Treating sleep apnea begins by determining the severity of your condition. This is done through an airway screening at our Lake Forest dental office, as well as a sleep study that we refer you to have done. The results of your sleep study will be read by a sleep medicine specialist – the only practitioner that can provide an official diagnosis for sleep disorders. Lake Forest Smiles works together with your sleep medicine doctor to find ways that best manage your condition.
Lake Forest Smiles offers oral appliance therapy to help patients manage sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are custom-made and designed to hold the lower jaw in proper alignment. Ideally, the appliance is worn while sleeping so that it alleviates apneic episodes and snoring. Anti-snoring mouthguards are available online and in stores. Still, they are not as effective, and could eventually disrupt the natural occlusion (how your teeth come together when your mouth is closed), leading to jaw joint pain or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Custom oral appliances are made from impressions of your mouth and teeth. The oral appliances offered by Lake Forest Smiles also are adjustable, so that our dentists can ensure it comfortably stabilizes your bite. The oral appliance should feel comfortable.
Oral appliances work in several ways:
- Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula
- Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
- Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue
What are the advantages of oral appliance therapy?
Patients that wear oral appliances for their sleep apnea report several advantages.
- The appliance is comfortable since it is custom designed.
- Most dental insurances provide coverage for oral appliance therapy.
- Traveling or spending the night away from home is easy with an oral appliance – no cords, plugs, or electricity needed!
- The appliance is small and can be stored out of sight when not in use.
- Wearing an oral appliance does not emit any noise – your partner will sleep better too!
- Oral appliances require little maintenance – just wash it with a mild cleanser after each wear, and store it in the protective case provided.
Do I have to wear a CPAP?
A CPAP machine is commonly prescribed to patients with sleep apnea. It works by wearing a mask over your mouth and nose, and the machine forces air into the airways. While effective, it has a low compliance rate. CPAP patients often report that wearing the mask is uncomfortable, the machine is cumbersome when traveling, and that it is difficult to maintain. Lake Forest Smiles may recommend oral appliance therapy to help you stop snoring. However, severe cases of sleep apnea may require the use of a CPAP machine. To find out which treatment method is right for you, schedule a consultation with Lake Forest Smiles.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire
Ready to get a restful night’s sleep and stop snoring? Call Lake Forest Smiles at (847) 234-4800 to schedule a consultation and learn how oral appliance therapy could work for you. Drs. Campbell and Schmidt have provided elite dental care to the areas of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. We welcome you to our practice.