What is sleep apnea?
The form of sleep apnea that affects most people is called obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the soft tissues in the back of your throat collapse while you sleep, blocking off your airway.
This blockage cuts off your brain’s supply of oxygen, which causes it to rouse you to clear your airway again. The problem is that this same cycle can happen over and over, sometimes dozens of times every hour, preventing you (and your bedmate) from getting the restorative sleep you need.
On top of missed sleep, sleep apnea is tied to some severe health complications, including:
- Heart disease
- Mood and memory issues
The bottom line is that sleep apnea is far more than a snoring problem and requires expert diagnosis and treatment.
How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
The team at Gunnerson Dental has extensive experience diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, which typically starts with a take-home sleep study kit. This portable monitor records certain aspects of your sleep and all the details about the disruptions in your sleep.
When you return the monitor, your provider at Gunnerson Dental analyzes the data to determine if you’re suffering from sleep apnea.
If they find evidence of sleep apnea, the team at Gunnerson Dental uses the SICAT® system, which is a 3D dental system that creates an accurate, digital replica of your upper airway. Then, using CEREC® cone beam technology, the team creates a 3D model of your mouth, throat, upper airway, and all other supporting systems. By using these advanced imaging technologies, the team can better visualize any obstructions or constrictions in your airway that may be causing your sleep apnea.
How is sleep apnea treated?
With the information the team gathers using advanced imaging, they create a personalized treatment plan that’s based on the precise cause of your sleep apnea. One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea is through an oral appliance that prevents the soft tissues in the back of your throat from collapsing.
Because your oral appliance is created from the digital replica of your oral structure, the device fits comfortably in your mouth for overnight wear, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep.
Another great advantage of this sleep apnea solution is that the oral appliance is far cheaper than alternative treatments like a CPAP machine.
To learn more about resolving sleep apnea, call Gunnerson Dental, or request a consultation using the online scheduler.