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Sleep Apnea Treatment – Owings Mills, MD

Get the Great Night’s Sleep You Deserve

Do you snore so loud at night that it leaves your spouse and children grumpy in the morning? Do you regularly feel exhausted in the mornings, even if you went to bed right on time and seemingly got a full eight hours? These are common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a serious health problem that can wreak havoc on your wellbeing and general quality of life.

Many people don’t realize that some dentists are actually capable of sleep apnea treatment through the use of a customized oral appliance. If you’re a victim of mild to moderate sleep apnea, consider contacting Dolfield Dental in Owings Mills, MD today for a consultation.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Woman sleeping without being interrupted by sleep apnea

There are multiple forms of sleep apnea, but the most common one (and the one that we are capable of treating) is called obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when a patient’s airway becomes partially or fully blocked during sleep because of excess tissue. As a result, the brain is deprived of oxygen and must alert the patient to wake up so that they can clear the blockage and resume their breathing. These awakenings may only last a few seconds and not even be remembered in the morning, but they can occur dozens of times each night and result in deeply fractured sleep.

Common symptoms of OSA that you should be aware of include:

  • Frequent daytime exhaustion/fatigue
  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Lots of trips to the bathroom throughout the night
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Waking up with a very dry mouth and/or a sore throat
  • Waking up with a headache
  • Gasping, choking, or periods of complete silence during sleep (check with a bed partner)

Most Sleep Apnea Patients Go Untreated

Woman with sleep apnea tired at work

Studies show that around 22 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep apnea, however it’s estimated that a staggering 80% of cases go untreated. That’s because this condition is often difficult to notice on your own. However, at Dolfield Dental of Owings Mills, we are ready to decrease this number and help patients enjoy a great night’s rest with effective sleep apnea treatment.

How Can a Owings Mills Dentist Help with Sleep Apnea?

Woman laying awake with sleep partner next to her

You may be wondering why you should visit a dentist and not your doctor for sleep apnea treatment. The secret is that we have extensive training and experience when it comes to the health of your mouth, jaw, and throat, which are exactly the areas that cause sleep apnea symptoms. Using a deep understanding of how the mouth and throat function together, we can help clear your airway for easy breathing and better sleep! The best part is that we can help you achieve the rest you deserve without the noisy, uncomfortable, and inconvenient CPAP machine.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Close up of custom-made oral appliance with blue background

Oral appliance therapy works by positioning your jaw and/or tongue in a way that keeps your airway clear during sleep. After an initial consultation, we will take special impressions of your smile, which are used to create your personalized oral appliance. This appliance is comfortable, easy to use, and it can fit in your pocket so it’s travel-friendly. The convenience of this treatment encourages patients to use it and enjoy better sleep. The CPAP machine often results in patients giving up on treatment because it can be uncomfortable and a hassle to use each night.

Types of Oral Appliances

The type of oral appliance that you need will directly depend on your needs. Because no two cases are the same, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” option. Instead, we custom make each oral appliance to be the most comfortable and effective solution for each of our patients. Dr. Jacob Milner offers a variety of oral appliances from cutting edge manufacturers. If you’re ready to get started on a better way to sleep, don’t hesitate to contact our office today!

Understanding the Cost of Sleep Apnea Treatment

dental assistant talking to patient about sleep apnea treatment

One of the first questions people usually ask us when it comes to sleep apnea treatment is, “How much will it cost?” The truth is that the total price you end up paying out-of-pocket can end up looking very different compared to someone else due to a few factors. What are they? We’ll discuss the most important ones below so you have a better idea of what to expect.

Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Sleep Apnea Treatment?

This is where things can get tricky. In most cases, dental insurance can NOT be used to cover sleep apnea treatment, even if care is being provided by a dentist. This is because sleep apnea is classified as a medical condition, not a dental one. However, this does mean that many patients have the option to use their medical insurance when paying for things like oral appliance therapy

Factors That Affect the Cost of Sleep Apnea Treatment 

  • Sleep Study: Before you can receive sleep apnea treatment, you need to be officially diagnosed with the condition. This is done by completing a sleep study, which is its own separate cost.
  • Insurance Coverage: Every health insurance plan offers a different level of coverage when it comes to sleep care, so this will make a meaningful difference in how much you pay directly.
  • Treatment Choice: The two most common sleep apnea treatments are CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy, which have different costs up front and over time (oral appliance therapy tends to be much more affordable).

Treat Your Sleep Apnea Now to Improve Your Health

When thinking about investing in sleep apnea treatment, one important factor to consider is how much it will help you save in healthcare costs over time. Untreated sleep apnea is shown to directly contribute to higher rates of hypertension (high blood pressure), which often leads to heart attack and stroke. At the same time, chronic sleep deprivation stemming from the condition increases the chance someone will be in a motor vehicle accident by about 3X…which is notably worse than even alcohol.

Dealing with chronic cardiovascular problems, injuries/missed work due to accidents, and vehicle repairs can easily lead to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses. But, both the science and individual patient stories show that these issues can be avoided just by getting your sleep under control.

Making Sleep Apnea Treatment More Affordable

At Dolfield Dental of Owings Mills, we can work with you to help you use your medical insurance to cover your sleep apnea care. Or, if you don’t have coverage, you can sign up for our in-house membership plan . With this, you pay one flat fee for the entire year, and this covers all of your routine dental care AND gives you access to a 15% discount on all other treatments. Give us a call to talk more about your options and learn about the benefits of our plan!

Sleep Apnea FAQs

woman smiling in bed

Are you ready to finally start getting the deep, restful sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning? If so, then Dr. Milner is ready to help with oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea! For your convenience, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about sleep apnea below. Feel free to give us a call if you have any further questions!

Are There Any Indicators That Can Predict Sleep Apnea?

While snoring and daytime drowsiness are common indications that you have sleep apnea, they aren’t the only risk factors. Some of the other factors that could increase your risk for sleep apnea include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure
  • Acid reflux
  • Enlarged tongue or tonsils
  • A deviated septum
  • Genetics

What Are the Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea?

Your body needs a full night of sleep in order to function at its best. If you’re constantly tired throughout the day, you won’t be able to focus while working or driving, which could increase the risk of getting into a traffic accident. Untreated sleep apnea has also been linked to a higher risk of:

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Reduced immune function

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, your overall health will benefit from seeking treatment as soon as possible.

How Do I Find Out for Sure Whether I Have Sleep Apnea?

The only way to definitively know whether you have sleep apnea is to undergo a sleep study. Our team members can help you set that up. Once the study has been completed, your results will be examined by a sleep specialist, who will determine both whether you have sleep apnea and whether you’re a candidate for oral appliance therapy. From there, Dr. Milner can begin the process of creating your personalized treatment.

Will My Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Therapy?

While dental insurance may not cover the cost of an oral appliance, most medical insurance policies do. Insurance coverage varies greatly from person to person, though. We recommend calling your insurance company and speaking directly with a representative. If you’re considering getting treatment from our office and your insurance company requires a pre-determination of benefits, just let us know. We are always happy to assist you.

Can I Use an Oral Sleep Appliance If I Have Missing Teeth or a Denture?

Each of our oral appliances is custom-made to fit your unique mouth, and they have been successful for a wide variety of patients. Ideally, you should have at least 6 to 8 teeth in order to secure a traditional oral appliance. However, Dr. Milner may be able to fit your appliance over an implant-retained denture or even your edentulous ridges in some cases. That way, you should be able to attain the restful sleep you need no matter how many natural teeth you have left.