What is a Sleep Apnea Dentist?

What is a Sleep Apnea Dentist?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to start and stop. Without treatment, the potentially serious disorder can cause cardiovascular problems, headaches, memory problems, impotence, daytime fatigue and complications with surgery and medications. Luckily, a sleep apnea dentist can offer those diagnosed with the disorder an effective, easy to use treatment that can relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea may benefit from a dental device that helps regulate breathing. A mandibular advancement device (MAD) looks similar to a mouthguard and can help keep the airways open by forcing the lower jaw down and forward. Other patients may benefit from using a tongue retraining device (TRD), a splint that keeps the airways open by holding the tongue in place.

Many patients find dental devices easier and more comfortable to use than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. Patients who use a CPAP device must sleep with a mask over the nose and mouth. The mask is attached to a machine that blows air into the tube. Many patients find it difficult to adjust wearing the mask and falling asleep to the machine’s constant humming sound.

Dental sleep apnea devices are much smaller and less expensive than CPAP machines and do not require the patient to be attached to a noisy machine. Dental devices are also easier to travel with than CPAP devices, and most patients quickly adjust to the treatment.

A Fairfax sleep apnea dentist can help patients choose a device that fits their symptoms and lifestyle. During the initial evaluation, the sleep apnea dentist will adjust the device for maximum comfort and efficiency. If needed, adjustments or repositioning can be completed during follow-up appointments.

Both of dental sleep apnea devices can lead to improved sleep, less snoring and a significant reduction in apneas. With to their easy-to-use and comfortable design, the devices can give sleep apnea patients the good night’s sleep they only dreamed of before.

by Dr. Dan Kelliher

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