Are you tired of being tired? Snoring and sleep apnea can negatively affect your quality of sleep and quality of life. The team at the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help with custom-crafted dental sleep appliances, designed to help open your airways during sleep by safely, gently moving your jaw forward. Our custom night guards are a comfortable solution for patients suffering from the side effects of sleep apnea and may be covered by your medical insurance.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder that affects approximately one in five people. It is identified by the continual pauses or shallow breaths during sleep that are usually caused by a blocked airway. Sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed and can have significant health ramifications. Sufferers of sleep apnea are usually snorers, who disrupt the sleep of their bed partners as well!
Sleep apnea is typically diagnosed in a sleep study, which may be performed at a sleep clinic or even at home. During a sleep study, the clinic evaluates the patient's quality of sleep by monitoring their breathing, heart rate, and brain patterns and documenting the amount of obstructed breathing events that occur. The breathing events result in low blood oxygen, a jolt of adrenaline at the end of the episode (which increases heart rate and blood pressure), and ultimately a disruption of the patient’s sleep. Sleep may be so disrupted that the deeper, more restful stages of sleep are never achieved.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, you may wake up often, feel tired, or fall asleep easily during the day. Sleep apnea is often overlooked by physicians and may be responsible for many other health conditions faced by both adults and children.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Patients who suffer from sleep apnea regularly complain of:
- Heavy snoring
- Long pauses in breathing
- Struggling to breathe while sleeping
- Waking up tired
- Constant fatigue and lack of energy
- Dry throat
- Acid reflux
- Morning headaches
- Irritability and mood swings
- Grinding teeth during sleep (bruxism)
What Are the Dangers of Sleep Apnea?
Patients who have been diagnosed with, or suspect they may have this condition, could be at a higher risk for the following health conditions:
- Heart attack
- Worn teeth due to grinding
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Sexual dysfunction/impotence
- Learning difficulties
- Memory loss
- Autoimmune diseases
- Premature aging
- Sleep-deprived driving accidents
Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The treatment of sleep apnea began in 1981 with the invention of the CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and the machine blows a stream of air through a comfortable breathing mask worn by the patient, to keep the airway open during sleep.
While the CPAP machine can be effective, it is often poorly tolerated by patients. That's why the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry uses a newer, less invasive form of sleep apnea treatment, in the form of custom-made oral appliances.
Each dental sleep appliance is designed to be worn at night and keep the airway open. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) has been gaining acceptance over recent years, and the dental sleep appliance tends to be better accepted by patients than the bulky, uncomfortable CPAP machines. Our custom-made oral appliances are also quieter and easier to travel with!
Patients with more severe sleep apnea may find that switching between a CPAP machine and an oral appliance can make their overall sleep apnea treatment more tolerable. This allows the CPAP machine to be set at a lower pressure and this makes treatment more tolerable. Our dental team will work with you and your sleep physician to find the most appropriate way to treat your condition.
We Bill Through Medical Insurance
Medical insurance plans and Medicare often provide coverage for dental sleep appliances, and Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Palmieri are participating doctors in the Medicare insurance program. If you have questions about the medical insurance billing process for sleep apnea, please call today to speak with a member of our team!
Schedule Your Sleep Apnea Consultation Today!
You don't have to suffer from the effects of sleep apnea! Call the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today to schedule your sleep apnea appointment.