Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Oral Appliance Therapy Expectations

Oral Appliance Therapy ExpectationsTreating snoring and sleep apnea requires a team approach. Dentists cannot, by the limits of licensure, make a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea. For that you need to visit a physician. The first step in being treated for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea is to obtain an evaluation by a sleep physician who will provide a formal diagnosis usually based on a medical sleep study. This study can be done at home, in a hospital or private office sleep center.

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Who Should Use An Oral Appliance?Oral Appliance Therapy is indicated for mild to moderate OSA patients if they prefer it to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), the standard treatment therapy, cannot tolerate CPAP, or are unable to use positional therapy or weight loss to control their apnea.

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Oral Appliance Therapy - Somnodent ApplianceOral Appliances are placed in the mouth and are worn much like an orthodontic appliance or sports mouth protector. They are worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat so that the airway stays open during sleep. The appliances promote adequate air intake and help to provide normal sleep in people who snore and have sleep apnea.

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Frustrated Wearing CPAP?Now there is an effective way to control snoring and obstructive sleep apnea without resorting to cumbersome CPAP devices. A small device, similar to an orthodontic appliance, can be an alternative to cumbersome CPAP machines …Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).   In some cases OAT may be the first choice for treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

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CPAP

CPAPCPAP (continuous positive air pressure applied through a nasal mask) is considered the gold standard for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  CPAP, when properly used, will control obstructive sleep apnea 100% of the time.

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Sleepy Driver AccidentsIt has been estimated that drivers who are sleepy have as much as a 13 fold higher risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident than well-rested drivers. These sleepy drivers are as dangerous on the road as those who are intoxicated. The National Highway Transportation Board in the United States attributes more than 1500 deaths a year to sleepy drivers.

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When sleep is disrupted night after night by the frequent awakenings caused by sleep apnea and by the decreased flow of oxygen to the brain and other tissues caused by the totally obstructed breathing in sleep apnea and the partially obstructed breathing in snoring, health suffers.

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24%The effect on health, quality of life and safety has led obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to become a significant public health issue. There are millions of people that suffer from all degrees of sleep disordered breathing from simple snoring without pathology to severe obstructive sleep apnea.

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Obstructive Sleep ApneaObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft tissue in a person's throat repeatedly collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.

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Diagnosing OSA

While qualified Dentists play an important role in treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Dentists are not permitted to diagnose Sleep Apnea.