Sleep apnea/home sleep test/ Oral Appliance Therapy
During new patient visits and routine cleanings, we will conduct a complimentary snore and Obstructive Sleep Apnea screening.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a disorder in which the airway becomes blocked during sleep causing airflow to stop on multiple occasions. It is not surprising that this lack of oxygen has a serious negative impact on one’s health. Patients with OSA are at higher risk for heart disease (including heart attacks and strokes), hormone imbalances, and weight gain. It can also make it more difficult to treat or control existing conditions such as high blood pressure.
To conduct this screening, we will ask you a few brief questions involving your sleep habits and sleep quality. We look for oral signs of OSA such as acid wear and teeth grinding. Based on your answers and our findings, as well as other risk factors such as high blood pressure, we may recommend that you take home our home sleep test to diagnose any potential sleep related breathing disorders.
The home sleep test involves wearing our device, the ARES Watermark Unicorder, for 1-2 nights in the comfort of your own bed. Compared to traditional sleep studies that are done in a lab setting, home sleep tests are just as reliable and accurate but are significantly more comfortable and less intrusive. While you sleep, this device measures blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, airflow, snoring levels, head movement and body position. The data acquired during your night’s sleep is stored on the device and is interpreted by a Board-certified sleep physician. We will review the results with you and provide you with a copy to bring to your physician.
In the event of a diagnosis of OSA, we will discuss treatment options including CPAP (the gold standard for treating severe cases) and mandibular re-positioning devices. Mandibular re-positioning devices or Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) involves an oral appliance that covers your teeth and positions your lower jaw down and forward to open the airway and prevent its collapse during sleep. These devices are casually referred to as “snore guards” since they work to open the airway and consequently reduce snoring. In addition to being less invasive and more comfortable than other treatment options, a mandibular re-positioning device can be fully covered by most medical insurances.
If you have had a sleep study in the past that has resulted in a diagnosis of OSA and have tried or refuse to use a CPAP machine, a mandibular repositioning device may be an alternative option for you.
Upon fabrication of a custom mandibular re-positioning device, we will send you home to try it out. Once you are comfortable wearing the device and feel that you are having more restful sleep (or your bed partner says you aren’t snoring anymore!) we will have you complete a follow-up home sleep study. This is necessary to ensure that the device is working sufficiently to reduce or resolve your OSA, and not just diminishing the symptom of snoring.
We encourage you to come in for a consult to discuss any concerns you have about your sleep!
Also see...Night Guard.