I suspect my spouse has sleep apnea; what should I do?
Encourage your spouse to read about the seriousness of sleep apnea. Assure him/her that the condition is completely treatable with excellent success rates; urge them to contact a sleep specialist as soon as possible and schedule an appointment for a screening. If you live in our area, we invite you to call on us for assistance.
What other treatment options are available for sleep apnea?
The simplest remedies for treating sleep apnea include weight loss and behavioral modifications such as changing sleeping positions and avoiding alcohol or heavy meals after 8 p.m. Other interventional therapies being used are CPAP / BiPAP, surgery, somnoplasty, oral appliances, and herbal remedies. In most cases, reversible methods should be explored before irreversible procedures are considered.
Compared to CPAP, how effective is an oral airway dilator?
When indicated, a dental appliance is an effective therapy for mild to moderate sleep apnea. Advancements in appliance designs have greatly improved their dependability from earlier versions. In many cases, for the 35% of people who cannot tolerate wearing the CPAP, an oral airway dilator has been just as effective as CPAP without its inconvenience or discomfort. Oral appliances are endorsed and accepted by patients and medical professionals.
I really dislike wearing the CPAP mask; how can I obtain a dental appliance?
If you are unable to adjust to wearing your CPAP mask, the first step is to tell your physician and request that he refer you to a dentist who specializes in dental appliances. The dentist will perform an acoustic analysis of your upper airway, take measurements, determine jaw positioning & other physical attributes in order to create a custom appliance based on your individual needs. If you live in central Indiana, have your physician contact Dr. Urban.
How do I know if I am a candidate for an oral appliance?
If you snore, wake up often during the night, suffer from headaches in the morning, experience sleepiness frequently during the day, or you're if intolerant of CPAP, you could benefit substantially with an oral appliance. Contact us to schedule a clinical evaluation and our dentist will provide testing to determine whether you're a candidate.
Is it painful to wear an intraoral device?
Since the dental appliance is custom-fitted and made by the dentist without any surgical procedure, there is little if any potential for pain. In fact, wearing the appliance is pain-free and quite comfortable. Considering the effectiveness of an oral appliance, most patients adapt to it quickly & only notice its presence when they're initially falling asleep.
Will my medical insurance cover oral appliance therapy?
Keep in mind that medical insurance only pays for diagnosed medical conditions; treatment for snoring is not covered. However, OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is a medical condition that requires a physician's diagnosis and an overnight sleep study. Typical insurance reimbursement with an OSA diagnosis is 65% - 80%. Along with a Letter of Necessity from your physician, our appointments and your oral appliance will be covered too.
How do I care for my oral appliance?
Once they're properly fitted and adjusted, custom made appliances (using high-quality materials) are durable, portable, easy to use and maintain. Following brushing your teeth, you should brush your oral appliance and return it to its protective case out of reach of small children and pets. Then once per week soak it in denture cleanser during the day to remove any micro bacteria build-up that could cause odor or stains.
How long will it take to get my dental appliance?
Creating a custom dental appliance usually requires about 2 - 5 appointments. First we'll need to determine if you're a candidate; if you are only concerned with snoring, simply contact us to make an appointment. If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, we can refer you to a sleep disorder specialist for a medical evaluation and sleep study.