Sleep Apnea: Why You Should Be Talking To a Qualified Dentist

Posted by

By Hailey Wynne

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is a stoppage or partial stoppage of airflow during sleep. It has
been gaining more attention as a Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder. A very treatable syndrome,
it is estimated that 60% or more of the population suffers from some level of OSA. Many of
these cases are undiagnosed and patients are unaware. Obstructive sleep apnea has been
associated with metabolic, cardiovascular, respiratory, dental and other systemic diseases.

Talking to a Qualified Dentist:

At Dental Arts Group, we screen all patients for signs of possible undiagnosed sleep apnea. At
your next visit, speak to your dentist if you’re having trouble sleeping, snoring, having a severely
dry mouth, and/or pain in your jaw. A qualified dentist will be in close communication and have
a referral system in place with local Sleep Specialists. If you haven’t had a sleep study
completed recently, or ever, your dentist may refer you to a Sleep Physician for a consultation.
The ADA ( American Dental Association) has a policy that “emphasizes that dentists are the only
health care provider with the knowledge and expertise to provide oral appliance therapy for
those individuals with mild or moderate sleep apnea who are intolerant of continuous positive
airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.”

What are my options?

If you have been diagnosed with OSA by a Sleep Specialist, you have options:

1. CPAP: Most Common
The CPAP machine is the go-to option for most specialists. The machine has a mask that
a patient will wear on their face while they sleep, and the air is forced into the nose and
mouth making sure the airway stays open to ensure ample oxygen flow into all airways.
The CPAP works, unfortunately not for everyone. Some common reasons for
non-compliance with a CPAP machine are dry nose and mouth, taking the machine off
in your sleep due to ill-fitting, or feeling suffocated by the mask.

2. Oral Appliance: Portable, Digital, Comfortable.
This device is a second option for patients that are non-compliant with the CPAP for
whatever the reason. This type of treatment prevents the airway from collapsing
by holding the tongue in position or by sliding the patient’s jaw forward so the
patient can breathe while they sleep. There tend to be fewer complaints with this
device when custom fitted and adjusted by a qualified dentist. There are several styles of
this device. A favorite used by Dr. Greg Strait at Dental Arts Group is the distal 3-D
CADCAM. It is lightweight, easy to wear, adjustable, and comes with a full cleaning kit.
Other options for OSA treatment include weight management, positional therapy,
lifestyle changes, and even surgery.

What’s next?

Dental Arts Group Voorhees is fortunate to have a Qualified dentist in our office. Dr. Gregory
Stait is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Our Voorhees location
works closely with specialists in South Jersey and Philadelphia. If you are like many Americans
who snore, suffer from fatigue, or suffer from sleep apnea, we can help.
If you’d like to know more information about our process, please give our office a call at
(856)770-1660 or schedule a no charge consultation online.
We can’t wait to show you how we can help you get healthy and add years on to your life.