treating simple snoring and mild to moderate OSA(Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Many sleep appliances eliminate the need for surgery, medication, and CPAP. They are especially effective for those patients who:
1) Cannot handle or will not comply with CPAP
2) will not consent to a surgical procedure
3) need the appliance in conjunction with surgery or CPAP treatment
CPAP is certainly the most recognized treatment, patients may fell claustrophobic and some find the equipment to be aggravating. Compliance is often a struggle. The strap and head gear required to keep the face mask on during sleep may cause discomfort and pressure on the face.
Patietns with mild or moderate OSA
When our office suspects a patient is experiencing apneic episodes, they are referred to an ENT, pulmonologist or sleep specialize for a complete medical assessment and usually overnight polysomnogram.
- Daytime sleepiness
- Awakening headache
- TMJ Soreness on awakening
- Restless/Fragmented sleep; gasping
- Anxiety with breathlessness
- Dozing when reading or sitting
Oral appliance therapy
Oral appliance therapy has been recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the National institutes of Health for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and in all cases of CPAP intolerance. As such, most insurance companies cover the cost of oral appliance therapy.