Apnea Options

Apnea Options is a practice that treats patients for sleep disordered breathing, snoring and sleep apnea.  We offer a full range of services, including diagnosis and evaluation of your problem, treatment and management of your condition over time.  Apnea Options integrates both dental and medical technology into a comprehensive, stepped approach to treatment. We are committed to working with our patients to manage their airway and sleep health over a lifetime.

Diplomate in Dental Sleep Medicine | FAQ's


Diplomate in Dental Sleep Medicine

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The American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine recognizes Dr. Alex J. Johnson on fulfilling the high standards required to receive certification and Diplomate status through the ABDSM.

ABDSM certification signifies to patients, colleagues and professional organizations in both medicine and dentistry that Dr. Johnson has met established qualifications and demonstrated a thorough understanding of oral appliance therapy.

"The purpose of the ABDSM is to help set standards for the scope of dental sleep medicine, which includes oral appliances and upper airway surgery to treat sleep-related breathing disorders such as snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and to assure professional dental and medical colleagues, patients, and the public of an acceptable level of education, training and experience by those who become Diplomates of the ABDSM by examination. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recognizes Diplomate status granted by the ABDSM."

Dentists with a broad understanding of oral appliance therapy work closely with board-certified sleep physicians to treat sleep-disordered breathing. An oral appliance that is custom-made and fitted by a trained dentist is an effective treatment option for patients who have been diagnosed by a physician with primary snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.

More information about the ABDSM is available online at www.abdsm.org.

FAQ's

Q. What does Apnea Options do?

A. Apnea Options is a practice that treats patients for sleep disordered breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea. We offer a full range of services, including evaluation of your problem and diagnosis, treatment, and management of your condition over time. Apnea Options integrates both dental and medical technology into a comprehensive, stepped approach to treatment. We are committed to working with our patients to manage their airway and sleep health over a lifetime.

Q. Do I have to see my doctor for a referral before I make an appointment at Apnea Options?

A. No. You do not have to have a referral before scheduling an appointment at Apnea Options.

Q. Will Apnea Options work with my physicians?

A. Yes. Apnea Options is committed to collaborating with each patient’s medical team and will send progress reports to your doctors upon request. We accept referrals and prescriptions for oral appliance treatment from all physicians.

Q. Why does Apnea Options recommend that I get tested for sleep apnea if I snore?

A. Because snoring is a warning sign of sleep apnea, we encourage all patients to have a sleep study. The sleep study will show how severe your condition is and help the doctor determine the best course of action for your condition.

Q. Do I have to go to a sleep center first before making an appointment at Apnea Options?

A. No. You can make an appointment at Apnea Options first for an evaluation.

Q. Does Apnea Options work with sleep centers?

A. Yes. Currently, insurance only covers treatment for sleep apnea if you have had a polysomnogram (PSG) sleep study.

Q. What is an oral appliance?

A. A customized oral appliance is fabricated for the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. It is an alternative treatment to constant positive airway pressure (CPAP). The oral appliance is made of two separate pieces -- one for the upper teeth and the other for the lower teeth. One “tray” snaps on your bottom teeth and the other snaps on your top teeth. There is a mechanism that keeps the two trays together when it is in your mouth. The appliance keeps the airway open at night and prevents snoring and apnea by holding the lower jaw in a forward position.

Q. What does a "stepped" approach to therapy mean?

A. A stepped approach to therapy means that there are several stages of treatment. We offer treatment to manage the airway that is based on the principles of cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. The first step is to stabilize the lower jaw and pull it forward to open the airway with an oral appliance. In most cases, this is all the treatment necessary to resolve snoring and sleep apnea problems. If a patient can't be treated with an oral appliance alone, we can add a custom CPAP mask to the oral appliance to further assist with opening the airway and breathing. With combination therapy, the patient gets the benefits of both oral appliance and CPAP therapies. Therapy is usually only necessary in very severe cases.

Q. What is the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s policy on oral appliances?

A. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as a first-line therapy for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. They recommend oral appliances to people who have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and have tried and not been successful with CPAP.

Q. How long does it take to see results with an oral appliance?

A. Most patients can see results the first few nights of wearing their oral appliance.

Q. Do I have to wear the oral appliance every night?

A. Yes. You must wear the appliance every night to be treated for snoring and sleep apnea. When you do not wear your TAP oral appliance, your sleep disordered breathing will return.

Q. Can I wear an oral appliance if I have a bridge or dentures?

A. If the bridge is fixed in your mouth there should be no problem. If you have a removable denture then it would depend on the number of teeth that support the denture.

Q. What if the oral appliance does not work for me?

A. If the oral appliance is not a good solution for you, you have another non-surgical option — continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). In some cases, surgery to reposition the lower jaw may be an option.

Q. What happens if my snoring or sleep apnea gets worse?

A. The oral appliance is fully adjustable and can be set at different, standardized settings. If your snoring or sleep apnea gets worse, you have the ability to advance the jaw forward to further open your airway. If you reach the maximum degree of advancement, you have the option of adding CPAP to the oral appliance.

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