Sleep Apnea Solutions
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes a sleeping person to have periods of shallow breathing or pauses in breathing while they sleep. These pauses can be as short as a few seconds or as long as a few minutes and can happen multiple times throughout the night. Snoring is the most common indicator of sleep apnea, but individual’s may also snort or choke prior to their breathing resuming. Due to interrupting normal sleep, people with sleep apnea frequently describe feeling tired or sleepy throughout the day. Risk factors for sleep apnea include patients with enlarged tonsils, a small breathing airway, allergies, a family history of sleep apnea, or individuals who are overweight.
If you have been told or have concerns that you might have sleep apnea, it is important to know that there are treatment options available, which can range from making lifestyle changes, such as sleeping on your side, losing weight, or limiting or avoiding alcohol, breathing devices, or in more severe cases, sleep apnea surgery.
At Dental Serenity™, we offer a comprehensive range of dental procedures, from common treatments like fillings or root canal therapy, cosmetic treatments like veneers or teeth whitening, restorative procedures like dental implants to replace a missing tooth or teeth, emergency care, and support for sleep-disordered breathing like sleep apnea. To ensure you are comfortable and have as enjoyable an experience as possible, we also offer sedation dentistry so you can remain calm and receive the care you need.
If you are interested in learning more about the quality services we offer, or to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea surgery, contact our office at 703-445-9600, stop by our clinic located at 17181 Wayside Dr., Dumfries, Virginia, or schedule an appointment online.
Steps Involved in Treating Sleep Apnea
Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk of diabetes, stroke, heart attack, obesity, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure, which is why it is so important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Determining what treatment option is best suited to address your sleep apnea will require a thorough examination, which may include taking an x-ray of your skull to identify the level of obstruction and determine if there are cardiovascular issues or decreased oxygenation levels.
Typically, we will try to treat sleep apnea through lifestyle changes, such as avoiding sedatives, sleeping pills, and/or alcohol, all of which can contribute to the collapse of your airway while sleeping, or weight loss, as individuals who are obese have more tissues in their throat, which increases the likelihood of the airway becoming restricted. If making these changes does not yield positive results, the next treatment method is the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, which splints your airway open using pressurized air. Although this can be an effective treatment option for sleep apnea, many people struggle with long term compliance due to it being uncomfortable to wear the devie while sleeping and may cause side effects like sore gums and lips, nosebleeds, dry nose, and/or dry mouth.
If these treatment options have been exhausted, surgical treatment may be necessary. There are several different surgical options to correct sleep apnea, the most common of which are:
- UPPP: Tissue is removed from the top of your throat and the rear of your mouth along with the tonsils (if present) and sutures are placed to prevent collapse and keep the area open. This procedure has been proven effective for correcting patients who are snoring due to sleep apnea.
- Nasal Surgery: Individuals who have either daytime nasal obstruction or nocturnal nasal congestion are at an increased risk of developing sleep apnea. By reducing the size of the turbinates and straightening the septum, more room in the nose is created, which allows for air to pass without effort.
- Soft palate implants: Surgically implanted rods are placed into the soft palate to create an inflammatory response in the surrounding tissue, resulting in the soft palate stiffening. As a result of the stiffened palate, it is less likely to contact the back wall of the pharynx.
- Nerve stimulation: A stimulator is surgically inserted to increase stimulation of the hypoglossal nerve in order to keep the tongue in the proper position to allow for the airway to remain open.
What is the Cost of Treating Sleep Apnea?
The cost of treating apnea will depend on a variety of factors, including what type of treatment option is pursued, how many visits are required, and whether you are covered by dental insurance. If you do have dental insurance, your final bill will be determined by your dental insurance coverage, co-pay requirements, and annual deductibles.
Our clinic is in network with most PPOs and accepts all insurance plans. We also offer interest free financing through Lending Club, and CareCredit, or you may consider joining our Dental Serenity Membership Club to save money on treatment and simplify your payments for preventative care. To learn more about Dental Serenity Membership Club, click on the following link: https://dental-serenity.illumitrac.com/
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Dentistry with a Gentle Touch
At Dental Serenity™, we understand that visiting the dentist can cause concern and anxiety, which is why we do everything we can to ensure that your experience is an enjoyable one. To help provide you with as enjoyable an experience as possible, our office is fitted with free high-speed wireless internet, flat screen TVs in all of our treatment rooms, soothing music to put you in a relaxed state, aromatherapy, and neck massagers in our waiting room. We are also committed to providing you with services when you need them most, which is why we offer early morning and late evening appointments throughout the week.
To schedule a consultation to treat sleep apnea, contact us today. We look forward to providing you with the best dental care possible delivered in a comfortable and calm environment by professionals who are committed to ensuring that you receive the personalized care you deserve!