Dental Sleep Medicine

Dental Sleep Medicine

Dental Sleep medicine promotes research and the clinical use of oral appliances and upper airway surgery for the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders (SBD). The Buckhead Dental Group focuses on Oral appliance therapy to allow patients who snore and have other sleep-related breathing disorders to sleep better and wake up more refreshed.

Please read more how Drs. Freedman, Freedman, Weitman and Rahman are able to help alleviate your sleeping disorders


Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Do you wake up still tired even after getting 8 hours of sleep a night? There is a good chance you could be on of the 20 million adult Americans who has sleep apnea. There are two very important but very basics aspects of getting a good night sleep: Quantity and Quality. Quantity is the total number of hours of sleep slept at a given time. Luckily, we are more or less able to affect this determinate easily and readily. The other aspect, quality, is very difficult to change on your own. Quality of sleep decreases when we are not able to breathe normally during sleep which results in abnormal pauses The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. OSA occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax leading to the narrowing or closing of the airway, thereby momentarily cutting off breathing. The pause in breathing is referred to as apnea and the low breathing event is hypopnea. There are multiple risk factors that decrease the quality of sleep and thus your likelihood of having OSA including but not limited to excessive weight, neck circumference larger than 17 inches, high blood pressure, being older than 65, being a male (increase risk by 2 times v females), and smoking. Your primary care physician in collaboration with our office can recommend that you have a sleep study done by a specialist to determine if you have obstructive sleep apnea and the degree to which if is affecting your sleep. 

The Buckhead Dental Group’s custom made, FDA approved, non surgical sleep appliance works in conjunction with your natural teeth and musculature. The appliance covers the top and bottom teeth individually so that is does not lock your teeth together when you are asleep, which is claustrophobic and uncomfortable for many patients. The top and bottom parts of the appliance are connected with a metal arm on each side and is designed to push low lower jaw forward when the jaws are relaxed. Even with just a 5 millimeter lower jaw advancement we are able to dramatically affect airflow to through the posterior pharyngeal airway and reduce or eliminate obstructive sleep apnea allowing you to sleep better and wake up more rested. 

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition and must be diagnosed by your physician. In order to provide you the best care and the highest clinical efficacy rate with the sleep apnea appliance we require that you have a sleep study (also known as a polysomnogram (PSG)). The PSG, along with a detailed health history will allow us to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a dental sleep apnea appliance.

If I have diagnosed what are my treatment options?

1. Weight Loss

2. CPAP or BiPAP (Continuous Airway Pressure)

3. Oral Appliance Therapy 

4. Surgical Modalities (UPPP, Bimaxillary Surgery)

 

My Physician told me I need to use a CPAP, but I don’t like it. Can I use an Oral Appliance?

Historically the CPAP has been the standard of care for treating all types of obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP works on the premise that constant positive pressure of air flowing into the body will keep the pharyngeal airway patent thus allowing air to continuously pass without the airway being able to close. The CPAP works very well for patients who are able to tolerate its side effects which include nasal irritation, nasal congestion, bloating, headaches and claustrophobia. Other complaints arise from OSA suffers partners who cannot tolerate the noise from the CPAP as well as frequent travelers who find it hard to bring the CPAP with them. If you cannot tolerate or refuse to use your CPAP and with a release from your physician Drs. Freedman Freedman Weitman and Rahman determine if you are a good candidate for an oral appliance andif you are will create a custom made appliance to relieve your sleep apnea symptoms and allow you to wake up more rested!

 


Snoring

Over 50% of US adults snore at least occasionally, and half of these adults are habitual snorers. Snoring is the hoarse or harsh sound that occurs when breathing is obstructed in some way while you’re sleeping. Sometimes snoring may indicate a serious health condition. In addition, snoring can be a nuisance to your partner.

Causes of Snoring

Poor muscle tone in throat and tongue- When the muscle tone is relaxed it will tend to move where gravity takes it and when you are laying down sleeping the only place for these muscles and tissues to go is backward collapsing the non-rigid soft tissue of the throat. 

An obstructed nasal passage- Anything requiring more effort to breath may cause snoring due to a more forcefully inhalation and expulsion of air to pass the obstruction.

Overweight or obese- Overweight individuals tend to have excess tissues that can cause the soft tissues of the throat to collapse, partially obstructing the airway.

Snore Therapy

Snoring by itself does not cause damage to one’s health, however, about 50% of persistent, loud snores may have a more serious medical issues, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea or Central Sleep Apnea. The Buckhead Dental Group offers multiple treatment modalities to reduce snoring. These appliance operate with same principles as our Oral Sleep Appliances by advancing the mandible, opening the posterior pharyngeal airway and tightening the musculature so that the tongue and oral soft tissues do not fall back and collapse the throat. Patients with a history of loud, consistent snoring will be advised to visit their physician to make sure that there is not a deeper underlaying reason for the constant snoring. This team approach to Sleep Medicine will ensure that you receive the most effective care possible.