Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Burke
6035 Burke Centre Pkwy, Suite #200, Burke, VA 22015

Sleep Apnea Treatment: Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) in Burke, VA

Sleep apnea prevents 18 million individuals from getting quality REM sleep. That’s millions of people driving on the roads or operating heavy machinery while they are drowsy.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder resulting in the stopping of your breathing multiple times each hour. When the soft tissue in your throat becomes too relaxed, it blocks you airway. When your brain senses the lack of oxygen, you wake up gasping for air, but you are only awake for a second and you probably won’t remember the apnea event.

Should I Seek Treatment for Sleep Apnea in Burke?

If a partner tells you that you snore loudly or that you wake up choking or gasping for air, go to a sleep doctor immediately. Other sleep apnea symptoms that you may notice include:

  • Waking up with a headache almost every morning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling sleepy all day
  • Being easily irritated
  • Waking up with a dry mouth

If a dentist sees OSA symptoms in a patient, he or she will refer the patient to a doctor specializing in sleep medicine for a sleep study and a diagnosis.

What Are the Most Common Sleep Apnea Causes and Risk Factors?

The most common risk factors are being overweight and having a neck measurement of 16 inches or more. OSA is more common in men for numerous reasons, one of which has to do with weight distribution when men gain weight. A family history of OSA is also a common risk factor.

What Are My Sleep Apnea Treatment Options?

Your first option should be sleeping on your side, not on your back, and losing weight if you are overweight. Your doctor may suggest a CPAP machine, which keeps a continuous airflow moving through your throat. The machine requires a mask so it can push air into your nasal passages. If you’re not happy with the idea of wearing a mask, you can see a dentist for a custom sleep apnea mouth guard to wear while sleeping. If none of these treatment options are successful, surgery is the last option.

Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea

What Does an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Do?

Oral appliances can push the lower jaw slightly forward to keep the airway open or they can prevent the tongue from falling backwards during sleep, causing airway obstruction. Some oral appliances do both. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and learn how an oral appliance for sleep apnea in Burke can help you get the quality sleep that you deserve.

How Much Does a Mouthpiece for Sleep Apnea in Burke Cost?

Please call to arrange a consultation with our dentist, who will determine the type of oral appliance that will benefit you. Additionally, it’s common to need an adjustment and there is the cost for another sleep study to check your improvement. Your medical insurance may cover all or part of these costs.

Why Should I Consider Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) in Burke?

OAT is effective, more comfortable than using a CPAP machine and it is easily portable for travel. You should always get your sleep apnea mouthpiece from a qualified dentist, who will make adjustments until the device is comfortable. While you can purchase cheap oral appliances online, these rarely work, and if they are not adjusted properly, they can harm your teeth. Once you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea, contact our office to schedule an OAT consultation.

Does Medical Insurance Pay for Oral Appliances?

Medical insurance may cover treatment since it is a medical condition diagnosed by a doctor, not a dentist. Check your policy for details.

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