Did you now that snoring or waking up tired each morning could be an indication of a larger problem going on? Sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and chronic snoring can significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, not to mention make you feel fatigued each day. They’re a dangerous condition health risk that you can’t afford to overlook.

While most people think that the only option for treating sleep apnea is with a CPAP machine, there are other types of therapeutic alternatives approved by the FDA — namely, an oral sleep appliance that’s fitted by your approved sleep apnea dentist like Dr. Nazir.

Getting a Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Smile Magic will assist you in getting a sleeping disorder diagnosis if needed. This may include a referral to a nearby sleep physician or speaking directly with your primary care provider and pulmonologist. The only way to receive a formal sleep apnea diagnosis is to have a sleep study performed either in a clinic or through the use of take home study. In the instances of at-home sleeping studies, your data will be read by a specialist after you use the monitoring devices to record your sleep patterns in the comfort of your own bed!

While our Orange County dentist can screen for signs linked to sleeping disorder, the written diagnosis and prescription for an oral appliance comes from a licensed sleep disorder specialist.

Symptoms of Sleeping Disorders

Other than fatigue or a sleep partner complaining of your chronic snoring, common sleep apnea symptoms often include:

  • Depression
  • Difficulty staying awake throughout the day
  • Weight gain
  • A large neck circumference
  • High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease

…and many others.

During your dental exam, we will also check for signs like prominent jaw muscles, worn and chipped teeth, and scalloped edges along your tongue. All of these signs are closely linked with struggling to breath when you sleep, due to the jaws clenching tightly together as your brain is deprived of oxygen. Imagine holding your breath for 15-20 seconds. That’s how long a typical apneic patient holds their breath, multiple time during the night. No wonder they wake up tired!!

How Oral Appliance Therapy Helps You Sleep Better

Oral sleep appliances are specifically used in situations that involve a type of sleeping disorder known as “obstructive sleep apnea” or “OSA.”

Obstructive apnea is one of the most common types of sleep apnea, and it’s caused by a collapse of the soft tissues near the back of your throat when you’re laying down to sleep. When this happens, air can’t flow through and it causes oxygen deprivation.

An oral appliance positions your lower jaw in a slightly forward position, so that your tongue can’t seal itself against the back of the throat. This allows a steady stream of air to flow back and forth as you sleep at night.

Instead of using a pressurized piece of equipment that forces air into your airway, like a snorkel or scuba device, you’re proactively preventing the blockage so that you can breathe naturally. It’s as easy as wearing a retainer or protective mouthguard that you would have during athletic activities.

Benefits of Oral Sleep Apnea devices.

Choosing to wear an oral appliance instead of using CPAP equipment is a decision that needs to be discussed by you and Dr. Nazir with your physician. Compared to using loud machinery to help you sleep each night, an oral appliance offers numerous benefits including:

  • A quiet alternative that won’t bother your roommates or sleep partners
  • More portable options for vacations, business trips, and traveling
  • Easier to clean
  • Freedom to sleep on your side, back, etc. without equipment getting in the way

Will My Insurance Cover a Dental Sleep Appliance?

Just like other types of sleep apnea equipment, your medical insurance may also cover your oral sleep appliance. Our Orange County dental office is happy to file medical claims on your behalf, something that most dentists do not do. Working with your carrier, we can help you minimize your out of pocket costs related to getting a custom sleep device.

If your medical insurance does cover the treatment, you’ll only be responsible for your applicable deductibles, co-pays, and any percentage that’s dictated by your carrier (as you would with any other type of medical equipment or prescription.)

What’s Involved in Getting an Oral Sleep Aid?

After you’ve had a sleep study, we can determine if our customized oral appliance is in your best interest. These custom devices are only appropriate in instances involving obstructive sleep apnea/OSA.

After we have the prescription, we take an impression of your teeth and have the lab create a customized appliance that fits your unique mouth. At the beginning, we may need you to come back for a few adjustments to fine tune the exact positioning of your mouth. Keeping a sleep journal can help you see how well your new appliance is helping. In many cases, our sleep apnea patients start to see dramatic results as soon as the first night of use.

All sleep apnea patients will need to schedule periodic appointments throughout the year, to be re-tested once a year, and then, to ensure that they’re responding properly to treatment, and in the event that any adjustments need to be made to their oral prosthesis. Because our Orange County dental office provides comprehensive dental care, we can usually implement your follow up exams into your six-month checkup visits.

Free Sleep Apnea Consultations in Orange County

If you suspect that you have a sleeping disorder and want to consider an oral sleep appliance before meeting with your physician about a CPAP machine, we’re happy to talk to you. Or, if you’re CPAP intolerant and need a more comfortable alternative, you’re invited to give us a call! All consultations are free of charge, so there’s no commitment if our services do not fit your unique situation.

Thanks to our complimentary evaluations, you have nothing to lose. One visit could be the first step toward getting a better night’s rest for you and everyone else in your home. Contact us today to schedule.

Office Hours

Monday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Tuesday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Wednesday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Thursday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Friday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Saturday By Appointment Only

Sunday CLOSED

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