Obstuctive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It affects as much as 20% of the adult population in the United States. Many have never been diagnosed and don't know that they have a very serious medical condition. OSA occurs when the entire upper airway is blocked causing air flow to stop. This cycle, where breathing stops repeatedly, happens anywhere from 5-100 times per hour. This means the brain, and the rest of the body, may not get enough oxygen.
Snoring is an important warning sign of OSA. It occurs when the flow of air through the nose and mouth is physically obstructed. This common condition can affect anyone and should not be mistaken as nomal. In addition to snoring, other symptoms of OSA include:
Excessive daytime sleepiness
Waking up gasping and choking
Interrupted sleep patterns
OSA has been linked to several complications. Stroke, heart attack, diabetes, fatigue, drowsiness, hypertension, and obesity are just a few linked to sleep apnea. And if not taken care of, OSA can make these issues worse over time.
According to the AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine),
"An oral appliance is an effective treatment option for people with mild to severe OSA who either prefer it to CPAP or are unable to succesfuly comply with CPAP therapy. Oral appliances help to maintain and open an obstructed airway by repositioning or stabilizing the lower jaw, tongue, soft palte,or uvula. Some designed specifically for snoring, and others itended to treat both snoring and sleep apnea. They should be fitted by dentists who are trained in sleep medicine.
At Crown Point Dental Care we are trained to identify signs of snoring or sleep apnea. And can treat them with a small oral device (mouth piece) that you wear when you sleep. This device sets the jaw in a slightly forward position which opens your airway and prevents it from collapsing. Physicians can also refer patients to qualified dentists for oral appliance therapy.
In home sleep test
Custom made oral device
Follow up visits
Your treatment will consist of an in home sleep test, the fabrication of a custom made oral device, and several office appointments. Not only will this be done with your dentist, but it may also be covered within medical insurance benefits. This allows your treament to be efficient and cost effective.
Your treatment of OSA will begin with a screening where we will discuss your signs and symptoms of OSA. During this time you will discuss your experiences with OSA and express any concerns. At this appointment Dr. Shahamat will prescribe you the sleep test monitor. The sleep test monitor will arrive by mail to your home address.
2. In Home Sleep Test
Sleep studies generally involve spending the nght at a sleep facility. Today, the sleep test can be preformed by the patient in the comfort of their own home. Because the test is taken while sleeping in your own bed, it better reflects a normal night of sleeping. Unlike the foreign environment of a sleep center which can affect your results.
When testing at home simple instructions are given. You will set-up a special monitor, which fits onto your head. This device is worn for one to three nights and is then mailed back to the sleep center where the data is analyzed. Your results are reviewed by a board certified physician and then sent to Dr. Shahamat.
3. Custom Made Oral Device
The results of your sleep study will determine if you are a candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy. From these results Dr. Shahamat will plan your course of treatment, discuss oral device options, and guide you through until relief of OSA is achieved.
4. Follow Up Appointment
After wearing the oral appliance for several nights, you will return for follow up appointments. Your symptoms will be reevaluated for any improvements since wearing your device.
Once your OSA condition is stabilized, annual visits will assure the proper wear and outcome of your oral appliance.
"When suffering from OSA, air is unable to travel freely to and from your lungs, disturbing your sleep. The tongue and soft tissues of the mouth all contribute to this. With 'Oral Appliance Therapy', your oral device is worn at night, it places your lower jaw in a forward position. This opens the airway and allows air to flow freely."