Arizona Biltmore Dentistry offers sleep apnea screenings and oral appliance therapy in Phoenix. If you suspect that you could have a sleeping disorder—such as obstructive sleep apnea—or struggle with snoring, a specially-fitted oral appliance could be the best alternative to CPAP therapy.
Whether you’re early on in the sleeping disorder diagnosis process, or you’ve been struggling with a CPAP for years, Arizona Biltmore Dentistry encourages you to consider a less-cumbersome alternative: oral sleep apnea appliance therapy.
Sleep Apnea Treatments Options
Is a CPAP machine the only treatment option available for sleeping disorders? It depends on the type of sleep apnea you have. Certain types of sleep-disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are related to airway blockage near the back of the throat and upper airway. As such, symptoms of OSA can be managed with other types of medical appliances outside of conventional CPAP therapy.
Oral sleep appliances are a classic example. These FDA-approved medical sleep devices are worn in the mouth, instead of sleeping with a machine on your bedside table. Oral appliance therapy uses a special type of device that positions your mandible (lower jaw) in a slightly forward position, which helps to eliminate airway blockage caused by soft tissues in the back of your throat. It works specifically with OSA, as it addresses areas like the tonsils, tongue, soft palate, and upper airway.
Since oral appliances are a type of medical sleep device, they can be prescribed by sleep specialists but can only be delivered by specially trained sleep dentistry providers.
What are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
Certain types of sleeping disorders present themselves in various ways. Obstructive sleep apnea is a classic example. Some of the most common sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Worn, flat teeth (from clenching your teeth while you sleep)
- Broken dental work
- Large neck circumference
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Muscle pain through the neck, shoulders, and back
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
- High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease
Unmanaged sleep apnea can significantly increase your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, warning signs are not always obvious. For instance, snoring may or may not be a symptom of sleep apnea or present in people with clinical sleeping disorders.
What to Expect During a Sleep Apnea Screening
If you’re early on in the sleep apnea diagnosis process, our Phoenix sleep dentistry team will begin your visit with a thorough screening. We’ll check for oral symptoms of sleep apnea and conduct a thorough medical review. Depending on your risk factors, we may want to discuss ordering a home sleep study for you to have your sleeping patterns evaluated without a trip to an overnight sleep lab. These home-based sleep studies monitor your respiration, pulse, oxygen saturation, and stages of sleep. Then, they’re interpreted by a licensed medical specialist who can diagnose the appropriate category of sleeping disorder, if applicable.
As an experienced sleep dentistry provider, Arizona Biltmore Dentistry can facilitate screening, testing, and treatment for conditions like obstructive sleep apnea. Although a physician may be able to prescribe an oral appliance alternative to CPAP, only a dentist trained in sleep medicine can fulfill the prescription for such medical devices. Why? Because they significantly impact the function and placement of your oral anatomy. Working closely with our Phoenix dentist can help you have access to CPAP alternatives you didn’t know were available.
Cost and Insurance
Most sleep apnea therapies are covered by insurance. But if you’re working with a sleep dentistry team, not all dentists accept or file the same types of insurance. Some only work with certain carriers. Arizona Biltmore Dentistry works closely with your carriers to help you maximize the coverage included in your dental benefits package. By facilitating access to streamlined claims processing, we’re able to help you reduce your out-of-pocket costs as they relate to oral sleep appliance therapy.