Do you know your dentist can help you manage your sleep disorder? Sleep dentists are professionals that closely work with sleep physicians to treat sleep disorders associated with the throat and mouth. Below is a guide on the work of sleep dentists.
What Conditions Do Sleep Dentists Treat?
Sleep apnea occurs when a patient's breathing drastically starts and stops as he or she sleeps. It happens when soft tissues in your mouth and throat block the airway. Common causes include obesity and aging. Fatigue and snoring are the known symptoms of the disease. Sleep dentists provide an instant remedy by making an oral device that prevents the muscles and soft tissues in your throat from blocking. These devices are more effective compared to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks prescribed to people who suffer from sleep apnea. The CPAP masks are not only expensive but also bulky; hence, most patients have a difficult time using them.
What Should You Expect From A Sleep Dentist?
Your sleep dentist will require a doctor's report showing that you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring problems. Further, you should explain what interventions have been used to manage the condition. For instance, could be you want the oral device since you are unable to adhere to the drugs provided by your sleep therapist or because the medication has severe side effects. People that have a difficult time using the CPAP masks could also want to try the dental appliance.
The sleep dentist will calculate your bite and make a mould of your mouth. It will help him or her design an oral device customised to fit your mouth. The device fits like a mouth guard but has a small extension to keep your airway open. Once the device is ready, the dentist will test whether it fits in your mouth. He or she may have to make some minor adjustments.
Finding a Sleep Dentist.
Below are some tips to help you find a sleep dentist.
- Seek referrals from your sleep therapist or people that use the oral appliance to manage sleep apnea.
- Choose a professional located close to your location. You may have to make several visits to the dentist before and after the device is ready.
- Work with a reasonably priced professional. However, do not shy off from spending a little more to have the device made by an experienced and specialised sleep dentist.
- Check the range of services. Some dentists may provide personalised services to critically ill patients who cannot visit the dentist's premises while others may work during the weekend.
Remember to clean your device before use. Besides, you should consult your sleep dentist if you have trouble with the device's adjustments.