Sleep Apnea FAQs
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that affects your airway when you’re sleeping. Typically, the airway either gets constricted or completely closes for a certain period of time during sleep. These episodes can occur up to hundreds of times a night.
How does untreated obstructive sleep apnea affect me?
Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can cause many serious conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, esophageal cancer and other ailments.
How does a dental sleep appliance (mandibular advancement device) work?
Dental sleep appliances advance your mandible sightly so your jaw and tongue won’t restrict/block your airway during sleep. This would make it easier for you to breathe and accordingly gives you a more restful and deep night sleep. Each device consists of custom made upper and lower splints that are titrated to achieve the mandibular advancement while maintaining comfort.
Think you have Sleep Apnea?
Contact our office today to schedule a Sleep Consultation!
Which patients need a dental sleep appliance:
Patients who are diagnosed with sleep apnea, and either can’t tolerate the CPAP machine or travel frequently and would like an easier alternative to carrying their CPAP. Sleep appliances can also help with snoring problems.
Are there any side effects for wearing the device?
In the short term, mild muscle or jaw joint tenderness, teeth sensitivity or excessive salivation might happen as you start wearing the device. These side effects rarely happen and should subside within a couple days. In the long term, bite or joint changes might happen so it is very important to wear the provided morning repositioning device for about 10 minutes every morning to make sure your bite isn’t changing over time. The design of the device is very critical in minimizing the chances of any complications, that’s why we carefully choose a certain design for our patients.
Am I a candidate to get a dental sleep appliance?
At your visit, we will perform a thorough exam to make sure you are a good candidate. The exam will include your teeth, gums and joints.
Is there a warranty on my device?
At Prosthodontics of Texas, we pride ourselves in using the best labs and materials. We warrant our custom made devices to be free from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for 36 months
How do I care for my device?
1- When not wearing the device, It is recommended to leave it in water, when possible.
2- You can clean your device by soaking it in certain cleaning tablets. We will give you a sample and you can buy more online. Alternatively, you can soak the device with 1:1 ratio water and white vinegar for 10 minutes. Toothpaste should be avoided as the abrasive particles scratch the material used to fabricate the devices. Mouthwash should also be avoided as the alcohol deteriorates the inside of the device.
3- Make sure to store the device out of the reach of any pets.
Do I need a sleep physician?
At Prosthodontics of Texas we work with medical doctor’s who are board certified in sleep medicine. These doctors are able to administer and evaluate sleep study tests to help us understand your sleep disturbed breathing challenges. The information provided to us by those doctors helps us give you the best care possible. If you don’t have a sleep physician, we are happy to make a referral to help you get the best care possible. We also accept referrals from doctors who are trained in sleep medicine.
Will my medical insurance pay for my sleep appliance?
Oral appliances for sleep apnea do fall under the medical insurance category. Everyone’s policy is different and we have seen ranges of coverage, from full coverage to no coverage. This answer ultimately depends on the details of your health insurance policy. We will acquire all of the needed documentation to help you get your maximum coverage.