At Quince Orchard Dental Specialist, our practice is a complete health practice, which means that while our specialty is oral health, we consider your overall health in everything we do. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and oral health problems are usually indicators that your overall health may be in jeopardy. If you are not getting a good night’s sleep, meaning night after night you toss and turn and you wake up feeling exhausted, you may have sleep apnea, which affects over 25 million adults in the U.S. Loss of sleep impacts your health and your daily routine more than many people realize and can lead to serious conditions that, left unchecked, can become chronic. At Quince Orchard Dental Specialist, we screen all our patients for potential signs of sleep apnea.
If a patient has any indicators of sleep apnea, we partner with an agency called Sleeptest.com to send a screening package to the patient’s home. This is an easier and more cost effective alternative to getting a sleep test done than at a sleep center. The patient will sleep with the device for two nights and then send it back to Sleeptest.com, where their board certified sleep expert will perform rigorous tests. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, don’t worry, our dentists will work together with your physician to ensure you get the necessary treatment.
There are several ways to treat sleep apnea, from wearing an appliance to having surgery. The most common way is the use of oral appliances like the ones listed below:
- Continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). This is a device which improves breathing while you sleep. The device supplies air through the nasal passages and the air pressure keeps the airway open while sleeping. Considered to be the gold standard in treating sleep apnea, but, unfortunately most patients are not compliant or just can’t put up with the device.
- Oral appliances. Certain oral devices can shift and support the jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing. Research shows that oral appliances can successfully prevent sleep apnea in mild to moderate cases, as they can reduce or eliminate snoring. The appliance is worn in the mouth only while you sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances support your jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. The tongue re-training device can also be recommended to correct sleep apnea. The splint holds the tongue in the right position which helps to keep the airway open. This device does require periodic adjustments or replacements. Many patients consider a sleep apnea appliance to be more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. Oral appliances also are quiet, portable and easy to care for. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance. Our dentists will recommend the device that is best for you. Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. This is where talking to your dentist and working with them on the right oral appliance for you can help tremendously with reducing or totally eliminating your sleep apnea.
Great news...many medical insurance policies will at the very least partially cover the cost of oral appliance therapy! Dr. Rouhanian is a participating provider for PPO insurances, such as BlueCross BlueShield, and our practice also accepts Medicare and Tricare. Our team members have a lot of experience with insurance companies, and one of our goals is to help you maximize your available benefits. Beating sleep apnea should be an amazing experience, not a headache-inducing one when it’s time to pay. We invite you to come in today and get a sleep apnea screening for a better night’s sleep tomorrow.