Snoring and sleep apnea are sleep-related breathing disorders that can have serious health consequences if left untreated. Here's how dentistry is involved:

Oral Appliance Therapy

Desired Smiles is highly knowledgeable in dental sleep medicine. Our professionals can prescribe and fit oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) or mandibular repositioning devices (MRDs). These custom-made devices are designed to reposition the lower jaw and tongue to help keep the airway open during sleep. They are often used as a treatment option for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or as an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Assessment and Diagnosis

Dentists may work closely with sleep physicians to assess and diagnose sleep apnea and snoring. They can perform thorough evaluations of the oral and craniofacial structures to determine if anatomical factors are contributing to the sleep disorder.

Patient Education

Dentists can educate patients about the risk factors and consequences of untreated sleep apnea and snoring. They can also provide information on lifestyle modifications, including weight management, alcohol and tobacco cessation, and positional therapy, which may help alleviate symptoms.

Treatment Planning

Dentists, in collaboration with sleep specialists, develop comprehensive treatment plans tailored to the specific needs of the patient. This may involve a combination of therapies, such as lifestyle changes, oral appliances, and in some cases, surgical intervention.

Follow-up and Monitoring

Dentists who provide oral appliance therapy typically monitor their patients to ensure the devices are effective and comfortable. Adjustments may be made to the appliance if needed to optimize its function.

Referral to Sleep Specialists

Dentists may refer patients to sleep specialists for further evaluation, especially in cases of moderate to severe sleep apnea where CPAP therapy or surgical interventions may be more appropriate.

Continuous Care

Dentists play a crucial role in the long-term management of snoring and sleep apnea. Regular follow-up appointments are essential to assess the patient's progress and adjust treatment as necessary.

It's important to note that the choice of treatment for snoring and sleep apnea depends on the severity of the condition and the individual's preferences and medical history. Dentists who specialize in dental sleep medicine work alongside sleep physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for patients with sleep-related breathing disorders.