Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center
Tired of your CPAP? A better day begins with a good night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep should not be a luxury. It’s absolutely essential to maintaining your good health. At Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center we care about your overall health . We offer a FDA approved custom oral appliance that replaces CPAP. Part of our commitment to serving our patients includes providing information to assist them in making informed decisions about their treatment options. If you or a loved one snore or have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), we can help. OSA has been linked to:
High blood pressure
Type II diabetes
We specialize and are an accredited facility for Oral Sleep Appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Each appliance is custom made so that it fits comfortably and discreetly. Our sleep appliances are designed to bring the lower jaw forward, which in turn brings the tongue, soft tissue, and muscle away from the back of the throat. By bringing everything forward, it reduces the vibrations (snoring) and closures (apnea) creating a clear, open airway. Dr. Hawkins works closely with each patient so that there is minimal chance of discomfort while getting the appliance to maximum efficiency. Throughout the course of treatment we ensure the appliance is working by monitoring the patient’s oxygen levels during sleep using a small hand held device (pulse-ox). Once the oral sleep appliance is in the best position for the patient, a follow up sleep study is scheduled.
We at Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center make our patient’s care our number one concern. We are committed to working closely with you and your physician to ensure the proper care is taken for an overall healthy body.
Dr. Charles Hawkins is the first dentist in Ohio to be accredited by The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine for treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in Southeastern Ohio.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep apnea (OSA) is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep. The term sleep apnea is derived from the Greek etymology meaning “without breath”. Breathing pauses can last anywhere from several seconds to minutes, and happen as often as 30 times or more per hour. Ongoing disrupted breathing causes an imbalance between the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the bloodstream, as not enough carbon dioxide is exiting and not enough oxygen is entering the body.
Sensing this imbalance, the brain sends a message to the body, telling it to wake up to restart breathing the process. People with sleep apnea will partially awake as they struggle to breathe, and this is often accompanied by loud snoring or choking sensations. Because people with sleep apnea don’t always completely awake during the episodes, they are often unaware they have a sleeping disorder and it can remain undiagnosed.
There are two main types of this disorder; central sleep apnea which occurs when the brain fails to send important signals to the breathing muscles, and obstructive sleep apnea which occurs when air cannot flow through the nose or mouth even though the body is still trying to breathe. Obstructive sleep apnea is far more prevalent and easily treatable by our team.
Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea can include severe early morning headaches, sleepiness in the daytime, and insomnia. The oral appliances we offer are FDA approved custom appliances that we can use to maintain your airway while you sleep. These are not to be confused with an online one-size fits all type of device. Those items typically are not effective and not approved by the FDA for the treatment of OSA.
Patients of Hawkins Complete Dental Service are screened for sleep apnea at their regular appointments. However, if you are not a patient and wish to see if you are at risk, simply go to www.mysleeptest.com
What Does Sleep Apnea Treatment Involve?
Initially, we want to meet with you to understand your concerns. To do this, we need to confirm your diagnosis with your physician. He or she will be able to tell us if you need help with snoring, or if you have mild or moderate OSA. In some cases we are asked to assist in providing a device to be used with CPAP. Once we have confirmed this with your doctor, we’ll perform a clinical exam to determine if you are a candidate for an oral appliance and if so, which type. There are many appliances to chose from and we want to help you determine what will work best for you. At the end of the day, your appliance will only be effective if you use it consistently. We will also reinforce what you were probably already advised by your doctor: don’t engage in habits that aggravate sleep apnea such as smoking, minimize alcohol consumption, and avoid tranquilizer use.
Sleeping masks were traditionally used to keep the patient’s airways open while they slept, but nowadays there are some less intrusive options. Mandibular repositioning devices that gently tease the lower jaw forward are very effective in preventing the tongue from blocking the main air passage. These devices are gentle, easy to wear, and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries.
A more permanent solution is to have surgery that sections the lower jaw and helps pull the bone holding the tongue forward slightly. This surgery has an impressive success rate when performed by an oral surgeon.
Individuals who screen “at risk” need to complete a sleep study to be accurately diagnosed. Diagnosis for sleep apnea is only made based on sleep study results. A sleep study can be done either at a sleep lab, or at home. Dr. Hawkins or your general physician can recommend which is best for you based on your risk factors. Treatment recommendations for sleep apnea are based on the severity of the disorder. Snoring (with no apnea), mild, and moderate sleep apnea are best treated with a Mandibular Repositioning Dental Appliance (oral appliance) according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. An Oral Appliance is designed to hold the lower jaw forward to allow the airway to stay open.
Severe sleep apnea is best treated with a C-PAP machine. A C-PAP machine uses forced air through a mask to keep the airway open. There is a large population of people diagnosed with severe sleep apnea that have been fitted with a C-PAP machine that cannot tolerate it. For those individuals an oral appliance may be a viable alternative. Alternative treatment is better than no treatment at all when dealing with a life threatening disorder like sleep apnea.
If you suspect yourself, or a loved one, is suffering from snoring or sleep apnea please call our office at (740) 455-6286. All initial consults at the Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center are at NO COST.
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2951 Maple Avenue Zanesville, OH 43701
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