An estimated 50-70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening medical disorder that causes your body to stop breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea may snore loudly and stop breathing for short periods of time. The breathing pauses from sleep cause your body to briefly wake while you remain unaware. This can happen hundreds of times per night, and you may wake up feeling un-refreshed. In addition to snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep apnea can cause memory loss, morning headaches, irritability, depression, decreased sex drive and impaired concentration. It even can cause a strain on a relationship because the snoring prevents the bed partner from having a restful nights sleep leading to their irritability and chronic tired feeling as well .
“Our office staff has attended several classes on sleep apnea. Once a patient has a diagnosis and report from a sleep study, we have the patient in our office for an impression to have a oral sleep appliance fabricated. Our front desk staff has billed the patient’s medical insurance and we have gotten reimbursement for our patients,“ states Dr Chen. Dentists have pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnea and sleep related breathing disorders. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position. Patients have preferred it over a CPAP machine and it is much more comfortable to wear.
Recently, one of our patients had this to say about the appliance. “The oral appliance I received from Dr. Chen’s office has truly changed my life….. I used a CPAP machine for 6 years. Never once in 6 years did I feel totally awake and refreshed. With the new oral appliance I have no more dry eyes , sore nose or marked face. I can sleep in any position. I even used it on an over seas flight. My husband says it’s strange to sleep next to someone so quiet! He’s going to have to get used to it. I’m NOT giving this up!” patient, Karen McConnell
If you or your spouse suffer from an undiagnosed sleep related breathing disorder or have questions about snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea please contact our office today. We look forward to changing your life!