Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep Apnea & Snoring Dentist
Sleep Apnea Treatment, Options & Details

River Landing Dentistry has the experience and credentials you’re looking for when considering a dentist for sleep apnea treatment.

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Dedicated to life-long learning.

Our dentists have averaged triple the required continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout their careers; the minimum requirements for the state of South Carolina are 28 continuing education credit hours per licensing period!

“Dr. Rebeca is amazing! She is one of the kindest women and adored local moms on Daniel Island. I highly recommend her. I’m looking forward to my appointment in the newly constructed (stunning) building!”

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River Landing Dentistry Patient
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Sleep Apnea & Snoring

Did you know that between 1/3 and 1/2 of all adult Americans snore or have snored at some point? However, snoring – even chronically – is not necessarily indicative of sleep apnea. Snoring is a noise made by the vibration of the soft palate while breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea is a partial or complete recurrent upper airway obstruction while sleeping. An estimated 20% of adults have some form of sleep apnea, which can be a life-threatening condition. Common comorbidities of obstructive sleep apnea include but are not limited to hypertension, cardiac disease, A-fib, GERD, depression, stroke, diabetes, hypercholesteremia, memory loss, fatigue and decreased libido. Treatment options for sleep apnea and snoring usually depend on the severity of the condition and whether patients are experiencing problems breathing or simple snoring. Some of the most common treatments include behavioral modifications, oral sleep appliances, continuous positive airway pressure devices, and in some cases surgery.

Do not be surprised if our dentist brings up snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Zechmann firmly believes the dentist is in the best position to screen the public for obstructive sleep apnea. As dentists, we see your medical history, your dentition, and your airway, and we see you twice a year.

There is an alternative to CPAP! If you snore or have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, we can fabricate an oral appliance as a primary therapy option. If you have severe sleep apnea, we recommend you consider a CPAP first. If you cannot tolerate a CPAP, we absolutely recommend an oral appliance or some other form of treatment.

Video 01:42 | Steve Carstensen, DDS, of the ADA, identifies the basics of sleep and obstructive sleep apnea.

Do I need treatment for sleep apnea or snoring?

You may need treatment for snoring if the condition is disrupting the sleep of your partner or other people who live with you. We recommend treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Contact our dentist at River Landing Dentistry immediately to discuss your options for managing or treating sleep apnea.

What should I expect during treatment for sleep apnea or snoring from Dr. Zechmann?

Dr. Zechmann is a qualified dentist through the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and has attended numerous hours of CE in this field. You can expect Dr. Zechmann to do the following:

Review your medical history.
Discuss your sleep test results if you have them with you.
Refer you for either an in-lab sleep test (PSG) or home sleep test (HST) if you have not had one.
Discuss different treatment options including oral appliance therapy; review different appliances and their pros and cons.
Reach out to your PCP and medical insurance company should we decide to move forward with oral appliance therapy to treat your snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

Please bring your medical insurance card and any previous sleep tests you may have had completed.

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Sleep Apnea and serious health issues

Daytime fatigue. The repeated awakenings provoked by the sleep apnea episodes make normal, restorative sleep almost impossible. As a result, patients experience severe daytime fatigue and all its consequences: irritability, difficulty in concentrating, moodiness and uncontrollable sleepiness. Patients with sleep apnea might perform poorly in school or work, and children can have behaviour problems. There is also an increased risk of vehicle and working accidents in severe cases.

High blood pressure or heart problems. The sudden drops in blood oxygen saturation during the episodes can increase blood pressure and affect your heart. This condition is associated with an increased risk of heart attack, strokes and arrhythmias.

Complications with medications and surgery. Patients that suffer from sleep apnea should also take precautions when taking certain drugs and undergoing general anaesthesia. They are more likely to have complications after major surgeries because they tend to develop breathing problems afterwards.

Liver problems. People with sleep apnea have more chances of having abnormal results on liver function tests, and their livers are prone to develop signs of nonalcoholic liver disease.

Video 01:54 | Steve Carstensen, DDS, of the ADA, shares how sleep apnea can negatively affect overall health.

Upper Airway Respiratory Syndrome (extreme snoring)

Unlike in patients that suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), there are no apnea episodes in the Upper Airway Respiratory Syndrome (UARS). Still, this syndrome can cause short and sudden awakenings, which interfere with the regular sleep pattern. A UARS patient usually isn’t aware of these episodes but still presents symptoms that affect daily life:

Excessive daytime fatigue.
Problems with memory and attention Irritability.
Problems initiating and maintaining sleep.
Dry mouth Morning headaches.
Teeth grinding.

Healthy Start (Sleep Medicine for Children)

Sleep Disorders in children are much more serious and common than we used to think. These disorders can be manifested in various signs and symptoms that can be easily overlooked, misdiagnosed, or even worse, left untreated.

The Healthy Start system is a non-invasive, functional treatment that uses a series of specially designed oral appliances worn mainly at nighttime to correct breathing patterns. It addresses issues like mouth breathing, snoring, narrow palates, improper jaw development, speech difficulties, thumb/finger sucking, and improper swallowing. This system has also proven effective when treating orthodontic problems such as crowding, open-bite, crossbite, overbite, overjet, gummy smiles, and class III.

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