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What is Sleep Apnea?
What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea describes a partial or a complete cessation of breathing during sleep and is a serious disorder and can have severe negative impacts on a person health. During sleep, the patient’s airway relaxes and closes, preventing the body from getting enough oxygen to perform crucial functions.

What causes Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by repeated collapse of the patient’s upper airway during sleeping, either completely or partially preventing air from reaching the patient’s lungs.  Central sleep apnea (CSA) is caused by a failure of the brain to instruct the body to breath properly.

What are the signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may involve one or more of the following:

  • Snoring
  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of libido
  • Tiredness after waking
  • Daytime sleepiness
How can Sleep Apnea be diagnosed?

A “Pulse Xoimeter” device is an excellent initial screening device for sleep apnea. Initial diagnosis and can be obtained through your dental specialists office. Sleep test center studies, ENT consultations and Rheometer testing are more in-depth diagnostic procedures that are utilized throughout the treatment.

What treatments can be done?

CPAP is the best treatment alternative. For those who cannot comply with CPAP treatment there are a few dental appliances that are alternatives and help ensure an increase of oxygen flow to the brain during sleep. “Tap Appliance I & III”, “Somnodent”, and “Herbst Appliance” have proven to be effective treatment alternatives.

What surgery options are there for sleep apnea?

Surgery is typically reserved for severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at the recommendation of and ENT specialist. A patient should be sure to seek a second opinion prior to undergoing surgery as the success rates of such surgeries are rarely higher than 65% and often deteriorate with time, averaging about 50% only.

What other health conditions can be associated with Sleep Apnea?

Untreated sleep apnea affects the patient’s mental and physical well-being, impairs judgment, alters moods, reduces the ability to learn, negatively impacts information retention and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injuries.

Left untreated, a variety of health problems may arise including; obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and erectile dysfunction, as well as mental impairments.

How do I find a local sleep study center and sleep study doctor?

The Beverly Dentistry works with and can refer you to a reputable sleep study center that is convenient for you.

What is CPAP? How effective is it?

CPAP is an oxygen mask used during sleep to prevent the airway from collapsing. CPAP is usually the most effective treatment. However, many patients have a hard time complying with using the CPAP on a regular basis due to complaints of discomfort and difficulty to use. In such cases, seeking treatment with a dental appliance becomes the relevant alternative of choice. Your ENT specialist can best determine the proper treatment and estimated cost of CPAP device.

How much does Sleep Apnea treatment cost?

Obviously, the effective treatment of sleep apnea is one of the best investments for your health and quality of life. Dental sleep apnea appliances vary in cost, and they are often reasonably priced. Many medical insurance plans may cover some or all of the treatment for sleep apnea dental appliances.

Still have questions? Contact us or Make an Appointment.