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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels.  When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat.  This blocks the upper airway and air flow stops.  When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.  Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems.  Additionally these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.

Our office is now offering sleep apnea appliances.  Treatment for sleep apnea is a muli-specialty approach, and the appliances we make in our office are a non-evasive and reversible treatment option.  The appliances are clear plastic guards that fit over your upper and lower teeth, with a mechanical mechanism that moves the lower jaw and tongue forward, providing a more open airway.  This prevents the tongue from blocking the airway, allowing it to be more open.  It’s a safe and effective approach to treating sleep apnea.

If you are interested in learning more about this treatment option, we offer a free consultation.  We are also able to create a “pre-trial” appliance for patients to test out the guards and see how their symptoms are relieved, prior to having the actual TAP (Thornton Adjustable Positioner) appliances fabricated. 

This type of treatment is covered by medical insurance.  We walk our patients through this process and work with your medical insurance provider to have the treatment covered.

We are currently offering this service at our Main office location.The following questions relating to Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) will help you determine if you should be evaluated for sleep apnea.

Do you wake up tired and unrefreshed?

Have you or your bed partner observed that you stop breathing or gasp for breath while sleeping?

Do you doze off while watching TV, driving, reading, or performing daily activities?

Do you snore?

Do you ever wake up out of breath or choking?

Are you a restless sleeper?

Do you have joint aches?

Do you have backaches?

Do you have headaches? If so, how often?

Do you have indigestion or acid reflux?

Do you have, or have you ever had, high blood pressure?

Do you have, or have you ever had, heart problems?

Do you have night sweats?

THREE or more YES answers to these questions means you should be further evaluated for SDB.
FIVE or more YES answers means there is a very good possibility that you have SDB.