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Snoring Sleep Disorder

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Listen to a personal message from Austin sleep apnea treatment dentist, Dr. Tejas Patel. He can provide you with CPAP alternatives, and treat obstructive sleep apnea with a dental appliance.

Snoring and Sleep Disorders & Treatment

  • Do you and your partner sleep in separate rooms due to loud snoring?
  • Do you doze off unintentionally during the day?
  • Do you often wake up feeling tired or having a headache?
  • Do you have problems concentrating for long periods of time?

Snoring can be very disruptive, and may disrupt or even strain your relationships with your spouse, family members or roommates. Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea, in which you actually stop breathing at times during the night, and it can potentially be very serious. The stoppage of breathing can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds per incident, up to nearly 7 minutes over the course of a single night with multiple occurrences.

Sleep apnea is not age specific. It can affect anyone from childhood up to old age. Both men and women can develop sleep apnea, but it is more common to men; particularly middle-age men who are also overweight.

Some general symptoms of sleep apnea or snoring can be waking up tired, even after a full night's sleep, or waking up with a headache. Additionally, some people may feel very sleepy or fall asleep at inappropriate times. Because your sleep is repeatedly interrupted many times during the night, you may never truly get a full night's sleep.

Other symptoms include: instances of irritability, short temper, trouble with concentration or memory, lethargy, anxiety, depression, frequent nightmares and sexual dysfunction. There are also indications that high blood pressure, with the added risk of heart attack and stroke (particularly early morning or during the night) may be attributed to snoring and sleep apnea.

Two Types of Sleep Apnea

There are 2 Main Types of Sleep Apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, the more common form that occurs when throat muscles relax, and central sleep apnea, which occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. Additionally, some people have complex sleep apnea, which is a combination of both.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common of all sleep disorders, not just sleep apnea. There are an estimated 50% of those who suffer from sleep apnea who also have a snoring problem. According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, roughly 38,000 of annual cardiovascular deaths are in some way related to sleep apnea.

Treatment

The treatment for both snoring and sleep apnea falls under three categories: (1) surgical; (2) medical; and (3) dental. Measures such as weight loss, stopping smoking habits and decreasing or eliminating the use of drugs or alcohol should be undertaken. But usually, substantial lifestyle changes are unrealistic for many patients, so other forms of treatment must be considered.

Surgical Approach

Surgical procedures have had recent developments, such as laser surgical techniques for reduction and/or elimination of the uvula and other pharyngeal tissues. A surgical solution offers the patient a chance of relief, but with considerable discomfort. There also remains no guarantee of permanent success when the anatomical changes are irreversible. The surgical approach usually involves removal of a lot of soft tissue, such as the soft palate, tonsils, uvula and some adjacent throat muscles so as to enlarge the opening of the airway.

The disadvantages of the surgical approach are basically the standard risks of the surgical procedure itself. Also, the removed tissue may possibly grow back over time. The surgical approach has proven to be only about 40-50% effective for treating sleep apnea and snoring.

Medical Sleep Appliance

Another treatment for sleep apnea or snoring is a respirator-like device known as a NCPAP (Nasal Continuous Positive Air Pressure). The patient wears a mask which fits over the nose, forming an airtight seal. A hose connects the mask to an air pump near the bedside. A continuous flow of air holds the airway open and relieves the snoring and sleep apnea.

However, complaints of the pump noise, voice changes, skin irritation from the mask, along with general throat dryness, have reduced the patient compliance with this form of treatment. Also, nighttime use of the CPAP appliance is difficult because a restless sleeper may get caught in the hose and may possibly need to get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. Although the CPAP appliance is very effective in treating snoring and sleep apnea, the compliance rate can be fairly low in some cases.

Dental Sleep Appliances Available in Austin, TX at Austin Cosmetic

The American Sleep Disorders Association adopted a resolution, which accepted dental appliance therapy for the treatment for snoring and for mild to even severe cases of sleep apnea, in cases in which the snorer rejects or can't comply with the CPAP.

Studies have shown that advancing the mandible (lower jaw) with dental seep appliances may provide relief from snoring by physically pulling the tongue forward and out of the airway. As simple as this would appear, there are a number of significantly relevant ideas that enter into this picture. An appliance needs to be fabricated that will be worn every night that will not compromise the TMJ, the teeth or the soft tissue. It will be easy to keep bacteria-free and will not disturb your sleep partner, all while remaining comfortable for the wearer.

The appliance that we use which meets all of the criteria that has been mentioned for an ideal appliance is called SomnoDent ® MAS. SomnoDent ® MAS Features and Benefits of the SomnoDent ® MAS include:

  • Permits normal mouth opening and closing
  • Allows speech and drinking
  • Unrestricted tongue space
  • Full lip-seal
  • Easily adjustable
  • Safe and effective
  • Clinically validated
  • Custom-Fit

What is the SomnoDent ® MAS

The SomnoDent ® MAS is a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) that treats mild, moderate and severe OSA by moving the lower jaw slightly forward. This movement tightens the soft tissue and muscles of the upper airway, which prevents obstruction while you sleep. The SomnoDent ® MAS also prevents the tissues of the upper airway from vibrating as air passes over them, which is the major cause of snoring.

The SomnoDent ® MAS is comfortable and easy to wear. The appliance uses the least amount of material possible, reducing bulkiness in the mouth. It is made up of two separately constructed pieces, which allows you to speak, yawn and drink. The design does not limit tongue space which results in a high comfort level with the SomnoDent ® MAS.

