FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We believe it’s important for you to feel fully informed and confident while making decisions regarding your health or the health of your loved ones. To help, we’ve included commonly asked questions and answers from past patients. If your question isn’t addressed, get in touch and we’ll provide the information you need.
IF I SNORE, DOES THAT MEAN THAT I HAVE SLEEP APNEA?
Snoring frequently accompanies sleep apnea but it is not always an indicator of whether sleep apnea is present. However, snoring can indicate that bulky throat tissue could potentially obstruct airways – especially if patients have certain lifestyle factors that contribute to sleep apnea. Fortunately, the treatment we offer for sleep apnea and snoring is the same. By prescribing a custom oral appliance, the diameter of the airway can be widened to prevent the sounds of snoring as well as episodes of apnea. These oral appliances are soft and comfortable to wear. They work by positioning the lower jaw slightly forward so that the airway is no longer obstructed.
COULD I HAVE SLEEP APNEA EVEN IF I DON'T SNORE?
Anyone of any age can have sleep apnea. Even though snoring can accompany sleep apnea, it is not always a symptom of this sleep disorder. For this reason, it is important to have a sleep study conducted to determine if apnea is occurring. There are two options for sleep testing. The testing can be done at a traditional sleep lab. Alternatively, our practice can provide a take-home sleep study machine for you to use in the comfort of your own home. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea after your test, we will provide treatment recommendations.
ARE YOUR SERVICES COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?
Because insurance plans vary widely, our experienced team will work with you to see if your insurance company will cover the oral appliance. If for any reason it isn’t covered, we will let you know and work with you to develop a financial plan if needed. If coverage is available for oral appliances, it will come from your medical insurance carrier. Most dental insurance companies do not cover treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CPAP AND AN ORAL APPLIANCE?
While CPAP is very effective in treating sleep apnea, many people cannot tolerate the discomfort of the mask and the inconvenience and noise of the machine. Therefore a high percentage of users have difficulty or will not wear them.
An oral appliance is a popular alternative to the CPAP. This device is small, portable, fits more comfortably and can provide similar treatment benefits.
HOW OFTEN WILL I NEED TO REPLACE THE ORAL APPLIANCE?
They are made of hard acrylic, which is very durable. They are typically replaced every 3-5 years depending on wear and tear. If you grind your teeth, you may have a more frequent rate of repair or replacement.
WHY CAN'T I JUST USE THE BOIL AND BITE DEVICES I SEE ADVERTISED ON TV?
While there are over-the-counter appliances you can order, keep in mind these are not FDA approved for treating sleep apnea. Additionally, when not fitted properly they may cause unwanted side effects such as jaw problems or excessive tooth movement.
Have a question that isn’t covered here? Reach out today.