The Latest Concepts in Diagnosis and Dental Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The big news in treating Sleep Apnea is that home sleep studies are now the accepted way to screen sleep disturbances, and dental offices can now bill your medical insurance for coverage.  Sleep Center exams are still needed to accurately diagnose the many other sleep disturbances, but we now can screen with a home sleep study.   Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a disease where people don’t get enough oxygen while sleeping.  A person stops breathing at night.  It can make you tired during the day, cause you to easily fall asleep when you don’t want to (like while driving!), deprive your brain of oxygen, or end up where you don’t wake up … ever.  We have diagnosed people as young as their late 30s and a have had the unfortunate outcome where a person declined to get their apnea treated and ended up not waking up one morning.  Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. People with moderate to severe OSA are treated by Sleep doctors,  using a mask and a CPAP machine – a compressor that blows air into your lungs.  People with mild to moderate OSA are treated with a mouth piece to position the lower jaw forward while sleeping, to open the airway.  I have written about this in other articles.  If you have been told that you snore, you should be tested for OSA.  More than 50% of the time, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart disease, a pacemaker, or are overweight, also have OSA.  This is something that you should take seriously.  We are currently offering home sleep studies for $199.  Ask us about it at your next visit, or give us a call for more information.

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PO Box 7007
Missoula, MT 59807