Sleep apnea is a disorder that prevents the body from getting a sufficient amount of oxygen during sleep. During times of sleep, the sleep apnea victim or patient literally stops breathing for small periods of time, creating an extremely dangerous situation. Throat blockage, mostly from the tongue or palate, is what gives obstructive sleep apnea its name. It is now thought to play a role in developing diabetes, heart attacks, and even death.
Treatment for sleep apnea may involve the CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure). This machine works to supply the body (lungs and brain) with enough oxygen while the patient is sleeping. Depending on the severity of the sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may not be needed. If a person has mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral appliance may substitute the CPAP machine. This is good news to people unable to sleep with the cumbersome nosepiece and tubing associated with the machine. Also good news for people who travel through airport that don't like carrying their CPAP or campers that need electrical supply!
Dentists make the appliance that fits over both lower and upper teeth bringing the lower arch forward creating a better airway for oxygen to enter the lungs. Medicare and Medical Insurance will usually cover a portion of the treatment depending on individual coverage.
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Loud snoring
- Constant fatigue
A diagnosis is made through a sleep test to determine that an oral appliance may substitute the CPAP machine. An appliance is made and adjusted over time. A new sleep test is done “at the end of treatment” to prove success.
A consultation with your physician. Sleep study to diagnose OSA. Examination with us to begin treatment with oral appliance.