Is a dental device comfortable?

Most people easily adjust to wearing a dental sleep device at night. After a short period of wearing the device it becomes part of your routine. In fact, most Dental Sleep Pros clients hate to go to sleep without it after experiencing how much better they feel during the day. Compliance rates for dental sleep therapy are much higher than other forms of non-surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea such as the CPAP machine. This means that patients are more likely to use a dental device successfully than any other form of treatment.

Scientific studies show that up to 95% of individuals comfortably wear their devices nightly. Once patients experience higher quality sleep and improved health associated with use of a dental device, it is rare for someone to stop using it.

Do I need a Sleep Test? What is involved?

To properly diagnose Obstructuve Sleep Apnea (OSA) or other forms of sleep disordered breathing a sleep test is necessary. Sleep tests uses sensors placed on the body to measure breathing functions including breathing, blood oxygen saturation, respiratory effort, body position, and brain activity.

Traditionally sleep tests have been conducted by an attended study in a sleep facility. These attended studies are called Polysomnographs (PSG) and have been used for many years for the diagnosis of sleep disorder breathing, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and other sleeping disorders.

Polysomnograph (PSG)

The advantage to a Polysomnograph (PSG) test is that it usually measures many different bodily systems (such as EEG for brain activity), and often measures more unique body signals than Home Sleep Testing (HST). These additional measurements may give physicians more information to help with diagnosis. Since these tests are constantly monitored by technicians, if there is equipment malfunction during the night, such as a sensor coming loose, it can be addressed immediately without having to repeat the test. Also, if CPAP is used during the PSG it can be applied and adjusted by the technicians while the patient is sleeping.

The disadvantages to the Polysomnograph (PSG) are convenience, costs, access to care, and quality of sleep during the test. You must travel to a sleep lab to have the sleep test, and the test is often very expensive.  It is obviously more desirable and easier to have a sleep test completed in the comfort of your own home. Patients are also less likely to have a typical night’s sleep in a sleep lab (compared to sleeping in your own home). PSG testing can be expensive, whether or not you have medical insurance.

Home Sleep Test (HST)

In 2009 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine approved home testing for the diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Most of our patients choose the Home Sleep Testing (HST) due to the convenience and affordability. You follow simple instructions to attach and wear the device overnight in the comfort of your own home. After returning the device a board certified sleep specialist will interpret the 4 channels of information to provide the results and give a diagnosis.

Home Sleep Tests measure fewer channels than a full PSG, which could potentially result in less accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, CPAP adjustment is not possible with home sleep testing unless an Auto-PAP device is utilized. If the home sleep device is not properly placed on the patient, or if it comes off during sleep, then the test may have to be repeated.

Dental Sleep Pros partners with local sleep testing providers to give you the best options in evaluating your sleep. Dr. Waterman will help you decide what type of sleep testing is right for you and your unique situation.

What is a Sleep Dental Device? How does it help me sleep?

Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) are the most common type of FDA approved dental sleep device. They are also sometimes called oral appliances or simply dental devices. Mandibular advancement devices open the airway by moving the lower jaw forward. The sleep dental device improves and strengthens the rigidity of the airway by increasing muscle activity of the tongue and other muscles of the airway allowing air to flow from your mouth to your lungs. A dental sleep device looks similar to a sports mouth guard and can be comfortably worn in the mouth during sleep. Dental devices help prevent snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Most people find these devices much more comfortable than CPAP (the other primary treatment for OSA and snoring) and far less invasive.

Is there an alternative to a CPAP machine?

A CPAP is a great tool to help you breathe during sleep and is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep breathing disorders. For some people who are CPAP intolerant wearing a CPAP is too uncomfortable or noisy to be a long term solutions.
A partial list of the most common patient complaints from CPAP:

  • Mask leaks
  • An inability to get the mask to fit properly
  • Discomfort or interrupted sleep caused by the presence of the device
  • Noise from the device disturbing sleep or bed partner’s sleep
  • CPAP restricted movements during sleep
  • CPAP does not seem to be effective
  • Pressure on the upper lip causes tooth related problems
  • Latex allergy
  • Claustrophobic associations
  • An unconscious need to remove the CPAP apparatus at night

These patient concerns about CPAP therapy are very real and often difficult, if not impossible, to overcome.
If you’ve tried everything and hate your CPAP machine a dental sleep device from Dental Sleep Pros may be the solution to breathe better at night without some of the side effects of CPAP therapy.

Call 813-642-6612 to see if a dental sleep device is right for you

Is dental device therapy covered by my medical insurance?

In many situations the cost of dental sleep therapy is covered or supplemented by medical insurance (not dental insurance). Dental Sleep Pros will submit the paperwork to help you obtain your maximum medical benefits. By minimizing cost and maximizing patient benefit you will be able to sleep better while saving money.