CPAP Alternatives for Sleep Apnea Treatment in Silver Spring

We need to sleep each night in order to revitalize our body and restore its functions.

Unfortunately, many Americans suffer from the effects of poor sleep due to sleep apnea, and very few people ever find relief from the condition. Does it seem like you are in a constant state of exhaustion, have trouble focusing, or sometimes nod off while sitting at a stoplight or while watching TV? These all may be signs that you have obstructive sleep apnea. Does your bed partner complain about your loud and irregular snoring? If so, their involvement can also be helpful in achieving a diagnosis.

Sleep apnea is a serious disease, one that not only compromises the quality of everyday life, but also increases the risk of a wide range of longer-term health problems.

%

Of Cases of Moderate to Severe
Sleep Apnea are Undiagnosed

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious disorder, one that can compromise the quality of your everyday life, but also may increase the risk of a wide range of longer-term health problems. If you experience any of the symptoms below, you may have sleep apnea.

  • An ongoing sense of listlessness, irritability, or depression
  • Awakening in the morning with a sore throat or headache
  • Decreased visual activity
  • Experiencing sudden unexplained awakenings during the night
  • Nodding off when sitting or driving
  • Poor memory or an inability to maintain mental focus

Oral Appliance Therapy

Once upon a time, the CPAP was the primary treatment for sleep apnea. Currently, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine considers oral appliances to be one of the first and foremost methods of treatment for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, and for those who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is increasingly gaining popularity as a first-line treatment option for many persons diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea?

The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is obesity. This is because obesity is linked to excess soft tissues in your throat and mouth. When you sleep, your soft tissues tend to relax and can cause your airway to become blocked. 

When your airway becomes completely blocked, your breathing stops for 10 to 20 seconds or until the brain senses the apnea and signals to the body to begin airflow. 

Sleep apnea is classified by severity. Mild sleep apnea is greater than 5 apneas per hour but less than 15, moderate is greater than 15 but less than 30, and severe is greater than 30 apneas in an hour.

Are oral appliances effective for sleep apnea?

Yes– oral appliance therapy is a trusted treatment method for sleep apnea. It works by gently shifting the lower jaw forward and down to keep your airway open while you sleep. The device is portable and customized to fit the contours of your smile, so you’ll know it’s comfortable. 

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

There are a wide variety of symptoms that may indicate sleep apnea including loud and frequent snoring, fatigue during the daytime, and mood swings. However, the only way to know for sure if you have sleep apnea is to get a diagnosis from a qualified physician. This involves taking a sleep test and going over the results with your doctor.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we can start your customized treatment plan at our Silver Spring dental practice. If you’d like, Dr. Bassford can recommend a sleep specialist that fits your needs.

How can a dentist help with sleep apnea?

For most people, a dentist isn’t the first professional that comes to mind for treating snoring and sleep apnea. Despite this, dentists are uniquely qualified to provide solutions for sleep apnea due to their intimate knowledge of the mouth and throat tissues that are often involved in sleep-disordered breathing. 

While Dr. Bassford can’t diagnose you with sleep apnea, she can help you get the relief you need once it’s determined that you have the condition. Our team will work with you to create a customized treatment plan, likely involving a combination of oral appliance therapy, mouth and throat exercises, and healthy lifestyle tips.

Will insurance cover my sleep apnea treatment?

In many cases, your medical insurance provider will cover some or all of your sleep apnea treatment costs. The amount of payment you receive will depend on several factors including the specifics of your treatment plan and the terms set by your provider. 

Dr. Bassford and our team want to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care at the most affordable cost possible. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, we’ll be happy to help you maximize your benefits. 

At Silver Spring Sleep Solutions, we accept Aetna, Cigna, BCBS, and UCH as long as it’s PPO. We’re not in-network with any HMO plans.

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