SLEEP APNEA (OSA)
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Are you feeling excessively tired during the day? Do you snore? Have you been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
OSA occurs when there are repeated occurrences of the upper airway being blocked during sleep. “Apnea” is defined as the cessation of breath. People suffering from OSA exhibit many symptoms.
Some of the Most Common Symptoms of OSA are:
- Night sweats
- Teeth clenching/grinding
- Choking or gasping for air
- Frequent urinating or bed wetting
- Trouble concentrating/ADHD
What Happens if the OSA Goes Untreated?
Many people choose to not use their cpap as prescribed. Other people go undiagnosed. Unfortunately doing so can have some dangerous implications.
- People with OSA are 4 times more likely to have a heart attack.
- OSA patients are at a 40% greater risk of having depression.
- 40% – 80% of stroke victims also suffer from OSA.
- If you have OSA, you are twice as likely to die in your sleep and 7 times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident.
The good news is that if you do have OSA the c-pap very likely is not your only treatment option? Our office provides an oral appliance for sleep apnea, the SomnoDent. This appliance is a comfortable, effective, custom treatment for OSA. The SomnoDent splint treats mild, moderate and severe OSA by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This movement tightens the soft tissue and the muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction while you sleep. The SomnoDent also prevents the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as air passes over them, thus reducing snoring.
What makes Dr. Brown’s SomnoDent Treatment so Effective?
As an active member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Brown does not just assume that by moving the lower jaw forward and open, the obstruction is corrected. Instead, Dr. Brown uses an acoustic echopharyngometer to measure each patient’s airway. This diagnostic tool fits in the patient’s mouth like a snorkel. The patient then breathes thorough their mouth while the echopharyngometer sends sound waves down their airway, capturing a baseline measurement. Next the patient is instructed to move their lower jaw open or forward, or both until the ideal position can be captured. We order the appliance to be made to accommodate this position. On rare occasions the airway size isn’t increased enough by moving the jaw. In this case, other treatment options will be discussed. Dr. Brown will not make an oral appliance when it shows that it won’t help.
Does Insurance Cover SomnoDent Splint Treatment?
It depends on each individual policy. We are contracted with Kaiser Permanente, though you must seek referral to us through your primary care physician. The referral department will then confirm if you have coverage for this type of treatment and refer you accordingly. Medical PPO insurance companies may also cover our services, depending on your plan. As a courtesy we will check your coverage and work with your insurance company. Dental insurances usually consider OSA appliances a medical issue.
Our goal is to minimize your stress by providing you with optimal service. If we can be of any help to you, please contact our office today for a FREE CONSULTATION.
The Eccovision® Acoustic Pharyngometer allows users to quickly and easily measure a patients pharyngeal airway size and stability from the Oral Pharyngeal Junction to the Glottis.
The Pharyngometer graphically displays the relationship between the cross-sectional area of the airway and distance down the airway in centimeters.
Studies have shown a clear relationship between the existence of OSA and a narrow, collapsible, airway. The Pharyngometer accomplishes these measurements using acoustic reflection technology, similar to a ships sonar.
Sound waves are projected down the airway and reflected back out in such a way that the Pharyngometer software can analyze and quantify changes in the airways cross-sectional area. The test is minimally invasive and takes 2-5 minutes to complete.