Obstructive Sleep Apnea / Snoring Appliance
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. An individual may have Sleep Apnea if they snore loudly, feel tired, or have a loss of focus, causing irritability even after a full nights’ sleep. The most common form of Sleep Apnea is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition when breathing stops ten seconds or longer and occurs when throat muscles relax. Untreated, Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been linked to serious medical conditions such as heart disease; high blood pressure; diabetes and progressive brain damage.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Diagnosis
The manner in which medical experts diagnose OSA is by having a sleep study done at a sleep center or hospital sleep lab. A sleep study is a non-invasive, overnight exam that allows doctors to monitor the patient while they sleep to see the activity in their brain and body. The good news is that very often there are non-surgical solutions for those who have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring that have good success alleviating the problem.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
A commonly used device is called the CPAP machine, which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure that keep nasal passages open during sleep however there is limited acceptance by patients. Patients complain about ongoing noise of the CPAP machine making it difficult to sleep; the facial mask causing a claustrophobic effect; the movement of the facial mask while trying to sleep; the constant flow of moist air causing discomfort to a patient’s lungs; and the machine’s apparatus being quite cumbersome when traveling.
Drs. Daftary and Mahallati have the education and experience in the field of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring solutions. As Prosthodontists, we can offer an effective, less intrusive oral appliance that many say, is more comfortable than the CPAP machine. The Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring Appliance is an oral device that repositions the mandible (lower jaw) forward allowing an open passageway for the throat while sleeping. As a result, it provides the patient with an increased breathing capacity that allows uninterrupted sleep and eliminates snoring.
Customarily, the fabrication of the appliance requires three major steps:
1. A consultation between the doctor and the patient discussing the symptoms and a review of the sleep study results followed by impressions. The impressions are made of the patient’s upper and lower jaw in an effort to customize the device for a more comfortable and secure fit.
2. The delivery of the OSA appliance. Drs. Daftary or Mahallati refine the positioning of the appliance in the patient’s mouth assuring comfort and efficiency.
3. A follow-up after the patient has used the OSA appliance for the past two to three months.
Patient’s rave about the improvement of their quality of life and increased energy level due to a good night’s rest with uninterrupted sleep after using their OSA and snoring appliance!
IMPORTANT NOTE TO PATIENTS
Sometimes, certain dental procedures are covered by a patient’s medical insurance policy. For instance, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) appliances and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) appliances are at times covered by a patient’s medical insurance policy under the diagnosis description, Durable Medical Equipment (DME). We recommend that patients call their medical insurance carriers and ask if they have coverage for these types of oral appliances in their individual medical plans.