Frequently Asked Sleep Apnea Dentistry Questions
Snoring and sleep apnea treatment is a big subject, and it’s understandable that many patients have questions and concerns about what to expect. At Dental Sleep Center North Jersey, our team can provide the answers you need! For added convenience, we’ve compiled many of the FAQs that we hear most often below, along with their respective answers. If you don’t see the information you’re looking for, please contact us directly.
What exactly is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common health disorder where breathing regularly stops for seconds at a time as the patient sleeps. The most common form of sleep apnea is OSA (obstructive sleep apnea), which occurs when soft tissue blocks the patient’s airway and prevents oxygen flow. The other major type is CSA (central sleep apnea), where the brain simply fails to send the proper breathing signals to the rest of the body. Some patients even experience a combination of these two types, which is referred to as complex sleep apnea.
How do I know if I have sleep apnea?
Common symptoms include the following:
· Excessive feelings of daytime exhaustion or fatigue
- Reduced memory and/or ability to concentrate
- Extremely loud and routine snoring
- Struggles with weight gain
- Noticeable mood swings or serious depression
- Regularly waking up with a painful headache and/or sore throat
- Regularly waking up with a gasp or snort
I regularly snore. Does that mean I have sleep apnea?
It’s not a guarantee! Although snoring is one of the most prominent symptoms of untreated sleep apnea, there isn’t a direct correlation in some patients. However, it is important to remember that patients who chronically snore have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea over time. That’s why we sill recommend that you schedule a FREE sleep consultation with Dr. Dawoud so that he can determine if a customized oral appliance can alleviate your snoring habits and prevent the onset of this harmful sleep disorder.
Is oral appliance therapy better than using a CPAP?
There’s no good answer to this question – every patient’s needs are different, and what works best for one person isn’t necessarily the best fit for someone else! If you are currently using a CPAP machine and feeling frustrated by the inconvenience and discomfort, it may be a good time to test our oral appliance therapy as an alternative with Dr. Dawoud’s help. Combined therapy is also a viable option – this technique combines an oral appliance with a CPAP machine on a lower setting for improved compliance and ease of use.
I haven’t been diagnosed with sleep apnea yet. Can I still get an oral appliance?
You can – but only to address chronic snoring. Otherwise, we require our patients to undergo testing and procure a sleep apnea diagnosis before further treatment is available. This can be done by speaking with your family physician, scheduling an appointment with a sleep specialist (ask Dr. Dawoud about a recommendation), or using a take-home testing device that our sleep dentist's office can provide. Once you have received a diagnosis of sleep apnea, our team can get to work on designing the ideal oral appliance.
Does my insurance cover oral appliance therapy?
Most medical insurances do include coverage for oral appliance therapy as it pertains to treating sleep apnea. Insurance is always welcomed here at Dental Sleep Center North Jersey, and our team members work hard each and every day to help patients maximize their deserved benefits! To learn more, please contact us today or visit our new patients page.