Can dentists help treat sleep apnea?
Can dentists help treat sleep apnea? The answer is yes. Now, there are several forms of sleep apnea we need to understand first. There is mild and moderate and sever sleep apnea, and there is central sleep apnea. Now in the mild and moderate forms, the oral appliances that we use can eliminate your sleep apnea. Now with the severe sleep apnea, you have more of a physical obstruction, and the standard CPAP machine might have to be used. And for some patients, the CPAP machine is very tolerable because of the air pressure that you would need to open your airway. So some patients might use a combination of an oral appliance, which would generally open your airway, and then with the CPAP machine you will need a lesser air volume. So, for some people, that might be an okay alternative. Now, for patients who cannot tolerate a CPAP machine at all, the oral appliance is the best thing possible because we still need the patients to be able to breathe at night time. Now, there is another form of sleep apnea which is called central sleep apnea. With central sleep apnea, only a CPAP machine will work because it is not due to physical obstruction. It is due to your brain actually signaling your body to stop breathing. So, a CPAP machine would be our only viable option at that point.