Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that causes interruptions with breathing during sleep. When the throat muscles relax too much, gravity pulls your airway closed. This makes it harder to breathe and can cause your body to think you’re being suffocated. When this happens, you suddenly wake up, but not completely. Instead, you fall back to sleep because your airway is open again. As you fall asleep, the airway collapses a little and you have this horrible cycle of sleeping, gasping for air, and falling back to sleep again. At Aventura Dental Center in Aventura, FL, we offer custom night guards as a treatment for OSA. Our seasoned dentist, Dr. David Bistritz, will first conduct a test called the Mallampati to determine if you are a candidate for an oral appliance. Call our dental office today to set up a consultation.
People who suffer from severe sleep apnea are not good candidates for a dental solution. In such cases, a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine may be one of the best options. But there are also people who do not respond to CPAP machines or are not a good candidate for other reasons. So, if you fall into that category or have a mild-to-moderate snoring problem, a dental solution may be just what you need. OSA can be dangerous since it literally prevents you from breathing hundreds of times a night when the tissues in your throat and soft palate collapse. Your airway is blocked when this happens, and no oxygen gets to your organs or brains. So needless to say, it is critical to get it properly diagnosed and treated with the best solutions.
Aventura Dental Center also offers sleep apnea testing to help our patients determine if they are in need of an oral appliance. The sleep testing device can be used at home during your nightly sleep session and results are submitted directly to your physician, who then gives you the approval to receive an oral appliance therapy from your dentist. Sleep apnea is a common health problem that is often left untreated because it is dismissed as severe snoring. While snoring is part of being affected by sleep apnea, patients who suffer from this health problem stop breathing during sleep, resulting in serious health problems if left untreated.
What To Expect
Sleep apnea treatment with Dr. Bistritz at Aventura Dental Center utilizes what is referred to as an oral appliance therapy, which can be a very effective therapy for OSA. It is a custom-made device that fits in your mouth at night. It can be compared to a mouth guard for sports or a retainer. The main difference is instead of guarding your teeth against injury, it gently puts the jaw in a forward position to keep your airway open. There are more than a hundred different models on the market, but Dr. Bistritz will work with you to make sure you get the right one for you. This will come after he conducts an examination of your teeth, jaw, tongue, and airway. You will also have digital x-rays taken so that we can make impressions of your teeth to create your oral appliance.
Once your appliance has been manufactured at a high-tech dental lab, it will be time for a fitting. Aventura Dental Center will contact you for a follow-up appointment. Dr. Bistritz will initially fit it into your mouth and adjust according to your feedback to get it as comfortable as possible. He will also take as much time as you need to help you learn everything about your new snoring/sleep apnea protection: how to store, clean, and maintain it as well as how to wear it on a nightly basis. He will also want you to bring it to your routine check-ups, when you come back every year to check for wear and tear, and if you are having any issues with it. The expectation is that your quality of life will dramatically improve if you properly follow nightly procedures to get some restful sleep.
Plan Your Procedure
Sleep Better and More Soundly
Look at it this way. If you went through every day having your breathing interrupted hundreds of times from your airway being blocked, you wouldn’t waste a second in getting it corrected. But when the same thing happens in your sleep, it can be all too easy to put off since you don’t remember it when you wake up. But those who do not address OSA are much more likely to have memory loss, headaches, depression, and more stroke and heart problems. The devices are well tolerated by most people, and they're lightweight and easy to travel with. If you think it’s time to do something about your sleep apnea, stop by Aventura Dental Center.