Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center
We specialize in 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 closers (apneas) 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 verify 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. Dr. Hawkins and his staff are in constant communication with their patients. Even after the final sleep study, we continue a yearly visit because as a patient ages, their body may change.
Dr. Hawkins and the staff at Zanesville Dental Sleep Medicine Center make their patient’s care their number one concern. They work closely with the patient’s doctors to ensure the proper care is taken for an overall healthy body. Dr. Hawkins’ number main priority is that the patient is treating their sleep apnea, no matter if it is with a sleep appliance or another method.
Dr. Charles Hawkins is the first dentist in Ohio to be accredited by The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine for treating snoring and sleep apnea in Southeastern Ohio.
37 Million Americans are affected by Sleep Apnea.
So exactly what is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious, potentially life-threatening disorder that is defined by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. These breathing cessations can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 3 minutes. This causes the blood oxygen level to go down. Eventually, the brain notices the drop in oxygen and causes the body to arouse and begin breathing again. Thus, the deep, restorative sleep cycle called REM is interrupted. This puts a strain on the heart and lungs to play “catch up”.
Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
• Loud, excessive snoring
• Excessive daytime sleepiness (falling asleep at inappropriate times)
• High blood pressure
• Memory problems
• Morning headaches
• Feeling of depression
• Acid reflux/heartburn
• Nocturia (frequent night time urination)
• Weight gain
• Limited attention
• Poor judgment
• Personality issues (hyperactivity in children)
If you experience 2 or more of the above symptoms, we encourage you to be further screened. 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
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), slight 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.
Dr. Hawkins follows his oral appliance patients closely. Once all adjustments are made to the oral device, he has his patients participate in second sleep study to ensure the device is treating the sleep apnea properly. Dr. Hawkins also works closely with your general physician and the sleep doctors at the Genesis Sleep Disorder Center to achieve the best treatment for your sleep apnea disorder.
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.
Genesis Sleep Disorder Center
2951 Maple Avenue Zanesville, OH 43701