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.

Tagged with:
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.

Tagged with:
Jan 29

Somnodent Mandibular Advancement AppliancePeople that have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea will benefit the most from using an oral appliance made by a dentist. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the gold standard for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). However, many people cannot tolerate a CPAP. The reasons include the CPAP being to bulky and cumbersome, the CPAP mask leaking, dry mouth and nose, skin irritation, and annoying their bed partner with a noisy CPAP machine. An oral appliance can also be used to treat people that suffer from severe obstructive sleep apnea that are CPAP intollerant. A dentist that has been trained to treat patients that suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea can fabricate an oral appliance. The process is simple and painless, and can be completed in as little as two visits. Follow up is critical, as the appliance should be adjusted according to objective results obtained from a follow up sleep study. One should seek out a dentist that owns a portable sleep monitor like the Watch-Pat 200 or the Ares. This will reduce the expense and hassle involved with multiple sleep studies done in a sleep lab. I do recommend a final sleep study to be conducted in a sleep lab, once the appliance has been properly adjusted.

Tagged with:
Jan 27

Obstructive sleep apnea is a deadly medical problem that is becoming more prevelant. In recent years, dentists have become an integral part of the team approach in the treatment of obstructive slee apnea. This is due to several realsons. First, dentists see their patients on a more regular basis than their physician collegues. Second, dentists have been trained extensively in the anatomy and physiology of the airway. This knowledge is essential in the recognition of the signs and symptoms of sleeping and breathing disorders, namely obstructive sleep apnea. Upon recognition, dentists can refer their patients to the appropriate sleep physician or sleep center for a proper diagnosis. Lastly, dentists are skilled in the fabrication of appliances that can treat obstructive sleep apnea. These appliances work very well when treating patients that have been diagnosed with mild-moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The appliances can also be used to treat patients that cannot wear their CPAP.

Tagged with:
Jan 14

Driving a commercial truck is without a doubt one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. I read an article recently that called the occupation a “sweatshop on wheels”. The author noted that many truckers are forced to go from one job to another, often driving straight through the night with little to no sleep. When you couple that with the sedentary nature of the job, the result is usually a trucker that is overweight and fatigued. In a recent study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (March 2009), Philip Parks, MD, MPH said, “It is well-known that obesity, a leading risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea, is on the rise in the United States. Truck drivers with sleep apnea have up to a 7-fold increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.”

Tagged with:
Oct 15

man laying down wearing cpapI have recently joined the I HATE CPAP campaign. It is designed to spread the word about the effectiveness of oral appliances in treating mild to moderate sleep apnea, and for those patients that cannot tolerate their CPAP. In other words, they HATE CPAP…. Don’t get me wrong. CPAP is the GOLD STANDARD for the treatment of sleep apnea. However, if the patient is not wearing their CPAP at all, they are putting themselves at great risk for a major health event. So, a great alternative is an oral appliance that can be made by an experienced dentist that has the proper training for treating these patients. Check out my new website for more info. Also, if you know of someone that is having a problem wearing their CPAP, please share this information with them. It could save their life!!!

Tagged with: