Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a medical condition characterized by repeated stop-and-start pattern of breathing during sleep. A physician can diagnose it after a sleep study is conducted.
What Does My Dentist Have to Do with Sleep Apnea?
Dentists can provide you with an effective treatment option in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea called oral appliance therapy. Dr. Bracy can offer oral appliance therapy in his West Village, NYC dental office. Call him now or book an appointment online to learn more about sleep apnea oral appliances.
Some Signs and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Loud snoring or difficulty breathing during sleep
- Morning sleepiness
- High blood pressure
- Abrupt awakenings during the night, accompanied by gagging
Relaxed throat muscles that block your airway are the cause of obstructive sleep apnea. If you suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, you should see your primary care physician and discuss your symptoms. Your physician may order a sleep study to confirm your diagnosis.
When Should I Consult with a Dentist on Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
After diagnosis, your physician may start you on the gold standard of obstructive sleep apnea treatment – the CPAP machine. The CPAP machine is worn during sleep and provides positive pressure to keep your airway unblocked. However, many patients are not able to tolerate the CPAP machine. Many find the CPAP machine too bulky or noisy to use during sleep. These patients are called CPAP intolerant, and it is important they seek another treatment option. This is where dentists trained in sleep apnea appliances come in.
After you have discussed your CPAP intolerance with your physician, they can refer you to a dentist to fabricate a sleep apnea oral appliance for you. The sleep apnea oral appliances are fabricated from dental impressions. There are many different types, but they all work by the same mechanism of pulling your throat muscles and tissues slightly forward so that your airway does not obstruct during sleep. They are easy to use and wear during sleep, similar to night guards. Many patients report they are much more comfortable than CPAP machines.
Sleep apnea appliances can vastly improve the quality of life for CPAP intolerant patients. Many patients report that they can finally sleep well and feel refreshed in the morning. Others have an overall improvement in their health, such as a reduction in blood pressure and a stabilized mood. Sleep apnea oral appliances are backed by research that shows treatment success with mild, moderate, and severe obstructive sleep apnea.
Can Dr. Bracy Make Me a Sleep Apnea Appliance Without a Sleep Study?
No. It is important that all patients suspecting that they have obstructive sleep apnea see a physician and have a sleep study first. Only upon referral by a physician, can a sleep apnea oral appliance be fabricated for you. If you do not have a physician, Dr. Bracy is happy to refer you to a list of primary care physicians in the NYC area.
Can Dr. Bracy Bill My Medical Insurance for My Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance?
Yes. Our NYC dental office is contracted with a professional medical billing company that can handle medical insurance claims. We can pre-authorize your medical insurance and give you a full break down of deductibles, copayments and medical coverage for your sleep apnea oral appliance. If you proceed with treatment, we can even submit your claim.
Medical insurance coverage varies widely and can be confusing, but we are happy to help you navigate it. If you do not have coverage for the appliance, a monthly payment plan can be set up. Most dental insurance does not cover sleep apnea oral appliances. Our dental office cannot bill your Medicaid or Medicare.
What Are Anti-Snore Appliances?
Anti-snore appliances, often called snore guards work similarly to sleep apnea appliances. Dr. Bracy can fabricate the Silent Nite® appliance for the reduction of snoring. He can attest that they really do work since he uses one himself! A referral from your physician and sleep study is not necessary for a snore guard, but Dr. Bracy advises you to discuss your snoring with your medical provider.
Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring are common medical problems that dentists like Dr. Bracy now play a role in treating. Our Manhattan dental office, located in the West Village, can provide you with treatment options. We are also very convenient to Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Union Square, and Flatiron. Use one of the online booking tools or call us at (212) 390-8399 to learn more.