Dentists Offer Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Prevention & Treatment Many Americans realize that snoring affects their ability to get a quality night’s sleep, but most don’t know it could play a role in other health problems.
Snoring is a telltale sign of sleep apnea – a potentially life threatening condition that causes people to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the traditionally recommended treatment for sleep apnea. However, sleeping with a CPAP machine and mask can be difficult. According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, up to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients do not comply with or tolerate CPAP. That’s where a dentist can help.
"Snoring is a telltale sign of sleep apnea – a potentially life threatening condition that causes people to stop breathing hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute."
Thousands of dentists focus on dental sleep medicine, which combines our expertise in the human mouth with an understanding of sleep apnea.
We create custom-fitted oral appliances that prevent the airway from collapsing. These mouth guard-like devices are worn during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, alternative treatment option for those diagnosed with sleep apnea. Research shows that oral appliance therapy has a higher patient compliance rate than CPAP – and this is important because nightly treatment is essential to avoid the many sleep apnea-related health complications. In addition, oral appliances are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask, and they are quiet, portable and easy to care for.
Once a patient is diagnosed with primary snoring or obstructive sleep apnea by a board-certified sleep physician, a dentist practicing dental sleep medicine can provide treatment with a custom-fitted oral appliance.