If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there is no need to continue suffering; there are options for treatment. OSA is characterized by disruptive breathing patterns while sleeping. During sleep, an OSA sufferer experiences episodes in which their airway is temporarily obstructed, causing gasping or choking sounds while breathing, or loud snoring. Most OSA suffers may be unaware of their restricted airway problem. However, a sleep study performed by the dentist can help determine if you suffer from OSA. If you do, there are options available for treatment.
Traditionally, a CPAP machine was the most common treatment for OSA. This machine forces positive air pressure into the airway, providing the necessary amount of airflow to the lungs. A CPAP machine can be a viable, yet effective method of treatment for some patients. Insurance companies will sometimes cover the cost of a CPAP machine, making it easy and readily available for patients to use. On the other hand, nearly 70% of people who use a CPAP machine will discontinue its use after about six months. The CPAP machine can cause a person to feel claustrophobic, plus, the machine emits a level of noise that can disrupt your partner’s sleep as well. Although a CPAP machine is portable for travel, it can be cumbersome to deal with when spending the night away from home. The biggest downfall of a CPAP machine is that it works by forcing air through the airway instead of correcting the underlying issue that is causing the restricted airway. Therefore, the CPAP is essentially a band-aid to a bigger issue.
With today’s advancement in dentistry, another method of correcting OSA is a specially designed repositioning device. The repositioning device is a custom-made acrylic type of appliance that is to be worn while sleeping. The device helps hold the lower jaw in proper alignment, relieving the restricted airway and is ideal for treating mild to moderate cases of OSA. The appliance is adjustable to suit the changing needs of your sleep apnea treatment. You will not find this type of custom-made appliance from a box at the store! Steer clear of these one-size-fits-all appliances, as they do not provide this high level of relief from your sleep apnea.
For a more permanent solution, orthotropics is ideal, especially for severe cases of OSA. Orthotropics involves natural growth guidance by either orthodontics or surgery, and sometimes a combination of both may be necessary. Orthotropics to treat OSA is most effective in children, as their softer bones can be manipulated much easier than adults.
To find out the best solution for your OSA, or to determine if you suffer from OSA, contact Wall Street Dentistry. We can not only diagnose but effectively treat your OSA. Our dentists will be glad to discuss your options for treatment, as well as any concerns you may have. To schedule a consultation, call Wall Street Dentistry by calling (256) 878-0525. We welcome patients from the Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, AL areas.