sleep apnea

How to Treat Sleep Apnea

sleep apneaSummerlin, Las Vegas, and Henderson Nevada

When treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there are a variety of methods that can be used. Las Vegas dentist Dr. Matthew Wilson will perform a thorough evaluation and determine the severity of your sleep apnea before proceeding with the best course of action for you. Here, you will find out why Inspire Dental of Summerlin does not recommend the CPAP for treating sleep apnea, and why we think that a custom-made oral appliance yields better results.

Why we do not recommend CPAP

Most people who have heard about sleep apnea automatically relate it to the CPAP. This device forces air through the nose via a mask that is worn over the face while sleeping.

The CPAP (continuous positive airflow pressure) machine has been the gold standard treatment for sleep apnea, but studies have shown that the CPAP may not be the most convenient method of treating this sleep-breathing disorder.

The CPAP has been proven an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea but is not tolerated by many of its users. In fact, about half of all CPAP users quit using their machine within months of beginning treatment.

Common complaints with CPAP include:

  • Discomfort from the mask and head straps
  • Irritates the skin or causes rashes
  • Dries out the mouth and throat
  • Noisy machine interrupts sleep
  • Disrupts partner’s sleep due to noise
  • Interferes with intimacy
  • Embarrassing to use when staying overnight somewhere else
  • Cumbersome and inconvenient when traveling
  • Ongoing maintenance of machine that is inconvenient
  • Restricts movement while sleeping

The perils of untreated OSA

Studies indicate that many CPAP users throw in the towel on using their breathing machine within months of beginning treatment. Why? Simply the discomfort and inconvenience are enough to make anyone give up on using a CPAP, although leaving your sleep apnea untreated poses some serious health consequences.

There are currently an estimated 23 million adults in America that have OSA. Yet many suffer in silence because they would rather not use a CPAP machine. Unfortunately, the risks of this decision are high, because studies have linked untreated OSA to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and even death.

What if there was a way to treat your OSA in a comfortable, and convenient manner? At Inspire Dental of Summerlin, we offer sleep apnea treatment options to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliances are mandibular advancement devices that can be custom designed to fit each patient. Usually, these mouthpieces are adjustable and can be adjusted to suit your changing needs for sleep apnea treatment. These custom-made oral appliances are far more effective than the over-the-counter version you can find in most stores or online.

Since our oral appliances are made specifically to fit each patient individually, you can wear the mouthpiece comfortably all night long. Plus, oral appliance therapy has a much higher compliance rate than the CPAP.

Benefits of oral appliance therapy to treat OSA:

  • Effective treatment – Oral appliance therapy is as effective as the CPAP but without the hassle of a noisy, uncomfortable machine! The oral appliances offered by Inspire Dental of Summerlin are FDA approved, and many insurance companies will pay for this type of treatment.
  • Low-maintenance – An oral appliance is easy to clean, and usually just brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and mild soap is enough to keep it clean. Also, it travels well and is small enough to stow away in your purse or briefcase.
  • Quiet – OSA sufferers lose, on average, about an hour of sleep per night, and sometimes more for severe cases. Although the CPAP puts an end to snoring, the noisy machine can seem just as bad. In contrast, an oral appliance can minimize the instances of snoring and makes no sound of its own.
  • Comfort – Custom made oral appliances are comfortable, and allow the patient to sleep in their desired sleeping position that is most comfortable. A CPAP limits movement while sleeping.

The Process

For your custom made oral appliance, we will need to take impressions of your mouth and bite, as well as gather diagnostic data such as digital x-rays and measurements of your mouth. This information is sent to the lab and is used to fabricate your oral appliance.

You will return to our office at a later visit, usually within about two weeks, to receive your oral appliance. The dentist will ensure the oral appliance fits properly and will make any necessary adjustments to ensure your jaw and bite remains in proper alignment to facilitate an open airway.

Follow-up Care

You may need to return to our office periodically to have your oral appliance adjusted or inspected by Dr. Wilson to ensure it is working as it should. Also, you will be provided instructions on how to clean and care for your new oral appliance to preserve its longevity and effectiveness.

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Summerlin

To learn more about treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, contact our office by calling (702) 331-4700 to schedule a consultation.

Inspire Dental of Summerlin welcomes patients of Henderson, Las Vegas, and Summerlin, Nevada.