We’re concerned about the overall health of our patients, including their sleep health. Many people suffer needlessly from dangerous sleep disruptive disorders that keep them from getting enough oxygen at night. The risk of a heart attack is 23 times more likely than average with a sleep disorder, and 92% of stroke victims live unknowingly with this condition before having a stroke. Our training allows us to offer you education and treatment surrounding sleep health in the simplest and most cost-effective way possible.
Estimates suggest that more than twelve million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Most cases are still undiagnosed, contributing to diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and traffic accidents related to drowsy driving. Dentistry serves a vital role in treating this silent epidemic. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as a primary therapy for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea who can’t tolerate CPAP treatment.
WHAT IS OSA?
OSA is a breathing disorder characterized by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep due to a blockage in the airway. Obstructions occur when throat muscles, the tongue, tonsils, or the soft palate relax and cover the airway, preventing breathing. The obstruction results in a severe drop in blood oxygen levels throughout the night.
OSA is typically diagnosed using a polysomnogram or a sleep study. During a sleep study, a sleep physician monitors brain activity and body system functions while a patient rests overnight at a sleep lab. The specialist evaluates the data collected to diagnose sleep disorders and recommend treatment. If prescribed by the sleep doctor, a dentist trained in sleep medicine works with them to treat obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. In some cases, a home sleep study may also be possible instead of reporting to a sleep lab.
HOW IS OSA TREATED?
Treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea may involve surgery, CPAP or BiPAP machines, or oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances provide the least invasive option and often a good choice for treatment of mild to moderate OSA. A carefully calibrated appliance like a CPAP or BiPAP can comfortably help hold the jaw in a precise position throughout the night.
All treatment recommendations should be made in conjunction with your sleep physician. If appliance therapy is selected, it’s essential the right method and positioning are designed to precisely maintain an open airway.
SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT WITH NIGHTLASE™
Snoring and sleep apnea are receiving more and more attention and with good reason. Lack of sleep affects overall health, mental health, ability to focus, decreases efficiency at work/at school and can interfere with relationships. Additionally, sleep apnea increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Surprisingly, 80% of people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) go undiagnosed. The standard of care for people diagnosed with moderate to severe OSA is CPAP, using either a mask or nasal piece.
NIGHTLASE ™ is a procedure we offer that is complimentary to CPAP or can be done as a stand-alone treatment to help patients who are struggling with mild, moderate or severe OSA or for patients who purely snore with no OSA component. Using our Lightwalker laser, we achieve tightening of the tissues in the soft palate to open up the airway. The laser works by stimulating the collagen present in the tissues. There is no downtime, no surgery, and no anesthetic involved. Results vary depending upon each person’s natural collagen. Once the series of treatments are complete, maintenance is typically one treatment per year.
Call us for more information or to schedule your consultation! 720-706-8003