Snoring & Sleep Apnea

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Apnea is a Greek word meaning "want to breathe."  Sleep Apnea is a medical condition in which the ability to breathe during sleep is decreased.  There are two types of sleep apnea: Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Central Sleep Apnea is caused by a malfunction of the brain to cause the body to breathe.  It is not very common.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is associated with changes in the body as we age that allows the collapse of the throat and obstructs the flow of air to the lungs.  In either case, the decreased blood oxygenation caused by the reduced airflow to the lungs leads to over activation of all of the body systems that are controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System.  This means that Sleep Apnea can affect all parts of the circulatory systems, heart, blood vessels and lungs.  Over stimulation of the circulatory system is directly related to blood pressure problems which affect all other body systems.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more common than diabetes and asthma. It is estimated that up to 40% of all automobile accidents may be related to OSA. Depending on the severity of the OSA diagnosis, recommended treatments include CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), mandibular advancement appliances, also known as oral appliance therapy (OAT), and surgical procedures that are usually used for extremely severe cases that do not respond well to the previous two methods of treatment.

Mandibular advancement appliances can be fabricated for you here at East Taylor Dental.  These appliances are designed to open your airway by simply moving the lower jaw forward.  Research studies have shown that oral appliances are just as effective as CPAP machines in mild to moderate cases of OSA. As many as 40% of patients that have CPAP recommended to them, cannot tolerate the machine during sleep.  The confinement of the machine further interferes with the patients sleep. An Oral Appliance may be an alternative way to improve your ability to breathe properly, reduce snoring and rest better throughout your sleep hours.

Our goal is to customize our use of oral appliances to the needs of each patient.  Each of the devices listed below have unique qualities making them better for a particular patient.

  • SUAD - Has an internal framework for extra strength - used for patients with bruxism.
  • Somnodent - Allows for more jaw movement during sleep
  • TAP (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) - Very easy to adjust advancement of the lower jaw
  • TRD (Tongue Retaining Device) - Usually used for denture wearers
  • PM Positioner - Better tongue space for claustrophobic patients

With proper documentation, these appliances can be covered by some medical insurance plans.  Our commitment is to work with you and your medical provider to achieve the best possible appliance fit and use of your medical insurance.  We want your sleep to be as restful and healthy as possible.

Affidavit for CPAP Intolerance Affidavit for CPAP Intolerance (83 KB)

Medical Records Release Form for Sleep Apnea Medical Records Release Form for Sleep Apnea (21 KB)

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