Dental sleep medicine helps patients who may snore or have sleep apnea. Working in combination with a sleep physician, oral appliances can be a safe, comfortable and effective way to alleviate snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea. Desert Sun Smiles is happy to work with your medical insurance to verify and obtain coverage for an oral appliance.
Everyone is familiar with the hoarse, raspy sounds of snoring which occur when your airway is partially obstructed during sleep. Many dental patients have a concern about their snoring. Most of the patients who ask aren’t bothered by their snoring, but their spouse or significant other is kept awake by it, and is encouraging them to find a solution. There are dental solutions to snoring that are professionally designed, fit and monitored by your dentist.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which breathing stops periodically during sleep, as many as 100 times per hour! It is estimated that between 2-9 percent of middle-aged Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Snoring is often one of the many signs of sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea, each time your breathing stops, the resulting lack of oxygen alerts your brain, which temporarily wakes you up to restart proper breathing. Because the time spent awake is so brief, most people with sleep apnea don’t remember it – and many think they are getting a full night’s sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea, which occurs when throat muscles relax.
Indicators of Sleep Apnea
Do you or a family member:
- Often find yourself drowsy in the middle of the day?
- Frequently wake up breathless at night?
- Make loud snoring or choking sounds at night?
- Have headaches when waking in the morning?
- Been prescribed a CPAP machine but can’t use it?
Untreated sleep apnea can:
- Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
- Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure
- Make arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) more likely
- Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents
Oral Appliances for Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances are worn during sleep and designed to gently move the lower jaw forward. This forward motion opens the airway and holds the base of the tongue forward, making breathing easier. Patients find these appliances very comfortable to wear and easier than a CPAP machine, often with equivalent results and reduction of symptoms. For many people, oral appliances can be used as an alternative to a CPAP.
Medical Insurance Covers Dental Sleep Apnea Services
Dental insurance does not cover treatment for sleep apnea or snoring. However, most medical insurance will cover our services for sleep apnea and we will handle the billing process through your medical insurance from start to finish.
Dr. Brady is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) and the Arizona Sleep Society.