HOW IS SLEEP APNEA TREATED?
There are several different options for treatment of sleep apnea, depending upon the severity of the apnea, the cause of the apnea, and the patient’s preferred mode of treatment.
Surgery to reduce the size of the tongue or uvula and soft palate is an option, but an invasive one. Tonsil or adenoid removal when warranted is another surgical choice, but again quite invasive and painful for adults.
A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) forces oxygen into the patient’s nose and mouth while he or she sleeps. This is the recommended treatment for severe sleep apnea. While highly effective, the machines tend to be quite uncomfortable and patient compliance after one year is less than 70%.
Dental appliances are a much less invasive option. Customized night guards, which keep the lower jaw open and slightly forward are effective in maintaining an open airway and keeping the tongue from blocking the back of the throat while sleeping. Patients have found these appliances to be more comfortable than the alternative treatments, resulting in high compliance. In one study, it was shown that mouth appliances were actually more effective than surgical therapies.
Once a sleep study has been conducted and evaluated, we can discuss your diagnosis and help to decide what treatment option is best for you. Many patients who have failed to continue the use of their CPAP opt to have a mouth appliance fabricated. Often times, people that use a CPAP regularly prefer to use a mouth appliance in conjunction; or other times when a CPAP is inconvenient.
WHAT IS TAP/PAP APPLIANCE THERAPY?
A TAP/PAP appliance is an option for patients who have severe sleep apnea and find the CPAP equipment cumbersome, irritating and/or painful. Patients find TAP/PAP more comfortable, easier to use and less irritating than the regular CPAP therapy. The head strap is eliminated in TAP/PAP as well, and the pressure applied to your jaw is also eliminated. Thus making the TAP/PAP option a better choice for sleep apnea sufferers who also have TMJ dysfunction.
Our dentists strive to protect your heart health with these sleep apnea treatments. They consult on cases with two local pulmonologists, Drs. Naresh Dewan and Harvey Hopkins, and George Thommi.
ADVANTAGES OF SLEEP APNEA DENTAL APPLIANCES
For patients with moderate or mild sleep apnea, dental devices are often the preferred treatment option. Here are some of the advantages they have over CPAP machines and surgical procedures:
• More affordable – According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), CPAP machines can cost as much as $3,000. The average is $850. Dental appliances are much more affordable, especially with insurance.
• Less invasive – There’s no surgery required for sleep apnea appliances.
• More comfortable – The majority of patients report that dental appliances are more comfortable than CPAP machines. Surgery also causes discomfort.
• Easier to use consistently – Since they’re more comfortable, sleep apnea appliances have high compliance.
• More effective – Some studies show that dental appliances are more effective than surgical therapies.
Contact Dentistry For Health at 402-932-0282 today to schedule an appointment for sleep apnea treatment in Omaha, Nebraska. Call us today and get better sleep!