What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that, when not treated, can be potentially life threatening. It is characterized by an obstruction in the airway and/or physical relaxation of musculature or a collapse in the upper airway during sleep. As a result, the opening shrinks, causing labored breathing, short pauses or interruptions in breathing while sleeping. These pauses in breathing lead to decreased levels of oxygen in the body and to the brain. Some of the most common signs, symptoms, and comorbidities include:
- Frequent morning headaches
- Awakening with a very dry or sore throat
- Altered breathing during sleep
- Loud snoring
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Irritability and personality changes
- Sexual dysfunction
Snoring and medically diagnosed sleep apnea can stem from a variety of causes, but the results are always disruptive for the sufferer and nearly as disturbing and frightening for the sleep apnea patient’s family members. Diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea is necessary to help avoid complications such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and falling asleep at the wheel while driving. Our holistic dentist and team will also work with your physician to see if you have related or underlying medical issues.
Dr. Marla Wilson may recommend an at-home, overnight sleep test with the Braebon MediByte. This tool will help us determine whether you may suffer from sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing, or upper airway resistance syndrome.
What is sleep apnea treatment?
At Premier Dental Care, our skilled dentist provides for obstructive sleep apnea treatment in Indianapolis, Indiana. Along with your physician, we can screen, assist in diagnosis, and treat sleep apnea with an oral appliance. An oral appliance is a conservative, nonsurgical treatment we offer as a low-cost alternative to CPAP (when a patient is intolerant) and surgery with documented efficacy for this medically diagnosed condition. We are pleased that numerous studies have documented effectiveness of oral appliance therapy as an alternative to nighttime oxygen and surgery for some of our patients.
We offer numerous custom oral appliances at our practice. The purpose of oral appliance therapy is to change the position of the jaw, protrude and stabilize the mandible, change position of the soft palate, improve airway passages, and reduce episodes of apnea while you are asleep, allowing you to breathe continually through the night.
There are many different effective oral appliances, and we are unique in that we use several kinds. We offer the Moses, EMA, Narval, Respire Pink Series, and UCLE Modified Herbst. The choice of appliance to be used for each patient is based on many factors, including: severity of the apnea condition, patient’s bite and jaw structure, size of the tongue and soft palate, presence of tooth clenching or grinding, jaw range of motion, health of teeth and gums, and many others.
Dr. Marla Wilson is trained in treating sleep apnea and will ensure that your appliance fits comfortably and works effectively so you and your partner can sleep peacefully. Our dentist is a Medicare DME (durable medical equipment) supplier for custom oral appliances for OSA. If needed, we may recommend other types of sleep apnea treatment as well. To begin your journey to a better night’s rest, please call or visit us today. We are committed to meeting all of your needs for improved health and quality of life.