Effectiveness (Subheading under SomnoDent ® MAS)

The SomnoDent ® MAS is a highly effective solution, for the majority of patients suffering from OSA. Its exceptional levels of patient acceptance and compliance as well as treatment efficiency are backed by numerous counts of clinical research, which can be found at somnomed.com .

Customization and Durability

The SomnoDent ® MAS is a custom-made appliance with a number of key features that are significant improvements from other oral appliances. Consisting of upper and lower dental plates with a unique patented fin-coupling component, the SomnoDent ® MAS permits normal mouth opening and closing. The appliance also provides adjustable level of lower jaw advancement. This improves the comfort and effectiveness of treatment, as the jaw is moved only as far as is required to treat the condition.

The SomnoDent ® MAS is made from premium materials to ensure durability. Each appliance is manufactured in a FDA registered facility under quality systems designed to meet FDA requirements. Your SomnoDent ® MAS will pass a quality check to guarantee that you are receiving a custom appliance made to your Doctor's specification. The SomnoDent ® MAS comes with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects. However, proper care and maintenance of your appliance should result in a long life of comfortable and effective use.

So You Have a Sleeping Disorder, What Now?

We recommend you go directly to a sleep specialist, such as an ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat) physician. Or we suggest you go to one of our recommended sleep disorders centers and, with the proper physician referral, undergo an overnight sleep study. Through the use of various sophisticated physiological monitors, your heart rate, breathing, brain waves, muscle activity and grinding activity can all be measured and recorded. The results will be analyzed, and the sleep center will then determine if your sleep apnea is mild, moderate or severe, and advise you on the proper courses of further treatment.

What to Expect When You Visit Our Office

Your initial consultation will be complimentary and will consist of reviewing your completed sleep study results and discussing your dental appliance options based on a thorough examination of your teeth, mouth, TMJ and with the possible need for x-rays of your jaw joints. It will also consist of impressions/dental molds and photos, from which you may be fitted with a dental appliance, if chosen to do so.

At your next visit, we will choose an appliance based on our examinations. We will show you how to place the appliance in your mouth, how to care for it and how to use it. We will check with you in a few weeks to make sure you are comfortable with your appliance and wearing it regularly. To ensure that the device is actually effective in treating your snoring or sleep apnea condition, it is possible that we will be referring you back to your physician or sleep specialist for a follow-up sleep lab.

We will then see you at regular intervals several months apart to maintain and to adjust the appliance, when necessary, so that it remains effective.

Schedule an Appointment

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, or if your spouse notices that you have stoppage of breathing, gasps, choking and snorting, then you should be in contact with the appropriate physician and/or sleep specialist. For help in finding the correct sleep specialist in your area to help with these sleeping disorders, you may contact our office for referrals.

If you desire treatment for your snoring or OSA, either as a new patient or as a patient in which all other procedures have failed, and you wish to try a dental sleep appliance, please contact our office. We will work with you, your physician and the sleep center in properly fitting and fabricating your dental appliance. (Add the "Contact Us" or "Schedule al Appointment" link to lead to the contact fields.

Did You Know?

  • If you have OSA, you are twice as likely to die in your sleep and 7 times more likely to have a motor vehicle accident.
  • OSA patients are at a 40% greater risk of having depression,
  • Individuals with OSA are also more likely to have sexual impotence and develop diabetes.
  • 91% of patients reported substantial improvement in sleep quality with the SomnoDent ® MAS.
  • 96% of patients with proven OSA stated that they would like to continue to use the SomnoDent ® MAS.
  • 87 million Americans snore. 40 million Americans are chronic sufferers of sleep disorders. But only 10% have been treated or diagnosed.
  • There are an estimated 18 million, approximately 1 in 15, Americans who suffer from sleep apnea to some degree.
  • 40-80% of stroke victims also suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
  • People with OSA are 4 times more likely to have a heart attack.
  • Patients who have OSA use CPAP for less than five hours per night on average.

Center of Cosmetic & General Dentistry

If you live in Austin, Texas, you really have something to smile about. Dr. Tejas Patel and his team at the Center of Cosmetic & General Dentistry can help you have the healthy and beautiful smile you've always wanted. A highly-trained professional in cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Patel uses the most advanced techniques in the field, and the finest technology.

Dentistry to change your smile and your life

Dr. Patel studied at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies and has years of experience performing a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures and treatments. Dr. Patel can help you restore the life to your smile with porcelain veneers, crowns, tooth whitening, invisible orthodontics, gum contouring, metal-free dentistry and other state-of-the-art treatments.

Our office

You'll notice the difference at as soon as you walk into the Center of Cosmetic & General Dentistry. Everyone on Dr Patel's team treats you as an important guest. Their attitudes are as exceptional as the dental care offered by Dr. Patel. You can relax with music or DVDs during your procedure and enjoy blankets and warm towels. You'll definitely come out smiling.

Discover the difference for yourself at Austin Cosmetic in Lakeway and Downtown Austin, Texas. You'll understand why people are willing to drive from all over Central Texas to experience dentistry as it should be practiced, by Dr. Tejas Patel.

If you're interested in the world-class cosmetic & general dentistry performed in Dr. Patel's office, please schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Patel, through our treatment coordinator. You'll definitely come out smiling!