Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep Therapy Dentist In San Antonio, TX
Millions of Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing periodically throughout the night for several seconds due to physical obstruction of the airway.
With OSA, the muscles in your mouth and throat relax during sleep to the point that tissues from the soft palate (roof of your mouth) fall back into the upper airway and block the flow of incoming oxygen. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to adverse side effects such as high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, increased risk of diabetes, or even death.
Only a sleep medicine physician or primary care doctor can diagnose sleep apnea. Once you have made an appointment with your doctor, you can download and complete the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and bring it to your doctor’s office to be scored. You should also have your bed partner complete the Bed Partner/Sleep Observer Scale.
While doctors recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy – which delivers a steady stream of pressurized air through a mask into one’s respiratory system – as a treatment for sleep apnea, not all patients are comfortable with this form of therapy, which can result in dry nasal passages, skin irritation from masks, difficulty tolerating the pressurized air, or feelings of claustrophobia. For these patients, an oral dental appliance may be a better option.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
At Shebah Dental, we offer oral appliance therapy using MAD-FIT™, a custom-fit mandibular advancement device (MAD) for the treatment of sleep apnea. Oral appliances are worn inside the mouth, similar to a retainer or mouth guard. They work by pushing the lower jaw and tongue slightly forward, helping prevent throat muscles from collapsing back into the airways while allowing for normal breathing while you sleep.
MAD-FIT oral appliances can be used as first-line therapy for patients with mild-to-moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or for those with severe OSA that cannot tolerate CPAP. They can also be used in conjunction with CPAP.
While off-the-shelf oral appliances are available, they cannot be custom fit and may not effectively treat sleep apnea. To optimize results, it’s important to use an adjustable MAD. Getting the right fit typically involves a time-consuming trial-and-error process that requires several visits to the dentist.
However, MAD-FIT oral appliances utilize a predictive algorithm that determines the ideal and most comfortable jaw position for an oral appliance for effective airway management of OSA in a single office visit. Patients appreciate the simplicity, comfort, convenience, and effectiveness of oral appliance therapy with MAD-FIT.
Learn more about obstructive sleep apnea and MAD-FIT from the resources below.
- APP-NEA / MAD-FIT Brochure 1
- APP-NEA / MAD-FIT Brochure 2
- Oral Appliance Information
- Sleep Apnea Treatment
- Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)
Shebah Dental is part of the APP-NEA network of MAD-FIT certified dentists. We treat patients of all ages coping with sleep apnea, tailoring the device to your specific oral anatomy and sleep comfort needs. For more information about this life-saving treatment, call our office at (210) 448-1000 to arrange a consultation or request an appointment online.