Apnea Alternatives: Our Dental Sleep Specialists
Do you wake up feeling tired? Are you too sleepy during the day? Does your snoring wake others? Do you wake up gasping for air? These symptoms are typical for a person struggling with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can severely harm your health and well-being. Apnea Alternatives can help.
CPAP therapy is the primary treatment for sleep apnea, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Do you have difficulty using the CPAP or want an alternative? An oral appliance can be a very effective treatment for sleep apnea and snoring.
We work closely with your medical doctor, and are also one of the very few dentists in the area who accept medical insurance and Medicare. Call us today at 734-677-8700 to see how an oral appliance could work for you.
What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Sleep disorders can seriously harm your health and well-being. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most common sleep disorders. OSA is a syndrome characterized by involuntary muscle relaxations during sleep that block the flow of oxygen to the body. OSA sufferers may stop breathing hundreds of times per night, for seconds or more than a minute. Common signs include loud snoring, gasping or choking throughout the night. Sleep apnea causes excessive sleepiness, headaches, forgetfulness, and drowsy driving. Most noteworthy, sleep apnea can cause or worsen the following medical problems:
- High blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease
- Increased risk for heart attack / Afib
- Increased risk for stroke
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Depression and anxiety
- Weight gain
- Migraine headaches
- Mood swings
- Job impairment
- Acid reflux
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
- Brain and cognitive changes
- Impotency and sexual dysfunction
The good news is that Apnea Alternatives can help. Source: American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine
What are the Treatments for Sleep Apnea?
Successful OSA treatment can improve your blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, irregular heart rhythms, depression, and risk of a car or workplace accident. You will achieve better sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed. As a result, you will have more energy, concentration and memory. And your quieter snoring will often result in better sleep for your bed partner too!
A sleep specialist doctor will help determine the best course of treatment. Treatments include CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), surgery to enlarge the airway or reposition the jaw, and oral appliance therapy (OAT).
The primary treatment is CPAP, however some patients are unable to tolerate it and prefer an alternative. OAT is an effective alternative to CPAP for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
How Apnea Alternatives Can Help
Oral Appliance Therapy
Do You Have a CPAP Intolerance?
Many individuals develop a CPAP intolerance because:
- CPAP does not effectively resolve symptoms
- Unconscious need to remove the CPAP
- CPAP mask leaks or does not fit properly
- Headgear causes discomfort, claustrophobia, or restricts movements
- Disturbed sleep because the machine is too noisy or cumbersome
- Latex Allergy
- Personal preference for an alternative treatment
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
An oral appliance is very similar to an orthodontic retainer, except it is only worn during sleep to maintain an open airway. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is easy and significantly less invasive than the CPAP machine. OAT is quite popular because of its convenience, comfort, and portability. The appliance also protects your teeth from clenching and grinding, which is common for OSA.
OAT has proven to successfully treat OSA, especially with mild to moderate OSA. Over 95% of OAT users have reported continued use after two years. Most noteworthy, OAT has been shown to effectively control snoring in over 90% of patients. Some cases of severe have even been resolved with OAT.
How Long Will it Take to Get the Appliance?
The appliance will be typically be ready 4-5 weeks after we take impressions. And before you take it home with you, we will meet to make any necessary adjustments to the device.
Do You Take My Insurance?
Apnea Alternatives is one of the only dentists in the country that accepts medical insurance for sleep apnea and snoring. Our oral appliances are considered a medical treatment. Treatment will only be covered by medical insurance. Coverage of therapy varies from policy to policy. Physician referral is required. We are one of the few dentists to accept Medicare. We also work with Priority Health, AETNA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, HAP, TriCare, and Cigna. The most efficient way to determine your potential benefits is for us to contact your insurance company. Please call (734) 677-8700 to set up an initial consult to go over the entire process. The cost could be covered by an employer provided Health Savings Account. Financing is available through Care Credit, and we also accept all major credit cards.
Apnea Alternatives Appointments
What Are The Apnea Alternatives Hours?
Monday: 7:00 am – 2:00 pm Tuesday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Wednesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Thursday: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm Friday: Available by phone or email only
What Should I Bring To My First Appointment?
Please bring the following to your first visit:
- Drivers License or State ID
- Medical Insurance Card (including the policyholder’s date of birth)
- Medicare card and any supplemental policy cards (if applicable)
- Copy of your most recent sleep study or studies (these can also be faxed or emailed)
- Prescription for Oral Appliance Therapy (these can also be faxed or emailed)
- Physician Referral (these can also be faxed or emailed)
When sending content by fax or email, please allow 24 hours prior to Initial Consult. Phone: (734) 677-8700 Fax: (734) 929-2370 Email: [email protected]
Monday: 7 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Friday: 7 AM - 2 PM
Saturday: 8 - 12 PM
© Ann Arbor Smiles Dental Group 2019