Sleep Apnea, CPAP or not ?
80% of people with sleep apnea don't know they have the problem.
Many times it is never asked of the person if they have trouble with snoring ,sleeping, sleepiness ect. I don't think most MD's have a standard of asking about it unless the person might be obese. As dentist we can notice if the patient has a large soft palate, problems breathing through their nose, a large tongue that might contribute to sleep apnea. A simple screening test can be given also which is available on the website DanielHuigensDDS.com/ sleep apnea.
CPAP is the gold standard for treating sleep apnea and most people are aware of this contraption and how it looks. I think just looking at it you wonder how you could wear it and sleep with it on. Many people can't or end up eventually not wearing it (83% ) after 5 years.
Dentists can't diagnose sleep apnea only a sleep medicine M.D. can after sleep studies are done. But, Dentist are the only ones that can provide treatment of an oral appliance instead of a CPAP machine. Some patients may not be referred to a dentist if they can't or don't use a CPAP and it is unfortunate. OAT therapy (oral appliance therapy) is much more acceptable to some patients as it is easier to use and more comfortable. It can take time to get CPAP approved and an OAT should be used until a CPAP is acquired.
There are many different types of oral appliances but they all help pull the lower jaw forward to open up the airway. Once sleep apnea has be diagnosed then and an oral appliance can be made and covered by insurance, mostly medical insurance.
Although without a diagnosis or the patient had been diagnosed but no treatment was done and dentist can still make an appliance but may not be covered by insurance and these can get expensive but really the appliance themselves shouldn't cost more that around $1500.00 , some are much cheaper.
Please call our office at 909 593 3551 and or get info at DanielHuigensDDS.com
for more information and a free consultation appointment.