Currently, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, almost 25 million adults in the country are affected by sleep apnea. The numbers are staggering, and the health risks are risky. This rising problem has been noticed by doctors and healthcare professionals. Today, they are working together to create and fight successful treatment options.
People diagnosed with sleep apnea now have more options for treatment than ever and are able to overcome the problem successfully. With effective treatment, it is possible to alleviate the health risks associated with OSA.
The medical community is working together to identify treatment options as obstructive sleep apnea continues to present an growing challenge to the health of Americans. Learn about how dentists are learning to treat the effects of sleep apnea for doctors and sleep clinicians.
What is Dental Sleep Medicine?
The subject of a specialization area for dentists is the treatment of loud snoring and sleep apnea. This field is referred to as medicine for dental sleep. Dentists trained in this area work closely with physicians and clinicians to find the right treatment strategy to remedy the sleep disturbance of a patient. Their function is also to help control the snoring and OSA symptoms of a patient through oral appliance therapy.
There are two dental devices that, along with CPAP therapy, may be prescribed for the treatment of sleep apnea: mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and mouthpieces that retain the tongue.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
MADs look like athletic mouth guards which fit over the upper and lower sets of teeth. A hinge connects the two trays in the center. This device holds the lower jaw and tongue in a slightly forward position at night. It helps keep the soft tissues in the back of the mouth and throat from blocking the airway when they relax during sleep. Specially trained dentists can adjust the position and fit of MADs to increase comfort and effectiveness.
For sleep apnea sufferers with minimal jaw flexibility, tongue-retaining mouthpieces may be helpful. These oral devices keep the tongue from falling back into the airway while sleeping. It fits around the tongue and holds it in place using a light suction force.
What is the Role of Dentists in Treating Sleep Apnea?
Since sleep apnea is an rising concern to Americans and poses such dangerous health hazards, it is important for doctors and dentists to work together to solve the issue. Dentists play a vital role in diagnosing patients who suffer from sleep-related breathing problems, according to the American Dental Association ( ADA).
A dentist may recognise symptoms and refer them to the right doctor by having the full medical history of a patient. Then the dentist will help decide whether an oral implant may be an appropriate treatment option after a physical examination , diagnosis and sleep test. The right oral system and optimizing the fit for the patient can only be given by those qualified in dental sleep medicine. The dentist will work with the physician to monitor progress to ensure the best care while the patient continues sleep apnea care.
Are You Looking for a Sleep Apnea Specialist You Can Trust?
With over 30 years of professional experience helping patients renew and beautifying their smiles, Balfour Dental continues to be the preferred dental office for families in Brentwood California and the surrounding communities of Antioch, Oakley, Discovery Bay and beyond. Dr. Rayani and Dr. Siao both have many different certifications, including Invisalign Certification, Implant Dentistry, Sleep Apnea Treatment, Cerec CAD-CAM Restorations, Neuromuscular Dentistry, and Implants respectively. Our dental office is locally owned and operated by Dr. Dimple Rayani and Dr. Sien Siao, two professionals with vast experience in Implant Retained Denture treatments as well as in general dentistry. If you are looking to renew your smile, contact Balfour Dental today!