You’re bound to have questions when you come in for your first sleep apnea consultation. Even though it is one of the more common sleep disorders, most people don’t know very much about it. The more information you have, the easier the condition will be to overcome. We’re always happy to answer your questions, but to help you take the initiative in learning as much about sleep apnea as possible, we’ve gone ahead and provided the answers to some of the inquiries we’ve heard most often. Please call us if there’s anything else on your mind that isn’t addressed here.
Sleep apnea is often directly linked to factors in your mouth and throat – in other words, the part of the body that a dentist is most familiar with. Having undergone advanced training in sleep medicine, Dr. Thompson is uniquely qualified to help patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea by creating custom-made sleep appliances to keep their airways open during the night. To ensure that you receive the best treatment, Dr. Thompson works with the finest sleep doctors in the area.
Not necessarily; while it is true that most patients with sleep apnea snore, that doesn’t mean that snoring is always linked to a disorder. However, if you snore every night, chances are that you’re not getting the rest you need, leading to you feeling exhausted during the day. Chronic snoring can also increase your risk of developing sleep apnea later. We can use oral appliances to stop the noise and improve the quality of your sleep.
First, you need to confirm your suspicions. Many of the telltale symptoms of sleep apnea are also connected to other conditions, so a proper diagnosis needs to be made first. You can take the STOP-BANG Assessment on our website and send it to our team. If we decide that you’re at risk for sleep apnea, we’ll get back to you within a day to schedule a consultation.
Not all patients will experience exactly the same sleep apnea patients. That said, particularly common issues include snoring, exhaustion during the day, periodic cessations in breathing while you’re asleep, and waking up gasping for air. You might also notice that you gain weight, suffer from mood swings, and often wake up with a sore throat or headache.
If you are eligible for oral appliance treatment, it may be possible to switch to oral appliance therapy even if you’re already using a CPAP machine. While it’s not suitable for all patients, oral appliance therapy is a viable option for patients suffering from a mild case of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. For more severe cases, it might also be possible to use an oral appliance in conjunction with CPAP.
If you’re talking about dental insurance, then the answer is no. However, you can use medical insurance to help pay for an oral appliance; even though it comes from a dentist, the device is being used to treat a medical condition. Check your insurance plan to see what kind of coverage it offers. Most policies are willing to pay for oral appliances as well as other forms of sleep apnea therapy.