Snoring & Sleep Apnea Therapy
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing periodically throughout the night due to physical obstructions of the airway. These pauses in breathing usually last for around ten seconds and are often followed by snorts, gasps, or choking sounds as a person’s body fights to resume breathing again.
When you sleep, the muscles in your body relax so they can begin to repair themselves to keep you healthy and active every day. However, muscles in your mouth and throat also relax during sleep, and for some people, these muscles, along with soft fatty tissues, relax to the point where they fall back into the upper airway and block the flow of oxygen from coming in.
When you stop breathing during the night, your brain responds by partially waking to send signals to the respiratory system to work harder to get past the obstruction.
Side effects of obstructive sleep apnea include:
- high blood pressure
- heart arrhythmias
- heart disease
- heart attack
- increased risk of diabetes
Although continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure therapy is the most recommended treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), not all patients are able to remain compliant with this form of treatment. Some complain of claustrophobia, dry nasal passages, skin irritation from masks, difficulty tolerating pressurized air, and accidentally removing the mask while tossing at night.
For patients like these, an alternative to CPAP therapy may be recommended, and depending on the level of severity of their disorder, may benefit from a substitute treatment such as an oral dental appliance.
Pros of Oral Dental Appliance:
- Many patients find dental devices to be more comfortable and tolerable to wear as opposed to CPAP masks.
- Patients on CPAP often complain of dry, itchy noses from the air pressure drying out their sinuses. Oral devices do not have this problem.
- There is less equipment to become entangled with during sleep or knock-off during slumber, for patients who are active movers during sleep.
- There is a lot less equipment involved, and therefore easier to travel with.
Why Choose Dawson to Help Treat Your Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Have you always wanted to complete a sleep test, or have a loved one who could benefit from getting tested? Do you have reservations about sleeping in an unknown place overnight and waiting months to receive results? We get it.
At Dawson Dental, we provide the tools to allow you to complete the sleep test in the comfort of your own home.
The following points outline our 5-step approach to better sleep:
To determine if you are a candidate for the at-home program, we conduct a detailed screening process to evaluate any symptoms. The screening includes social and medical histories as well as an assessment of the head, neck, and mouth.
Take-Home Sleep Study
After a thorough examination, you will complete a sleep study in the comfort of your home with a take-home machine that will record your sleep data. This will ensure that you are in a relaxing environment and sleep patterns are the same as every night.
Your home sleep study will be interpreted by a licensed medical doctor and they will provide us as well as your family physician with the results. Your doctor then reviews the sleep study results to determine a diagnosis. Some possible diagnoses include snoring issues or light, moderate, to severe obstructive sleep apnea. Your family physician and dentist receive the diagnosis the same day to ensure they are well informed.
Each patient is different. Your diagnosis may include lifestyle changes, oral appliance therapy, or surgery. In conjunction with your doctor, we will help you determine the best treatment option for your individual needs. If oral appliance therapy is determined to be the best solution, a fully trained DDS at Dawson Dental can fabricate the take-home appliance for you.
We are available to answer questions, help you manage changes, or seek a new course of treatment if needed.
Book Your Free Consultation
We invite you to book a complimentary consultation so we can better understand your dental concerns, discuss the available treatment options and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you!