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Sleep Appliance

INFORMATION ON THE ORAL APPLIANCE FOR SNORING/SLEEP APNEA

 

WHAT IS THE ORAL APPLIANCE?

The oral appliance is a small plastic device worn in the mouth and is similar to orthodontic retainers or athletic mouth guards.  Oral appliances work in several ways: they move the lower jaw, tongue, and the soft palate forward.  They also stabilize the lower jaw and the tongue, and they increase the muscle tone of the tongue.

 

HOW DO ORAL APPLIANCES STOP SNORING?

Snoring is caused by a narrowing of the throat; structures in the throat then block the flow of air.  This occurs when the individual lies down.  The lower jaw falls back and the tongue, being attached to the lower jaw, begins to narrow the opening.  As air tries to pass through, the throat structures vibrate, causing the sound we know as snoring.

 

WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?

Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat during sleep.  It blocks the upper airway and the flow of air stops.  When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.  People who have obstructive sleep apnea have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels.  This causes cardiovascular problems and excessive daytime sleepiness.

 

IS SNORING HARMFUL?

Snoring is the sound of obstructive breathing during sleep.  While snoring can be harmless, it can also be the sign of a more serious medical condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS).

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THE ORAL APPLIANCE?

The oral appliance is comfortable and easy to wear.  Most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become acclimated to wearing the appliance.  It is small and convenient, making it easy to carry while traveling.  The intra-oral appliance is reversible and non-invasive as opposed to a surgical procedure, which is not reversible and has a high incidence of failure.

 

WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THE ORAL APPLIANCE?

What insurance do you have? ________________________________________________

Do you have dental insurance? _______________________________________________

Are you on Medicare? ______________________________________________________

Have you had an overnight sleep study? ______ When?_______________________

Do you know what the results were? _____________ Have you had a CPAP?__________

Have you had surgery? ________________________

If your medical insurance has coverage for sleep apnea, then oral appliance therapy is also covered provided that the criteria that the insurance carrier sets forth are met.   This may include an overnight sleep study and/or other medical examinations.  This will be discussed with the doctor at the time of examination.

 

WHAT IS COVERED IN THE INTITIAL EXAMINATION AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?

The examination will take approximately 30 minutes.  The acoustic evaluation of the throat involves the patient blowing air into a tube.  The computer will then give an initial reading of the amount of space available in the throat for air to pass through.  The jaw is then moved in a forward position and the patient is instructed on breathing again.  If sufficient change is shown on the computer, then an oral appliance has a 95% chance of success.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS EVALUATION?

The patient is then rescheduled for amore detailed examination of the jaws, teeth, and gums.  The discussion of the fees and medical and dental insurance is done at that time.  Any further records which are necessary for submission to the medical and dental insurance carriers are done at that visit.  The patient will then be given a detailed listing of all fees, which will be necessary for their type of treatment.

 

We will schedule the caller for an appointment – 2 units for a preliminary evaluation and discussion and referral back to their primary care physician.

 

WILL THE APPLIANCE HELP MY SNORING?

The oral appliance is 95% effective in treating snoring and sleep apnea.

 

DR RYAN HAS BEEN TREATING SNORING/SLEEP APNEA FOR: 19 YEARS.