Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep. This cessation occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth and throat relax and temporarily block the airway. Sleep apnea is a serious concern, as this interruption in breathing can impact several aspects of your general health and wellness. Loud snoring, daytime fatigue, memory loss, weight gain, and a number of other signs and symptoms may indicate the presence of a sleep apnea condition.
Treatment for sleep apnea may include surgical procedures, such as adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy, or the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. If you have found yourself to be CPAP intolerant or have only a minor case of sleep apnea, a dental alternative for care may help. Dr. Najib Adi and the Atlas Walk team can assess your risk for sleep apnea and determine if oral appliance therapy (OAT) is an ideal solution for your health needs. At Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics in Gainesville, VA, we offer custom snore guards to help minimize your sleep apnea symptoms and help you enjoy better health and wellness.
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Patients who have severe cases of sleep apnea are often better treated with CPAP therapy or surgical solutions. However, if you have a minor to moderate sleep apnea condition or find it difficult to manage CPAP therapy, a dental alternative known as oral appliance therapy may be an ideal solution for you. Sleep apnea should not be left untreated since it causes you to stop breathing for intervals of ten seconds or longer hundreds of times during the night. This breathing cessation prevents the flow of oxygen to your brain and organs and can result in serious medical problems. Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea as soon as possible is imperative to your health.
You may have sleep apnea if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:
• Choking during sleep
• Daytime drowsiness
• Mood changes
• Frequent headaches
• Dry mouth
• Memory loss
• Teeth grinding
• Other concerns
What To Expect
At Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics, Dr. Adi and team can treat some cases of sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. This dental approach involves wearing a custom-made acrylic or resin appliance in your mouth when you sleep. Oral appliance therapy works by pulling the lower jaw and tongue into a more forward position in the mouth and holding these structures in place while your sleep. This prevents soft tissues in the back of the mouth from collapsing into the throat and helps you maintain normal breathing. Since there are many types of oral appliance models available, Dr. Adi or a member of the Atlas Walk team will help you determine the option that is best for you. To make this oral appliance, our team will take impressions of your mouth and make models of your teeth. We then send these models to a specialized dental lab, where your oral appliance will be fabricated.
When we receive your custom oral sleep apnea appliance, we will have you return to our office for a fitting. Dr. Adi or a member of the Atlas Walk team will evaluate the fit and adjust it as needed to make sure it is comfortable for you to wear. Our team will review specific instructions on how and when to wear your appliance and discuss the best options for storing, maintaining, cleaning your guard each day. It is important to bring your appliance with you to your routine cleaning and exam visits so that we can continue to assess the fit and determine if any adjustments should be made. Wearing your sleep apnea guard as recommended can help to improve your quality of life.
Dental and medical insurance coverage for sleep apnea appliances often vary among providers and plan types. Our business staff will contact your provider to determine if this is a covered benefit. Our team at Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics wants you to have access to the quality care you need and accepts several convenient methods of payment to help keep your treatment within your budget. We can also provide information on third-party patient financing through CareCredit®.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
Keep sleep apnea from affecting your medical health and general wellness. If you snore, experience daytime drowsiness, have frequent headaches, or other symptoms of sleep apnea, talk to Dr. Adi or a member of the Atlas Walk team about your options for care. We can review your risk factors and determine if sleep apnea is interfering with your quality of life. Contact our team at Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics today to schedule your sleep apnea consultation.