Daniel Tebbi DMD Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics

(818) 789-2034

Sleep Apnea Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is a medical condition that causes a person to actually stop breathing while asleep. These interruptions of oxygen cause a wide variety of symptoms (link to consequences) and is linked to some serious conditions.

Apnea sufferers can stop breathing as many as 40 times per minute. They awaken feeling as though they had little or no sleep, which is actually true as they’ve been fighting for oxygen all night.

2) How prevalent is sleep apnea?

It’s estimated that as many as 15 million people suffer from sleep apnea. It’s more prevalent in men than women.

3) How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

If someone suspects they may have sleep apnea, a sleep study (polysomnogram) should be done. This study will accurately measure what happens during sleep and how severe the problem is.

4) What are the most common treatments for Sleep Apnea?

The most common treatment is a CPAP machine (link). CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Air Pressure. This is basically a machine that sits beside the bed. The patient wears a mask that fits across the face. The machine blows air into the nose all night. Many people who must wear a CPAP machine find that they can’t tolerate it and so end up not using it which allows the condition to go untreated. Fortunately there are alternatives to the CPAP machine.

5) Tell us about what you are offering for those who have sleep apnea.

Oral sleep appliances and therapy. These have proven to be a viable alternative to CPAP. Some of the benefits of an oral appliance over the CPAP are: no uncomfortable masks or hoses, does not promote claustrophobia like the CPAP can, tolerated much better than CPAP, no mask impression left on the face, far more convenient for travel, airports, camping, etc. The biggest benefit is that you and your spouse can actually sleep in the same bed!

Practice Parameters for the Treatment of Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances

6) Who are good candidates for this oral appliance?

Anyone who snores

Anyone who has already been diagnosed with sleep apnea

Anyone who cannot tolerate their CPAP machine

Anyone suffering from the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea

7) What can happen if sleep apnea is left untreated?

Disturbed and interrupted sleep can cause a wide variety of problems, from the minor to the very serious.

8) What can we do if we think we suffer from Sleep Apnea?

Contact us right away. We will suggest a course of action that will result in better health and an improved quality of life.

9) How has health insurance been in covering for this?

This treatment is covered under most medical insurance plans. Our patient care coordinator will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits and minimize your out of pocket expense.

10) How does this appliance or device work?

Research has shown that the tongue is really one of the major factors contributing the blockage of the throat and airway. By gradually repositioning the lower jaw forward, the tongue also moves forward opening the airway and creating better muscle tone in the oral pharyngeal area.

11) How long does it take?

Generally it takes 4 to 6 visits. Then we continue to follow up on the patients care even after they are properly fitted with the appliance.

12) Will my snoring go away?

Yes, as the apnea is treated the snoring gradually diminishes with the proper management of the oral appliance.

13) I am happy with my CPAP but it's a hassle going camping and going on business trips. Do I have to give up my CPAP machine?

Oral appliances can be used in three different manners.

First, as an alternative for those individuals who are intolerant to CPAP.

Second, as a hybrid therapy with CPAP the pressure can now be lowered to a more comfortable level to eliminate air leaks and tight masks.

Third, adjunctive usage means that there can be days off from CPAP usage like for camping and business trips.

14) Is it comfortable? 

Yes.

15) Is it hard to get use too?

No, it does not feel that much different than getting use to an orthodontic retainer.

Quick, easy and painless ways to assess your risk for a sleep disorder. Complete this short questionnaires on this link . If you would like you can forward your completed form(s) to us for a professional evaluation.

To assess your risk for Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), click here

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