When sleep apnea is mild, moderate or if a patient can’t tolerate the CPAP, a dental sleep device is prescribed by a sleep physician. A dentist trained in oral appliance therapy is also needed to fill that prescription. That’s where Dr. Kitagawa at Gateway Dental Care in Pleasanton come in.
While a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device is generally the first line of defense in treating sleep apnea, many people can’t tolerate it or don’t use it consistently. This may considerably reduce its effectiveness, necessitating an alternative and more comfortable treatment option such as oral appliance therapy. Studies have shown up to a 95% tolerance for oral appliances, and they are highly effective in controlling mild to moderate sleep apnea. Your sleep physician can help you determine if you are a candidate for a dental device.
Custom Fitting & Construction Of The Dental Device
Once you have been evaluated and your sleep physician has prescribed a dental device, Gateway Dental Care will work with you to select the perfect oral appliance to meet your individual needs. We offer a variety of state-of-the-art devices and a high degree of customization to fit your unique dental anatomy. Several of the options available are:
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
This appliance resembles a sports mouth guard or night guard and is by far the most commonly used mouth device. It fits over your upper and lower teeth and has hinges that allow the lower jaw to be positioned forward and slightly down. This positioning keeps the airway open and allows unimpeded breathing.
Tongue Retaining Device
This lesser used option holds the tongue in place by use of a splint to keep the airway open.
Sleep Apnea Evaluation & Referral
If you are unsure as to whether you are experiencing sleep apnea or are confused about appropriate treatment options, we can perform an evaluation and refer you to a board-certified sleep physician for testing. It is extremely important to obtain diagnosis and treatment for this condition. Some warning signs that could indicate sleep apnea are:
- Loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep
- Breathing pauses observed by a partner while you are sleeping
- Sudden movements, restless tossing and turning, or frequent awakenings from sleep
- Daytime sleepiness, tiredness, and fatigue
- Dry or sore throat in the morning
- Personality changes, mood swings, and irritability
- Poor memory or inability to concentrate
If your sleep doctor has diagnosed you with sleep apnea and has recommended oral appliance therapy; call Dr. Kitagawa at Gateway Dental Care to schedule an appointment.