Did you know that a dentist may be able to help you sleep better? Sleep dentistry is a fast-emerging field of dentistry that focuses on using custom oral-appliance therapy to treat common sleep conditions like sleep apnea and snoring. Not every dentist is trained to perform this niche of dentistry. However, Dr. Wayne Suway in Marietta has become a Qualified Dentist with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).
The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder in the United States, ranking just behind insomnia. Sleep apnea involves several pauses in breathing during the night. When the airway becomes blocked, patients may snore loudly as well as wake up gasping for air.
The trouble with sleep apnea is that its consequences spread further than your quality of sleep. There are cognitive, emotional, job-related and school-related performance issues associated with untreated sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is also a risk factor for dementia, depression, stroke, heart attack and other chronic illnesses.
How a Sleep Dentist Can Help
Unfortunately, sleep disorders are significantly underdiagnosed, as many patients need a proper sleep study to identify their condition. A sleep dentist can not only help diagnose sleep apnea, but they are also trained to work collaboratively with a board-certified sleep doctor to provide optimal treatment.
Why is a sleep dentist needed? The traditional treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, but not every patient is able to tolerate this bulky and somewhat cumbersome mask. Others may be able to do positional therapy, which requires patients to sleep on their side to prevent sleep apnea episodes. It is not uncommon, however, for patients to need yet a third treatment option for sleep apnea – and this is where a sleep dentist comes in!
Oral Appliance Therapy
Once your sleep apnea condition is properly diagnosed, a sleep dentist can write you a prescription for an oral appliance as well as customize the fit of your appliance. Oral appliances are best for those with mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea and for patients who have failed with other treatment modalities. An oral appliance holds the jaw in a position that keeps the airway open as well as prevents the tongue from falling back into the throat. Patients can regain a comfortable night’s sleep without snoring or waking up frequently. Most importantly, oxygen is allowed to fuel your brain and body like it should as you sleep.
To learn more about sleep apnea treatment or to find a qualified sleep dentist near Marietta, call Dr. Wayne Suway. He brings decades of experience to helping patients achieve a confident smile, but quality night’s sleep.