Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening medical disorder that causes your body to stop breathing during sleep. The muscles in your throat relax and the tongue may fall back and block the airway as you sleep, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to all of your organs including your heart and brain. People with sleep apnea may snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time. The breathing pauses from sleep cause your body to briefly wake while you remain unaware. This can happen hundreds of times per night, and you may wake up feeling unrefreshed.

In addition to snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea can cause memory loss, morning headaches, irritability, depression, decreased sex drive and impaired concentration. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to hypertension, stroke, heart attack and sudden death while asleep.

Sleep apnea patient are often older, obese and have thick necks, but men and women of any age or body type can have sleep apnea. The sleep disorder progressively worsens with age and weight gain.

The vast major of sleep related breathing cases go undiagnosed and untreated. An Institute of Medicine report found that an estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. Excessive daytime sleepiness alone costs the economy $150 billion in lost productivity and workplace accidents another $48 billion in medical expenses related to auto accidents involving drowsy driving. Nearly 1 in 5 car accidents causing serious injury are associated with excessive daytime sleepiness.

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

Dentists have pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea and sleep related breathing disorders. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by supporting the jaw in a forward position. With an oral appliance, dentists can minimize or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea in mild to moderate cases. Minster Dental Care provides patients with one of the most advanced oral appliances, the Somnomed.

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is a viable alternative to traditional CPAP. Studies have shown the long term compliance to oral appliance therapy to be greater than CPAP. Minster Dental Care is able to screen patients for sleep apnea by using a simple to use take home study called the WATCH-PAT. Using WATCH-PAT, patients are able to obtain sleep information from the comfort of their own home. We are then able to guide treatment which may include oral appliance therapy or referral to your sleep physician.

Ask the trained staff at Minster Dental about our easy to use sleep apnea treatment.

More Information about SomnoDent

For the treatment of OSA, SomnoDent is worn during sleep to maintain the patency of the upper airway by increasing its dimensions and reducing collapsibility. SomnoDent is a custom made appliance, comprised of upper and lower dental plates with a unique patented fin coupling component, which allows normal mouth opening and closing.

How effective is SomnoDent?

  • 96% of patients with proven OSA state they would like to continue using SomnoDent
  • 91% of patients reported improvement in sleep quality with SomnoDent
  • 88% of patients reported nightly use of SomnoDent

When is it worn?

SomnoDent is worn when you sleep. The appliance is very discrete, allowing you to close your lips so it is not obvious that you are wearing it.

Is it comfortable?

SomnoDent is extremely comfortable. Why? Because it is custom made to fit your mouth and it does not impinge on your tongue. You can open and close your mouth normally as SomnoDent does not lock or fix your jaws together.

What if I wear dentures?

The Edent can be worn by patients without any upper or lower teeth. Your dentist will assess your suitability for an Edent implant.