So one of the things we found in dentistry is that we are a first line of defense in detecting a possible sleep apnea case. And the nice thing about detecting it and working with specialists that can help the patient with that is that we can save their life. And the research has shown that people that have sleep apnea tend to have shorter life spans, among other major problems such as heart problems, kidney problems, digestive problems. The list goes on and on.If it's treated, it's dramatic in the way that it can make a patient feel and change their life.
Well, sleep apnea is diagnosed in many ways. It's diagnosed by what we see in the mouth, but typically we have to diagnose it with a physician. And we work with a number of physicians that are specialists, from ENTs to pulmonologists. And our patients will go through a screening process in our office. We will be the quarterback in determining which step they take next.
We will do a 3D scan, check their airway and their sinuses and their TMJ. We will talk about sleep studies and refer them out to a physician who will diagnose that and prescribe the sleep study. We will read the sleep study with the patient, and from that, we can determine the best way to treat it. Most cases, patients are prescribed a sleep apnea device that can range from an oral appliance to a CPAP. We've found that most patients don't tolerate CPAP, and they will want an oral appliance. So there's a number of different oral appliances we have used that have, I wouldn't say eliminated it, but dramatically improved sleep apnea cases.
If you have sleep apnea in Wayne, you can lose more than your rest. You may lose the patience of other members of your household who are bothered by your snoring. You may even lose your good health, as apnea has been linked to problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Our dentists can provide you with a custom-made oral appliance that will help you breathe easier during sleep.
Our sleep apnea treatment will:
- Offer a quieter and more convenient alternative to a CPAP machine
- Stop your snoring so you – and others around you – can get a good night’s rest
- Improve your focus and ability to get things done
- Lessen daytime fatigue
- Lower your risk of harmful conditions associated with apnea, such as high blood pressure
If you are experiencing fatigue, snoring, or other sleep apnea symptoms, call us today at 610-227-6143.
An Oral Appliance Offers Advantages Over a CPAP Machine
Sleep apnea is caused when your tongue or other soft tissue relaxes into a position that blocks your airway, causing interruptions in breathing that briefly awaken you. Two common methods of treating sleep apnea are an oral appliance and a CPAP machine. Both keep your airway clear while you sleep, the appliance by gently repositioning your jaw and the CPAP with a stream of pressurized air.
A custom-made appliance is better than an off-the-shelf mouthguard because it fits perfectly and is comfortable to wear. In addition to sleep apnea treatment, our dentists can fit you for night guards to relieve TMJ pain and mouthguards for protection during athletics.
Compared to a CPAP, an oral appliance is:
- Less Disruptive – With no mask, tubing, or noisy motor, both you and your bed partner will find it easier to adjust to an appliance than to a CPAP.
- Easier to Use – You don’t need batteries or an electrical outlet to use an appliance. It’s so small, it can easily go anywhere with you.
We Use Technology to Help Diagnose Sleep Apnea
Our cone beam CT scan reveals the size of your airway and other factors that can aid in sleep apnea diagnosis. We work with a radiologist to help us interpret the images. We also work with a sleep disorder specialist and can help arrange for a sleep study. In addition, our intraoral camera helps you see how sleep apnea treatment will relieve your symptoms.
If you need help overcoming sleep apnea in Wayne, call 610-227-6143.