There has been a recent change in the awareness in the medical/dental community in regards to understanding identifying and educating our patients who might have a risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This medical/dental problem is associated with many other life threatening medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, atrial fibrillations, stroke, diabetes, gastric reflux, mental impairment, daytime sleepiness, sleep bruxism, craniofacial pain (TMD) and multiple other side effects.
Obstructive sleep apnea(OSA) is a condition where the upper airway becomes partially or completely obstructed by the muscles and tissues in the throat during sleep causing periods of oxygen deprivation to the body. These episodes of apneas, “without breath” typically last 20 – 40 seconds resulting in the brains attempt to “wake the body”. This cycle of suffocation can happen hundreds of times a night and in most cases, you do not fully awake so you might not realize this is happening every night. Snoring is a major indicator of this problem.
It is estimated that 22 million people suffer from this problem (1 out of 8 adults) and 85% are undiagnosed!
Here at Scottsdale Dental Excellence we are committed to screening and educating our patients to this potential life threatening problem. We have introduced a tablet based risk assessment questionnaire that helps guide the patient to better understand their potential need for further screening along with an evaluation of the oral cavity for other potential signs of this condition such as heavy wear from bruxism, TMJ disorders, narrow palates, large tonsils / adenoids and airway opening. We have also invested into a digital Cone Beam CT x-ray technology which shows us a 3-dimensional segmentation of the actual patient’s airway to evaluate for constrictions and pathology.
We can order a Home Sleep Test (HST) through your medical insurance which gives us definitive data on the actual number of Apnea-Hypopnea episodes in addition to other data throughout the night and we can classify the patient’s degree of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Once we have a diagnosis of OSA and they fall within a mild to moderate category a custom sleep mandibular advancement device is fabricated. This allows the jaw to stay in a more forward position keeping the airway open resulting in less hypoxic events during sleep and potentially saving your life!
We have combined our CEREC digital scanning technology together with the 3D CBCT digital files which enables us to design and fabricate an appliance for you with the most superior fit possible, and no impressions needed!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is truly a silent killer over time and if we can help you or any other family member please call us at 480-525-5064.
Jeffrey D Clark DDS, FAGD owner of Scottsdale Dental Excellence is a 20+ yr. practicing general dentist here in Scottsdale, Arizona and is utilizing digital technology to advance the quality of dental sleep medicine. www.arizonasleepdentalsolutions.com