Comfortable oral sleep appliances can help resolve sleep apnea and improve quality of life
The leading-edge technologies utilized at Benton Family Dentistry are a testament to our team’s capabilities and commitment to the accurate diagnoses and effective treatment of conditions that go beyond the teeth and gums. For instance, our dentist, Dr. Kyle Benton, uses an array of advanced tools and technologies to assess the relationships between the opposing teeth in the upper and lower jaws and the function of the muscles, jaw joints, and other interconnected tissues.
Sleep apnea, a form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), is among the conditions that Dr. Benton can evaluate and effectively treat. Sleep apnea refers to the breathlessness that occurs during sleep when affected individuals are most relaxed. It is a serious condition requiring prompt treatment to resolve its many accompanying symptoms.
Treatment plans revolve around a clear and accurate understanding of the nature of your apnea. You may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex (mixed) sleep apnea, with OSA being the most prevalent of the three forms.
Effective treatment to the rescue
With an accurate diagnosis in hand, Dr. B may be able to offer treatment suggestions to support healthy, uninterrupted breathing and prevent debilitating symptoms and potentially dangerous conditions. Chronic disordered breathing and the lack of quality, restful sleep are associated with chronic fatigue, cognitive decline, irritability, headaches, dry mouth, and stress to the organs and systems of the body. Damage caused by sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and other devastating cardiac events.
Some patients with OSA have been able to take control of this dangerous condition with a sleep apnea oral appliance. These devices are customized to fit your mouth precisely and comfortably. Once inserted, they typically reposition the jaw. The tissues inside the throat that formerly blocked the airway during sleep are also repositioned by moving the lower jaw forward and depressing the tongue. They remain out of the way once you fall into a deep sleep. You can breathe continuously!
These appliances are lightweight and easy to wear and care for, unlike CPAP therapy. While CPAP has been the traditional standard course of treatment for sleep apnea, many patients never get used to wearing a nasal mask attached to a hose that is then connected to a noisy and bulky machine. The machine requires access to electricity and can be difficult to travel with. As a result, compliance may be low for CPAP, and treatment that is not followed is useless.
Treatment for pediatric patients
Dr. B is also privileged to be a provider of the HealthyStart® system for pediatric airway therapy. HealthyStart® presents a method to safely and effectively promote natural growth and development. It does not require invasive surgery or pharmaceuticals and is well-tolerated (painless). Additionally, when these proprietary, cutting-edge orthodontic and orthopedic oral appliances are worn nightly or as instructed by your doctor, children affected by breathing disorders during sleep, a restricted or compromised airway, or crowded and crooked teeth can enjoy a dramatic improvement in the quality of their rest. Correction of unhealthy lifelong habits is also supported.
Our patients and their parents alike have reported improvements in the ability to focus at school, which lends itself to better academic performance and success socially and in other areas of life. Varied appliances are available and are prescribed and customized based on factors such as the age of your child, the need for habit correction, and the nature and severity of any malocclusion or bite issues that may be present.
Start the process today!
Sleep apnea is a condition that has a profound impact on quality of life and overall health. Don’t “sleep on it” call Benton Family Dentistry at 501-623-6132 to schedule your or your child’s appointment.
Do you snore excessively? Do you suffer from daytime fatigue? Do you awake during the night with shortness of breath? You may suffer from the life-threatening sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. About 1 in every 15 Americans suffer from sleep apnea and it is a problem that many don’t even realize they might have. But what does this have to do with dentistry? Because sleep apnea is caused by an airway obstruction, the disorder can be treated through the mouth. The Thorton adjustable positioner, or Tap appliance is one of the more popular ways to treat sleep apnea. When the jawbone yes lax, the tongue and soft tissue obstruct the airway. The tap appliance advances the jaw bone, allowing the air to flow freely and making sleep more restful throughout the night. If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, talk to your dentist today about possible treatment options.