Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder, which affects approximately 1 in 6 individuals and as many as 50% of those over the age of 50. It GREATLY increases your risk for heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly and you feel tired even after a full night's sleep.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

• You’ve slept all night, but you still don’t feel rested when you wake up in the morning.
• Your spouse or partner wakes you up because you are snoring, again.
• You wake up with a headache, yet again.
• You “snort” yourself awake, often several times a night.
• You fall asleep in the middle of a business meeting or a movie.
• You feel drowsy while driving, especially at night.

If any of these sound familiar to you, you may be suffering from a serious health problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. OSA is one of the most common sleep disorders which also can be one of the most serious. A recent study has shown that it can even shorten your life!

Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by frequent episodes of airway obstruction. It occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, allowing the soft tissue there to completely block your airway. Your body struggles to overcome this blockage, disrupting your sleep. This can occur hundreds of times each night, preventing you from sleeping well, and also increasing your risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Factors that can increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea include weight gain, alcohol or sedative use, a large neck, smoking, gender (male), age (older), and high blood pressure. 

    Sleep Apnea Treatment

Whether you consider yourself to have mild to moderate sleep apnea or have severe apnea and cannot tolerate CPAP, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s recent publications recommended Oral Appliance Therapy as an excellent treatment option.

At Stone Falls Dental Care, we have a variety of sleep apnea treatment alternatives and devices using oral appliances that are custom-fitted to help the patient sleep soundly and minimize the effects of sleep apnea, such as snoring. These FDA-approved devices essentially treat sleep apnea by preventing airway obstruction and by allowing the patient to breathe easily and continuously.

More about Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy involves the selection, fitting and use of a specially designed oral appliance that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat when worn during sleep. Custom-made oral appliances are proven to be more effective than over-the-counter devices, which are not recommended as a screening tool nor as a therapeutic option.

As a certified local member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine - AADSM®Dr Carleigh Prane has undergone extensive training in the subject and is fully knowledgeable of the various designs of appliances and will help determine which is best suited for your specific needs. A board certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment approach. A dental sleep medicine specialist may then provide treatment and follow-up.

Ongoing care, including short and long-term follow-up is an essential step in the treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy. Follow-up care serves to assess the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of your appliance, your physical response to your appliance, and to ensure that it is comfortable and effective.



Pictured above: TAP 3 Elite Oral Appliance

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy

• Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Most people find that it only takes no more than a week to become acclimated to wearing the appliance, whereas with the CPAP it could take months – or may never happen.
• Oral appliances are small and convenient making them easy to carry when traveling.
• Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.

In addition, treatment is covered by most medical insurance plans!

Call us today at 618-624-2800 for your FREE Consultation!

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