DENTIST ROLE IN SLEEP APNEA
While snoring is very common, it most often affects the sleeping partner more then the snorer.
Snoring is often accompanied by sleep apnea which is a serious disorder which can affect the health of the individual. It is characterized by a series of episodes in which a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. The number of episodes in time determines the degree of sleep apnea treatment – mild, moderate or severe. The common sign is that the patient having had a “good night sleep”, remains fatigued after waking up in the morning and will experience episodes of fatigue during the day.
A dentist will send a patient with symptoms of sleep apnea for a sleep test, which involves a visit to a sleep physician. After diagnosis of this disorder the patient will return to the dentist for treatment.
Sleep apnea treatment options depend on the severity of the disorder. Often a dental appliance can reposition the jaw and tongue to improve airflow.
Like any appliance they may require some adjustment and commitment by the patient, but they are relatively easy to wear. Compared to the use of CPAP, Continuous positive airway pressure system. This requires a face mask and constant pressure from a gas cylinder to keep the airway open, or surgery.
Dentist who have specialist training for this treatment of sleep apnea, are skilled in the management of dental appliances and work in association with sleep medicine specialist. Both our dentist Dr. Milton Herson and Dr. Gary Newstadt at Bay St Dental have undergone special training for this treatment of sleep apnea. With our clinic located conveniently in Port Melbourne, it is in close proximity to our neighbouring suburbs, Docklands, Albert Park, Middle Park.