Sleep Apnea Treatment
Treating sleep apnea is important for your health and your quality of life. Dr. Michael Bixby has two separate board certifications in the treatment of sleep apnea. He can help you sleep soundly through the night with a dental appliance.View transcript
Sleep apnea is when you stop breathing or have a pause in the breathing during. . .while you're asleep. With that, your oxygen drops and typically you have a, you know, you either wake up fully or you are partially awake. But when this happens over and over and over again through the night, it can have a tremendous effect on your quality of life. The benefits of treating sleep apnea are that you hope that they're sleeping more efficiently, that any health effects that they would have had from having these events disappear or drastically reduce. Two mains forms of treatment for sleep apnea is one is the CPAP machine, which is a mask that would be like positive air pressure that would be prescribed by a sleep physician. One of the things that we have found with that is that while it works really well, not everyone can tolerate it. And we have found that a dental appliance can help in many instances. By helping bring the jaw out and aligning the jaw in certain ways, you can keep the airway open and therefore not need the mask. Good candidates for the dental sleep apnea treatment are ones who are in the mild to moderate range of sleep apnea. We do have a number of patients that are severe, but we would really want to make sure that they've gone through the process of the CPAP machine first, because it has the ability to treat people with very, very severe apnea. Our practice, you know, we have done a ton of training in sleep apnea. I have two different board certifications in sleep apnea. We read your sleep study, make sure that, you know, you kind of fit the right criteria, and then we could take some impressions in a bite. We send that off to the lab, when we get the appliance back from the lab, we do all the fitting and show you how to use it, clean it. As far as expectations, most of these people haven't been sleeping great, so once you start finding that general zone where the aligning belongs, and they start sleeping more efficiently, they start catching up on some sleep. And so, you know, we've had some patients that start feeling better within a few days, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. But, if they're being successfully treated, they typically feel a nice difference.