In Houston and Memorial City, Texas

  • Sleep apnea can increase the risks of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, and more.

  • Traditional therapies are bulky and hard to adhere to. 

  • Oral appliance therapy from Bunker Hill Dentistry is a comfortable, simple way to restore your sleep quality.

  • Mouthpiece supports your jaw in a forward position, maintaining an open upper airway and preventing snoring and sleep apnea.

  • Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans.

 

Sleep Apnea DiagramIf you suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, memory problems, irritability, or fatigue and can’t locate the cause, it’s quite possible you haven’t considered the culprit could be your sleep quality. Sleep apnea occurs when your muscles relax during sleep, allowing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. As a result, you stop breathing up to hundreds of times a night for anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute, wreaking havoc on your sleep and opening you up to all kinds of potential health conditions.

Solving this elusive problem can make you feel like a new person, and now there is finally a comfortable solution from your dentist. Oral appliance therapy can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.

 

A Better Alternative to CPAP

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy involves sleeping with a face mask connected by tubing to a constantly running machine. Although CPAP is effective, up to half of patients don’t adhere to the treatment. The masks are bulky and can make sleeping uncomfortable. They can also leak, blowing air into your or a sleep partner’s face, and they often leave red marks or lines on your face the next morning. 

Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive treatment option that can be just as effective for preventing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Unlike a CPAP mask, a mouthpiece is comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable, convenient for travel, and easy to clean. In other words, it’s much easier to stick with and see lasting results. 

 

How it Works

An oral appliance for sleep apnea looks like a sports mouthguard and is worn only during sleep. A type of mandibular advancement device (MAD), the appliance pushes the lower jaw forward to help maintain an open upper airway and give you more air, so that you’re not gasping for breath. Because of its design, you’ll need to use a repositioner to move the jaw back to its normal position each morning when you wake up. (Snore guards work the same way.)

To determine if you are a candidate for an appliance, Dr. Le will conduct a visual inspection of your throat to determine your Mallampati score, or the degree to which your soft palate is visible. He will also have you complete a questionnaire to understand your lifestyle, activities, diet, and more to help diagnose your sleep apnea or snoring. 

If the doctor prescribes an oral appliance, you will need to return to the office to pick it up after it’s created. Although it will be adjustable, it may be difficult to get used to at first, and it is not guaranteed to be 100% successful for all patients. However, if it works for you, you will see a noticeable improvement in your energy, mood, and overall health. In six months to a year, we will have you come back in to check in on how you’re doing with the device. 

 

iTero and Sleep Apnea

Fitting you for a customized oral appliance to fight sleep apnea is a simple procedure thanks to the iTero Element 2 intraoral digital scanner. This cutting-edge alternative to X-rays allows us at Bunker Hill Dentistry to see a full 3D model of your teeth while keeping you comfortable, due to the scanner’s small size. Results are available nearly instantly and creation of your sleep device can begin immediately. 

If you think you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, don’t wait; contact us today to schedule an appointment.

 

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