Dental sleep medicine is a branch of dentistry that focuses on using COAT (Continuous Open Airway Therapy) to treat sleep-related breathing problems such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Dentists collaborate with sleep doctors to determine the optimal treatment for each patient. At Bjelajac Dental Practice in Palo Alto, CA, we think that altering a patient's sleep quality can significantly impact their lives. Visit us to receive the best treatments for your specific needs.

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

The screening, assessment, and management of sleep-related respiratory disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy are known as dental sleep medicine. Although a sleep expert must diagnose sleep apnea, dental practitioners can screen and treat patients who suffer from the condition.

How Do I Find Out Whether I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Only a medical practitioner can provide a diagnosis of OSA. Certified dentists can screen and assess patients to determine risk and, if necessary, send them for a formal diagnosis. If a patient suspects they have OSA, they should consult their dentist or primary care physician, who will make appropriate recommendations.

The sleep specialists at the center will arrange for the patient to be evaluated with either an overnight sleep study in a hospital or provide the patient equipment to monitor their sleep at home, such as a breathing sensor, heart rate sensor, and oxygen sensor. This will aid in making a clear diagnosis.

How Dental Sleep Medicine Works

The dentist's involvement in treating sleep apnea and snoring is collaborative. Following a sleep physician's diagnosis, he or she may recommend that you visit a sleep medicine dentist to be fitted for an FDA-approved mouth device meant to aid with snoring or OSA.

Patients with snoring without apnea or a mild form of apnea that may respond to a dental appliance are usually referred to sleep doctors. Many patients find adjusting to a CPAP machine and mask difficult and painful. As a result, they reject their therapy; however, oral appliances are relatively simple to use. They are similar to wearing a retainer or sports mouthguard to bed.

The sleep expert and dentist will work closely together to offer you an oral therapy device, a mouthpiece, or a splint that is appropriate for your needs. At your first dental visit, the dentist will check your sleep physician's file and discuss the benefits of oral appliance therapy with you. A thorough examination will assist the dentist in understanding the anatomy of your mouth, jaw, and airway. You'll learn about the advantages of this therapy and the kind of outcomes you can expect.

Call us at (650) 328-1223 or request an appointment online with our Dentist Palo Alto CA for the best dental care and experience.

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