san marcos tmj dentist sonny eslampour dds
Sonny Eslampour, DDS
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Sleep Apnea Treatment in San Diego and North County

OSA oral appliance vs CPAP

OSA and Snoring have overlapping signs and symptoms. A large percentage (about 30%) of adults snore. Yet only 5% have Sleep Apnea. It is important to recognize that even benign snoring will eventually turn into sleep apnea if left untreated, in majority of patients. 

The health implications of untreated SBD's are well documented in the medical journals. And the need for treatment is obvious.

The purpose of treatment for those who suffer from Benign Snoring is to make the snoring less loud. And help prevent development of sleep apnea. Snoring is treated with a dental appliance somewhat similar to what is needed for treatment of OSA.

While CPAP used to be the number one recommended therapy for sleep apnea, it no longer is. In fact, for mild and moderate sleep apneas, an oral appliance is the recommended choice. One of the main reasons for this shift in therapy is because a very high percentage of apnea patients stop using their CPAP after a short period of time. In fact, most medical doctors don't have long term follow up rates on CPAP success because most patients stop using their CPAP within 3-6 months of getting one! Most common reasons patient cannot get used to CPAP are:

* Cannot sleep with a fan blowing air into the nose and mouth.
* The mask is not very comfortable or well-fitting.
* Too noisy
* Cumbersome
* Embarrassing!
one type of oral sleep apnea appliance

Dental appliances for treatment of OSA are by far the best (and most comfortable) choice when it comes to treating such cases, as explained by our sleep apnea dentist. The patient is able to use the dental device instead of the CPAP machine. And more importantly, the patient will probably use it more because it is more comfortable and less bulky than the CPAP.

The treatment for those with Sleep Apnea depends on the severity of their Sleep Apnea. This is determined by doing a night-time Polysomnography test. This is commonly referred to as a "Sleep Study." Several other tests are also used to better understand the severity and the nature of the disease. Involvement of your Primary Care Provider or a Sleep Specialist is also required.  As sleep apnea is considered a medical disorder, there typically is medical insurance benefits for treatment, even if the treatment is other than CPAP.

There are a number of different dental appliances designed for treatment of OSA. The most popular and common designs are shown below. Each appliance is designed for a different sub-group of patients suffering from oral sleep apnea. Dr. Eslampour can help you decide which is your best option.

Tap OSA device Somnomed: an OSA device Suad OSA device

People suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea benefit greatly from oral appliances. For those with severe sleep apnea (or heavy moderate cases),  a mixed or combination therapy of an Oral Appliance and CPAP is recommended.

Once you have your appliance, your appliance needs to be "titrated" correctly for it to have the most benefit for your sleep apnea.  Depending on the design of the appliance you can take an active role in this "titration" process to achieve the results that you feel most comfortable with.

Much like any dental or medical procedure, oral appliance therapy has its own risks associated with it. However the benefits far outweigh the risk of this treatment for sleep apnea. Plus, steps can be taken to help reduce these.

To get started with your evaluation click here.

Sonny Eslampour, DDS is a dentist with a sub-specialty in treatment of TMJ disorders and Sleep Apnea.
TMJ & Sleep Apnea Center
555 S Rancho Santa Fe Road, #100
San Marcos, CA 92078