Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dr. Neal Shah describes what sleep apnea is and how it is treated. At Feather Touch Dental Care in Atlanta, GA, we provide sleep apnea treatment using custom oral appliances. If you are having difficulty sleeping with a CPAP machine, an oral appliance may provide the solution you need.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where people actually stop breathing during or at times when they are asleep. It can go for anywhere from 4 to 5 times an hour to anywhere from 50 to 60 times an hour and it can actually be life threatening if it's not treated. It can impact your cardiovascular health and it can actually impact your overall health. More recently, people have been in the news for passing away from sleep apnea. The ideal treatment or the gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea is a CPAP, which is a snorkel-type mask that puts pressurized air into your body and forces you to breathe when you stop breathing. That mask is very, very uncomfortable and a lot of times people can't tolerate it and sleep comfortably. That's where the dentist would come into play. We make an oral appliance that would actually push your jaw forward and open your airway up. That allows you to breathe during your sleep. Dentists aren't technically allowed to diagnose sleep apnea so they would come from a sleep physician. If I do believe you have sleep apnea, I would actually refer you to one of our sleep physicians that we work with. They would then send me the results, and I would ask that you try the CPAP or the pressurized air mask first. If that doesn't work, then you'll come and see me and I would make you an oral appliance. We have the polysomnogram, which is the take-home sleep study. Basically, what we do with that is send that home with you and you would come back, and I would send the results of that to the sleep physician for him to diagnose, and be 100% positive that sleep apnea is the diagnosis and then we can go from there.