Mar 14

object width=”560″ height=”349″>

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.

Tagged with:
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.

Tagged with:
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:
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

Tagged with:
Mar 03

In my dental practice, I treat patients that suffer from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These conditions are treated in my office in Winter Park, FL by using a dental sleep apnea appliance. During every new patient examination, I screen my patients for these conditions. This involves asking questions regarding the quality of their sleep, examining their airway, and observing physical characteristics such as neck size and the weight of the patient. It’s always amazing to me that the most common comment that I hear is, “You know what? No one has ever asked me these questions, especially a dentist.” I think that sleeping and breathing disorders are being widely overlooked by the medical profession as a whole, and that a serious effort to screen and treat patients that suffer from snoring and obstructive sleep apnea needs to be put forth. At the very least, dentists and physicians should ask their patients if they snore, and if they don’t know, ask their spouse. It is such an easy thing to do, and this can have such a tremendous effect on the lives of so many people.

Tagged with:
Mar 01

We recently had a family member from out of town visit us here in Winter Park, FL this past week. Winter Park is located right outside of Orlando, FL. As always, it was so good to see him and catch up with what’s new in his life. As the week went on, I noticed that whenever we were watching TV and relaxing, that he would fall asleep while seated. He would snore, and even visibly stop breathing for long periods of time. When he would sleep at night i could hear him snore very loudly as well. The next day I spoke to him about my observations and mentioned that he was exhibited quite a few signs and symptoms of having obstructive sleep apnea. I mentioned to him that his neck was greater than 17 inches in diameter, he was overweight, he snored, and that he stopped breathing on several occasions that I witnessed. He has excessive daytime sleepiness as well. I told him that obstructive sleep apnea can kill you. It raises the chance of having a heart attack by 6 times that of healthy person. The same goes for having a stroke. You are 6 times more likely to have a stroke if you have obstructive sleep apnea. So, I recommended that he have a sleep study done. I have a Watch Pat 200, which is a home sleep monitor that is approved by the FDA. It measures total sleep time, pulse rate, body position, snoring volume, time in each phase of sleep, blood oxygen saturation, desaturation events, and calculates the 3 sleep indices. He took the test that night, and I uploaded his results to a sleep physician’s site for the sleep doctor to read the study and diagnose his condition. It turned out that he has severe obstructive sleep apnea. He stopped breathing 271 TIMES during one nights sleep!!! Can you imagine holding your breath 271 times in one night and getting a good nights sleep? No wonder he was falling asleep so often during the day. He was exhausted and didn’t even know it. This is so dangerous, and why automobile accidents that involve people that have sleep apnea are such a problem. Since he has severe obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep doctor recommended a CPAP to treat his apnea. He will give the CPAP a try, and if he can’t tolerate the CPAP, I can always make him a dental sleep apnea appliance here in Orlando, FL. I am strongly encouraging him to use the CPAP, as it is the best treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea. I’m just so happy that he came to Winter Park, FL to visit, and that I was able to observe his problem. I’m sure that I saved his life! If you know someone that snores or stops breathing when they sleep, you owe it to them to educate them on the dangers of sleep apnea. They should see their physician to discuss this problem and come up with a solution for their sleep problem. You cold save the life of someone you love!

Tagged with:
Feb 28

Obese PicThe new year has begun and already the New Year’s Resolutions of losing weight and adopting a healthier lifestyle are beginning to fade. I can see it in the decrease in the amount of people that frequent my local healthclub. They started out with a bang, but are now starting to fizzle. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), obesity in adults has increased by 60% within the past twenty years and obesity in children has tripled in the past thirty years. An alarming 33% of American adults are obese and obesity-related deaths have climbed to more than 300,000 a year, second only to tobacco-related deaths. America is losing the battle of the buldge, and it is doing far more than just making us look unattractive.

Is America’s Obesity Epidemic Affecting our quality of sleep?

The answer would be a resounding YES! Of the many negative effects that obesity has on our health, none could be more damaging than our ability to get a good nights sleep. It is a fact that people that are overweight are prone to developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is the accumulation of fat around the neck that poses the greatest threat to a patent airway. Excessive neck fat tends to cause the soft tissues around the airway to collapse, hence cutting off the flow of oxygen to the lungs and brain. Obstructive sleep apnea can kill, so it’s important to take steps to treat it.

Losing weight by adopting a healthy diet and exercise routine will most likely reduce the severity of sleep apnea in these people. Also, treatments such as CPAP, and oral dental appliances that move the lower jaw forward are critical in treating obstructive sleep apnea in the obese population.

Tagged with:
Feb 09

CPAPContinuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is a device that is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. It is basically an adjustable air pressure device that delivers air through a tube that is connnected to a mask that covers the nose and mouth. It is a bedside device that can usually be easily transported. When in operation, pressurized air is forced into the airway and through any soft tissue obstruction, providing fresh oxygen to the lungs and enhancing the patients abililty to sleep soundly. CPAP is the gold standard for treating obstructive sleep apnea. However, many people that have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea cannot tolerate a CPAP . Sometimes those people that cannot tolerate the CPAP are the patient’s bedmates. This is usually due to the noise that is produced from the CPAP. An alternative to CPAP that is extremely effective is an oral appliance made by a dentist. Check with your sleep physician or your dentist to see if you would be a candidate for an oral appliance.

Tagged with:
Feb 01

How does an oral appliance treat obstructive sleep apnea? After being diagnosed with sleep apnea by a sleep physician, a very effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is an oral appliance. Dentists trained in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can create custom oral appliances that are very effective in the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, and for those patients that are CPAP intolerant. The oral appliances reposition the tongue and lower jaw (mandible) in a more forward postion during sleep. These appliances are called Mandibluar Anterior Repositioning Splints (MAS). This opens the airway and minimizes, or eliminates, the soft tissue obstruction that is the cause of the person’s apnea. Follow up sleep studies are critical for the proper adjustment of the oral appliances, and to prove the effectiveness of the treatment. Patients are often amazed at the restful nights sleep that they have after being they’ve been fitted with their dental appliance. Dr. Zach Hodgins, a dentist in Orlando, FL, is trained in treating patients that suffer from sleep apnea. His office offers the Somnodent dental appiance for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

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: