Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is one of the most common sleep disorders affecting millions of people. The disorder causes short and frequent cessations in your breathing while you sleep. Unfortunately, sleep apnea can be the catalyst for other more life-altering health conditions like stroke, heart disease and diabetes. With a simple oral device, the jaw is put into a more appropriate position so that breathing is easier for you without the use of a CPAP machine or surgery.
Sleep apnea prevents your body from reaching the deep and restful stages of sleep that are so important. You may feel exhausted throughout the day despite being in bed all night and you may have frequent headaches, loud snoring and dry mouth. If left untreated, sleep apnea can have a major impact on your ability to function throughout the day. It’s not uncommon for patients with sleep apnea to develop problems or complications with other health disorders.
To a Dentist there are many “tell-tale” signs that indicate sleep apnea. Snoring, closed airway, scalloped tongue, gagging at the dental appointment, falling asleep during a long dental procedure, teeth grinding, frequent breaking of fillings and crowns — these all point to a potential airway obstruction causing sleep apnea.
At Carrollton Smiles, we evaluate all our patients, including pediatric patients, for obstructive sleep apnea. You answer a questionnaire, and based on your score and other associated symptoms, Dr. Bhandaru may recommend a CT Scan of the airway at our office.
If the CT reveals an obstructed or constricted airway we recommend a sleep study which can be dispensed at our office. You take the sleep test home and after completing the test that night, Dr. Bhandaru helps you evaluate and understand the results.
Based on the combination of CT scan and the sleep test, We will direct you to an expert ENT, sleep MD or help you choose an appropriate appliance to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.
For mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, an oral device is sufficient enough to open the upper airway and make it easier to breathe at night. The device is comfortable to wear and custom made to fit your mouth. The device can last for years and should be replaced once it shows signs of wear. To determine if you’re a good candidate for an oral device designed for OSA, you’ll come in for an exam and consultation with Dr. Bhandaru.
After a thorough exam and consultation with us, we will take impressions of your mouth. The device is made for you and works by gently positioning your lower jaw forward to allow for the upper airway to stay open. When worn at night, there will be no pauses to your breathing and the device can help with snoring and dry mouth. It’s important that you wear the device each night so that it’s effective for treating sleep apnea. When the device begins to show signs of wear, you can come in and have a new one made just for you.
There are many oral appliances available to you that can help with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep-related disorder that can cause constant cessations in your breathing and loud snoring. Trouble with proper airway breathing can even begin to occur in childhood, which is why we offer treatment options for kids. Together, we can take control of your sleep apnea and offer you the care that you need.
We offer an at-home sleep test known as the Watch PAT. This is a noninvasive test that you can do in the comfort of your own home, so you’re not having to deal with testing done in a hospital or laboratory. The test will help us to identify which oral appliance is right for you according to the sleep apnea that you have. Some of the different appliances we use for sleep apnea include the Moses appliance, ProSomnus, Panthera and Herbst. All of these appliances are ideal for adults who suffer from sleep apnea. Our pediatric treatment known as Healthy Start is specifically meant for kids who have breathing issues at night.
All of our appliances at Carrollton Smiles are effective at treating sleep apnea. Because of this, you can feel confident that your care is compliant with CDL requirements to manage and maintain sleep-related disorders when operating a motor vehicle. With the help of our at-home sleep test, Dr. B can determine if you’re a good candidate for one of our appliances. Because each of the oral appliances is different, what works for you may be totally different from another patient.
We will first recommend that you have a sleep test done to determine if you have sleep apnea and how severe it actually is. Our Watch PAT at-home test is easy and can be done conveniently in your own bed. The results are then transmitted to us so that we can identify the actual disorder and determine the treatment plan that is right for you. Most sleep apnea appliances are completely removable, so you will need to wear them at night in order for them to be effective. For children, we offer Healthy Start as a way to not only correct breathing issues at night, but to help with minor orthodontic problems that could become worse with time.
If you are interested in the oral appliances or are looking to resolve your sleep apnea, call Carrollton Smiles today and we will get you scheduled for an appointment with us.