Longmont Sleep Apnea Treatment
Good news if you have sleep apnea. There are lots of terrific treatment methods available. In fact, if you have a medium to mild form, we can effectively treat it at our Longmont dental practice. Keep reading to learn about your options.
There are four main treatment options for sleep apnea: CPAP, Inspire, oral appliance, and surgery. Surgery is a rare option and the last resort. To determine which treatment is best for you, you’ll first need a sleep study. Based on the results, your doctor can advise the best treatment method.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is what most people think of when they think of sleep apnea treatment, and it primarily treats moderate to severe cases. CPAPs are extremely effective and considered the gold standard. However, they also have a lot of disadvantages, including their discomfort from being so bulky.
A more recent option for sleep apnea treatment, Inspire was approved by the FDA in 2014. This device is placed inside the body and stabilizes your throat during sleep to prevent obstruction. It’s controlled by remote control, which the patient can turn on before bed and off when they wake up in the morning.
Like CPAPs, Inspire treats moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea and is extremely effective and convenient. However, they do have a couple of major disadvantages. For one, they’re expensive, sometimes costing over $30,000, and changing the batteries can cost $15,000 or more. Second, surgery is required to place the device inside of you as well as to change the batteries.
These appliances are technically called mandibular advancement devices, and they look like retainers. As a sleep apnea dentist, it’s what we use to treat patients at our office. They are used to treat mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea and eliminate snoring.
These are extremely comfortable and easy to travel with, making their compliance typically much higher than those who use a CPAP.
Mandibular advancement devices are only worn at night during sleep, forcing the lower jaw (mandible) forward to maintain an open upper airway.
There are several types of these devices. Some, on the lower-quality end, can be purchased at pharmacies, but they’re not custom-made and are the least effective. At the high end are custom-made devices. Dentists and other sleep specialists make them, and they provide a terrific fit. If they don’t fit perfectly, the dentist can adjust them.
What Forms of Sleep Apnea Can Dentists Treat?
Dentists can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea with a sleep appliance. However, if you have severe sleep apnea, then we’ll have to refer you to a sleep doctor for treatment.
Our Treatment Process
For mild to moderate forms, we create a custom-made mandibular advancement device for the patient. The process for getting this is:
Your mouth will be scanned with our iTero scanner.
Device Is Manufactured
The device will be custom-made for you using the 3D scan of your mouth. It typically takes three weeks for us to receive the finished product.
You will come into our office for a fitting and to receive the device.
You’ll return to our office about a month later to make sure the device is working properly, and Dr. Hedrick can adjust it if needed. Another follow-up will be necessary after about six months into treatment in addition to a second sleep study.
How Long Will It Take for an Oral Appliance to Work?
Sleep devices are highly effective at opening the air passage, and there should be noticeable results on the first night of wearing one. For example, if you have sleep apnea and snore loudly, the device should improve your snoring on the first night.
What Does the Oral Sleep Device Feel Like?
It can feel a little strange at first, but you’ll get used to it after a few nights, and, after a week, you may not even realize you’re wearing it.
How Will a Sleep Device Improve My Life?
If you have sleep apnea, treatment with a mandibular advancement device will help you sleep better and feel better during the day. As a result, your quality of life can drastically improve. Of course, good compliance is key to achieving remarkable results.
Start Sleep Apnea Treatment Today
Are you ready to improve your health and start sleeping better? If so, we would love to see you for a consultation.Contact our Office