Jun 08


Shaquille O’neal was recently diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by a group of doctors at the Harvard Medical School. This video shows Shaq speaking about his condition with his wife and his physicians. It also shows Shaq undergoing a polysomongram, or “sleep study”, and being fitted for a CPAP, continuous positive air pressure, to treat his sleep apnea. Shaq appears to be really receptive to wearing the CPAP, and even jokes about wearing the mask to a nightclub. It’s great to see that he is willing to try to wear the CPAP for his treatment of sleep apnea. CPAP is a wonderful treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, that when worn works almost all of time. However, for many patients, the thought of sleeping while wearing a mask with hoses attached to it does not appeal to them, and many patients refuse to try at all. In many cases, if the patient cannot, or will not wear the CPAP as prescribed by their sleep physician, the sleep physician can refer the patient to a dentist that has been trained in dental sleep medicine. The dentist can create a sleep apnea dental appliance that can be used to successfully treat obstructive sleep apnea. I’m happy to see that Shaq has been so open about his sleep apnea condition and his successful treatment with CPAP. I hope that this will help others seek to have their sleeping and breathing disorders properly diagnosed and treated. Dr. Zach Hodgins of The Dentist’s Studio in Winter Park, Florida has successfully treated many patients that have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and patients that will not wear CPAP, with a dental sleep apnea treatment appliance, sometimes called a dental sleep apnea mouthpiece, or a mandibular advancement device. You can reach Dr. Zach Hodgins at his office in Winter Park, Florida, a suburb of Orlando, Florida by telephone at 407.647.1744, or via the web at www.stopsleepapnea.info .

Mar 14

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My name is Michael and I am in the medical device industry. I live in Lakeland, FL. My travel has me doing aout 250 nights a year around the world. I have been doing to the Dentist’s Studio for almost 2 years now. Dr. Hodgins is a great guy, I mean everyone in the office is very personable. I originally went to his office for a consult on veneers.

My teeth get noticed a lot and he did a great job with those and it is one of the best personal investments I have made in my life.  With my before and afters, if you saw my before you would say it really did change my life.  The veneers and the sleep apnea device, I am pretty perky all the time. Earlier, I went to an Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor (ENT) and at that time it was determined that I had moderate to mild sleep apnea.

I was first offered the CPAP Machine which did not fit my lifestlye due to the amount of travel that I do. Dr. Hodgins suggested the SomnoDent for Sleep Apnea I was right on top of it.  It is easy. They do a mold of your teeth as if you are doing orthodontic work and it goes in easily at night and it carries in a little small case. Fits perfect in my bag.  Travelling as I do ,I am jet lagged and fatigued fomr that most of the tiem. So any good rest I can get I have to grab it. Even if I sleep on the plane, I put my SomnoDent in to get the best sleep I can possibly get.  It helps with my breathing. The numbers that were shown for the pre and post sleep apnea test were through the roof.  My oxygen levels were greatly increased and he was very impressed when he read the numbers off of it and so was I. I didn’t have to see the numbers, I could feel it.

When I wake up now, I am rested, I feel invigorated, I sleep better at night, and my says I don’t snore anywhere near the level I used to.

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Oct 25

Sleeping and breathing disorders, i.e. sleep apnea, snoring, etc., are not only dangerous for your overall health, but they can also destroy your marriage. According to the 2005 National Sleep Foundation survey, 23% of couples that have a partner that snores sleep in separate beds, bedrooms, or on the couch, another 8% have altered their sleep schedules to account for their snoring partner, 7% wear earplugs to drown out the noise from snoring, 38% say that snoring is causing a problem with their relationship, and 27% said that it is affecting their intimate relationships.

So as you can see from this study, it’s critical for your relationship and your health to stop snoring. Many times snoring can be a sign of a far more dangerous health problem, namely obstructive sleep apnea. If you snore it is important to see your physician for a consultation and most likely a sleep study in a sleep laboratory, also called a polysomnogram (PSG).

Whether it is snoring or obstructive sleep apnea as a diagnosis, patients that snore can be helped by either by wearing a CPAP, or by using an oral appliance made by a dentist. The oral appliance, also called a mandibular advancement splint, moves the lower jaw forward eliminating the soft tissue obstruction of the airway, and hence the snoring is also silenced.

Dr. Zach Hodgins of the Dentist’s Studio in Winter Park,FL, offers help to those that snore and those that have obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Hodgins can be reached for consultation at 407.647.1744 or www.dentiststudio.com

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Oct 19

SUAD Dental Sleep Apnea Appliance

The SUAD™ Device is a dental sleep apnea mouthpiece, otherwise known as a mandibular advancement appliance, that is used by dentists to treat obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. The SUAD™ Device is most effective when treating patients that snore, have mild – moderate obstructive sleep apnea, or cannot sleep while wearing a CPAP.

SUAD™ Device is a heavy duty mandibular advancement device that can withstand the heavy, destructive forces of bruxism, i.e. teeth clenching and grinding, that most often accompanies obstructive sleep apnea.

The SUAD™ Device is a fully adjustable dental sleep apnea appliance that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. It is custom fitted to each patient and fabricated in a dental lab.

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and clench and grind your teeth, then the SUAD™ Device may be the best dental sleep apnea splint for you. Dr. Zach Hodgins, a dentist in Orlando, FL uses the SUAD™ Device to treat sleep apnea patients in his Winter Park, FL office. Call 407.647.1744 or visit www.DentistStudio.com today to arrange for a consultation appointment.

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Oct 18

A Tongue Retaining Device is yet another type of dental sleep apnea appliance that is used to treat patients that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Since the main culprit in obstructive sleep apnea is a large tongue falling into the back of the mouth and obstructing the airway, a Tongue Retaining Device is an excellent choice to resolve the airway obstruction. The “TRD” is made from a flexible rubberized material that adapts to the contours of the teeth and dental arches. Unlike almost all of the other dental sleep mouthpieces that are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, the tongue retaining device does not depend on teeth for retention. Instead, the tongue is held fin a more forward position by the suction that is created within the vacuum bulb in the front of the appliance.

For many patients this is a viable option to help with their sleep apnea problem, however it really comes down to personal preference. Dr. Zach Hodgins, a dentist in Orlando, FL that treats patients that have obstructive sleep apnea and patients that have a CPAP and cannot wear it. If you or your loved one suffers from this deadly condition, consult with your physician or a dentist that has been trained in dental sleep medicine. Dr. Zach Hodgins office works closely with local sleep physicians, pulmonologists, and neurologists to help patients with their sleeping and breathing disorders. Dr. Zach Hodgins is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr Hodgins is also an active member of the I Hate CPAP campaign. I Hate CPAP is a nationwide campaign that helps promote sleeping and breathing disorder awareness and encourages treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Dr. Hodgins practice is located on the border of Orlando, in Winter Park, FL; he is available for consultation at 407.647.1744. His websites www.DentistStudio.com , http://www.orlando.ihatecpap.com , and www.StopSleepApnea.info are fantastic sources of information on sleep apnea and the treatments that are available.

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Oct 16

Somnomed Sleep Apnea AppliancesThe SomnoDent® MAS is an oral sleep apnea appliance that is used to treat patients that have obstructive sleep apnea. It has a number of features that make it a very popular choice. It is a two piece appliance that is fully adjustable to allow further forward movement to allow for greater airway opening. The dental sleep appliance also has two guidance wings that allow the patient to fully open their mouth, drink water, yawn, without having to remove the appliance.

The SomnoDent® comes in 3 different styles, the acrylic version, the Flex version, and the edentulous. The acrylic version of the Somnodent sleep appliance was their first design. It is rugged and durable and is very effective. The flex version has a comfortable inner surface that molds to the teeth, and a hard acrylic outer portion for strength. Finally the edentulous model is designed for people that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea that wear an upper denture.

The Somnodent is also fairly small in size. So, it allows for the patient to close their mouth fully; it also cuts down on excessive salivation and dribbling of saliva, which are common side effects from oral sleep apnea appliances.

Dr. Zach Hodgins uses the Somnodent sleep apnea appliance to successfully treat patients that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea in his Orlando, FL dental practice. If you wear a CPAP and hate it, call 407.647.1744 for an appointment and be sure to check out his practice website @ www.DentistStudio.com.

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Oct 14

In the next few posts I’ll be reviewing some of the different dental sleep apnea appliances that are used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. These dental sleep apnea appliances are also called mandibular advancement devices, dental sleep apnea mouth pieces, mandibular advancement sleep apnea splints. In essence, they all do basically the same thing. They advance the mandible (the lower jaw) forward.   The differences are in the design and patient comfort.  Since the tongue is connected to the mandible, this forward  movement opens the airway and allows the sleep apnea patient to breathe better. The sleep apnea dental appliance can be used alone, or in combination with a cpap, or pap device. This later is called combination sleep apnea therapy.

In this post I will highlight one of the most widely used dental sleep apnea appliances, the TAP 3.According to the inventor of the appliance, Dr. Thornton, there are approximately 7,000 dentists worldwide that are prescribing the appliance for their patients that suffer with sleep apnea.

As far as the design is concerned, it is quite simple. It consists of an upper and lower acrylic appliance, that connects the upper and lower jaws through a hook and socket mechanism. One of the features that I like the best is the ability to have the patient adjust the appliance themselves. There is a small dial on the front of the lower appliance that allows the patient, dentist, or physician to adjust the appliance as needed. I jokingly call this dial the volume control, because if the patient is snoring the patients husband or wife can adjust the appliance to quite the snoring.

The TAP3 is best used for patients that have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It is also used successfully for people that are CPAP intolerant. If you fit into either one of these categories please seek guidance from your physician or dentist. Dr. Zach Hodgins practices dentistry in Orlando, FL and has successfully treated many patients with dental sleep apnea appliances. If you need assistance with your sleep apnea treatment, and or you are unhappy with your CPAP please contact Dr. Zach Hodgins‘ office at 407.647.1744

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Mar 18

Car AccidentWhat role does Obstructive Sleep Apnea play in driving drowsy?
Recently there’s been a lot of talk about the dangers of text messaging while driving. While extremely dangerous, I believe that there is another aspect of driving that is even more frightening. It involves falling asleep at the wheel and getting into an automobile accident. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2008 Sleep in America™ poll, the odds a driver 18 or older has ever nodded off or fallen asleep while driving are 1 in 2.78. And the odds a licensed adult has had an accident or near-accident due to drowsiness in the past year are 1 in 50.

What is the cause of being overly sleepy? Many point to the increased workloads at school and at work, increased amounts of stress at the job. I would like to bring up the ever increasing problem with weight that has hit America, and consequently the increased prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder that involves a collapse of the upper airway. This results in a decreased amount of oxygen that is available for the body to use. Several of my other blog posts have dealt with the signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. So, I won’t cover it again here.

What can we do to combat the ever increasing problem of drowsy driving?

I think that one really needs to pay close attention to the quality and quantity of sleep. If you sleep with someone else, you can ask that person if he/she ever notices if you snore or stop breathing while sleeping. If you have any of the signs or symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, see a physician that is well versed in treating people that have sleeping and breathing disorders. If you feel too tired to drive, don’t do it. Take a cab, have someone else drive instead, or go back to sleep. It’s far better than killing yourself or someone else.

From a national perspective, the toll from drowsy driving accidents is enormous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver fatigue causes at least 100,000 crashes reported to the police annually, resulting in about 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries each year.

If you live in the Orlando, Florida area visit Dr. Zach Hodgins of Winter Park,FL 407.647.1744. www.DentistStudio.com. He is a dentist that treats patients that have been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. He also treats patients that have severe sleep apnea and cannot tolerate a CPAP. The treatment involves making a custom fitted sleep apnea mouthpiece.

Mar 13

How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosed and treated with a mouthpiece?

Sleep Studies Comments Off on How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea diagnosed and treated with a mouthpiece?

How is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) diagnosed?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition. It is a condition that is characterized by a person’s inability to breath when sleeping. This is due to a person’s airway being obstructed, usually by the base of the tongue or by the excessive soft tissue of the throat. Obstructive sleep apnea varies in severity, but is considered dangerous at any level. It must be diagnosed by a physician. Diagnosis is based on the results of an overnight sleep study, called a Polysomnogram (PSG). A PSG is usually carried out in a sleep center. Today the sleep centers resemble a nice hotel. These centers are readily available throughout the United States. When undergoing the PSG, or sleep study, several factors are being evaluated. These include: the level of oxygen in the blood, blood pressure, pulse rate, snoring sound levels, body positioning, and the stages of sleep. Once a proper diagnosis has been made the sleep physician will make a recommendation for the appropriate treatment. These treatments may include the use of a CPAP, or a sleep apnea mouthpiece that is made by a qualified dentist. The sleep apnea mouthpiece may be used for people that suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. A dental sleep apnea mouthpiece can also be used for those patients that can’t wear a CPAP for whatever reason. The dental sleep apnea mouth piece holds the lower jaw in a more forward position. This helps to open the airway and allows the patient to breath easier. A CPAP is the gold standard for patients that have obstructive sleep apnea, especially for those patients that suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea. However, many patients cannot tolerate the use of a CPAP. These reasons vary from the noise that the mask makes as air leaks from around the mask, to the feeling of being confined and claustrophobic. Many patients also report that the CPAP makes it difficult for their partner to sleep in the same room. Nevertheless, I still recommend that my patients follow their physicians instructions, and at least try their very best to use their CPAP. If they still cannot tolerate it, then I will make them a sleep apnea mouthpiece.

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Mar 05

Dr Zach Hodgins will attend the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine’s Annual Conference held on June 4th – 6th 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. Topics covered during the educational session will include:

The Effect of Mouthpiece Use During Exercise on Cortisol, Lactate and Airway Openings
Speaker: Dena Garner, PhD,

Combination Therapy: When Oral Appliances meet CPAP
Speaker: Ronald Prehn, DDS

Marketing the Dental Sleep Medicine Practice: Aa New Direction for 2010 and Beyond
Speaker: Laurence Barsh, DMD

Clinical Management of Oral Appliance Therapy: Titration, Teeth and the TMJ
Speaker: James Metz, DDS

Improvements in Neurocognitive Function and Heart Rate Variability with Oral Appliance Therapy
Speaker: Djordje Popovik, MD, PhD

Treating Mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea with CPAP vs Oral Appliances: A Literature Review
Speaker: Jonathan Parker, DDS

Measuring Sleep: Using Monitors and Iimaging in the Dental Sleep Medicine Practice
Speaker: John Remmers, MD

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