Dental Sleep Medicine Experience
What is the Dental Sleep Medicine Experience?
We are here to answer any questions that you may have about treating your snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) with dental sleep therapy. During your initial call or visit, you may be asked to provide us with health information so we can better understand your snoring or sleep disordered breathing problem. If you have already completed a sleep study, you will need to provide the contact information for your physician so our team can obtain a copy of your sleep report prior to your arrival. You will also be asked to complete a patient information page online, or bring a paper copy with you for your appointment. Once your information is received, we will make an appointment for a free consultation at Advanced Sleep Apnea And Snoring of Connecticut. Successful treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) using dental sleep therapy relies on seeking treatment from a properly trained dentist who adheres to the latest standards of treatment.
While treatment varies for each individual, below is an overview of what you can expect during treatment of your snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):
1st Appointment – Free Consultation (approximately 45 minutes)
Prior to your arrival, our Advanced Sleep Apnea And Snoring of Connecticut team will review all of your previously-obtained documentation, like sleep studies and patient information. This information is vital to help us understand your needs and to better help address all of your symptoms and concerns.
At your initial appointment, you will meet our team. We will review your concerns and the reasons you are seeking treatment or clinical advice. We will help ensure that you have a complete understanding of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) including the causes, diagnosis, and medical ramifications for this serious disorder. Our team will also review the risks, benefits and alternatives of the various treatments available for treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Once you have a thorough knowledge of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and we have answered all of your questions then a limited oral exam may take place. The purpose of the examination is to assess the anatomy of your upper airway, the condition and stability of the teeth and TMJ (jaw joint), and to evaluate the range of motion of the jaw to determine if you are a good candidate for dental sleep therapy. Based on our observations, we will be able to determine which type of dental sleep device will work best for your particular situation, and to discuss the likely outcomes of treatment.
If you have not previously had a sleep study, then we will discuss the various options for having a sleep study.
If it is determined that you are a good candidate for a dental sleep therapy, we will discuss insurance, financial arrangements, and make an appointment to begin treatment.
2nd Appointment – Begin Treatment (approximately 1 to 1.5 hrs)
Our doctors will work closely with your regular dentist. However, our treatment goals are not the same as your regular dentist. We will evaluate your teeth to ensure they are stable enough to secure a dental sleep device, but will not perform an exam for preventative or restorative dental care. You should see your regular dentist for routine dental services (Can I keep my regular dentist?). If your regular dentist has current x-rays, then our staff will obtain a copy prior to your visit. Our team will also obtain any necessary insurance pre-authorizations and medical documentation prior to your appointment.
Your appointment will consist of an examination of your oral dentition (teeth), soft tissues, airway, occlusion (bite), TMJ (jaw joint) and range of motion of your jaw. Any needed x-rays will be taken and digital photographs of your teeth and oral cavity will be completed. Impressions (molds) and a bite registration will be made. This mold will be used to fabricate your custom-made dental sleep device.
We will help select the most appropriate custom-made dental sleep device for your particular situation, and will review the risks, benefits, and alternatives of treatment. A follow-up appointment will be made for 3 to 4 weeks for delivery of your dental sleep device.
3rd Appointment – Delivery of device (approximately 45 minutes)
Your custom dental sleep device will have arrived and be ready for use. We will insert the device into your mouth and check it for fit, comfort and stability. Minor adjustments of the dental sleep device may be made to ensure a perfect fit. Once adequately fitted, you will be given instructions on the wearing and care of the device, as well what to expect during the first few weeks of wear.
During your next few weeks, your initial symptoms will be reviewed and you will be asked to keep track of your symptoms.
You will be given a copy of all of the information gathered in your previous appointment including x-rays. Our staff will insure that this information is also sent to your physicians and regular dentist.
Your next appointment is usually scheduled for 1 to 4 weeks after you receive the dental sleep device. Any concerns prior to the next appointment are happily addressed by phone or by seeing us in person.
4th Appointment – 1st Device evaluation (30 to 45 minutes)
After you have started your dental sleep therapy treatment, our team will check to ensure that your dental appliance is being worn comfortably every night. Any areas of concern will be addressed, and questions that you have will be answered. Your symptoms will be discussed and documentation of improvement will be made.
No further advancement or adjustment of the dental sleep device will be made unless you have already been wearing it for a month or more. Due to inflammation caused from snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the effectiveness of dental sleep devices steadily improves over the first month of use. Therefore, advancing or adjusting the dental sleep device is usually not recommended until the device has been worn for one month or longer.
5th Appointment – 2nd Device evaluation (30 to 45 minutes)
After you are successfully wearing your dental sleep device, the next treatment goal is to correct your subjective symptoms and to also document objective success of treatment for your Obstructive Sleep Apnea. We initially adjust your device based on subjective symptoms. It may require no adjustments after the initial placement, or it may take many small adjustments. We are trained and dedicated to obtain the best position for your dental sleep device. Once we feel your dental sleep device is adjusted adequately for relief of your symptoms, you will need a home sleep test to scientifically ensure that your Obstructive Sleep Apnea is being controlled . Depending on the results of the initial test, you may need to repeat the portable home sleep test multiple times as your device is adjusted. A final polysomnogram is usually required for patients with moderate or severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Additional Appointments – Device evaluation (10 to 45 minutes)
Follow-up appointments for health evaluation and dental device treatment success are typically conducted on a semi-annual basis, or as-needed with your Dental Sleep dentist.