Do you consistently wake up tired, even when you get a full 8 hours of sleep? Do you wake up in the middle of the night staring at the ceiling wondering why you are awake? Do you fall asleep throughout the day, perhaps even when stopped at red lights or watching T.V.?
You may be suffering from a sleep breathing disorder. According to some estimates 1 in 5 American adults suffer from some sort of sleep breathing disorder. About 4 out of 5 of those sufferers are undiagnosed, and aren’t aware there is any problem at all.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep breathing disorder is not just loud snoring, it is a complete stoppage of air exchange for 10 seconds or greater during sleep. In some cases these episodes can occur dozens of times per night. It is a collapse of the airway, often caused by the tongue, which prevents breathing until your brain wakes you up just enough to force you to gasp for air.
At Smile Design New Port Richey our treatment for patients with OSA is by Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). Through the fabrication of an appliance which looks and fits similar to a nightguard, the lower jaw and tongue are gently advanced creating a more open airway during sleep. By comparison, the other typical method to treat OSA is by a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP is not tolerated by a shocking 50% of patients who try it; that is, during sleep the mask is either consciously or subconsciously removed. The other 50% who can tolerate it often prefer another type of treatment for various reasons including CPAP is embarrassing, difficult to travel with, loud, etc.
If any or all of the situations above describe you make a consultation today to see if you are a candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy. Through our unique process we can have you officially diagnosed and we can treat you without you having to visit a single other doctor’s office! Furthermore, since OSA is considered a medical condition your medical insurance (not your dental insurance) will cover the cost of the appliance usually at 100%. We even accept Medicare specifically for this treatment.
This treatment is very personal to me. I was first diagnosed with OSA in 2015. After various home remedies, CPAP, and other failed devices I finally fabricated the first oral appliance for myself in 2016. And after personally trying 7 different appliances over the past several years, I have the benefit of passing along my personal experiences to my patients, as I know the pros and cons of each appliance first hand. OAT has made a world of difference in my life! For the first time in decades, I don’t wake up multiple times in the middle of the night, I no longer yawn all day long and I am able to read in bed at night until I elect to turn off the light and go to sleep. Through my personal journey, I hope that I can help as many patients from the Smile Design family and the community as a whole recognize and treat this problem and live happier and healthier lives.