sleep_apnea_treatments_refreshed

The lack of quality sleep can take a huge toll on your life. Sleep apnea patients complain of a lack of energy, poor concentration, decreased productivity, slowed metabolism, and general loss of quality of life. In addition to the obvious disadvantages of lost sleep, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and even sudden death.

It’s obviously not a condition to take lightly. Diagnosis and treatment can have a huge impact on your future.

Solving Sleep Issues For Decades

With over two decades of training and experience in the field of dental sleep medicine, Dr. Blumenstock is one of the most active and influential practitioners of this type in New Jersey.

We function in cooperation with a medical sleep team that includes sleep physicians, neurologists, pulmonologists, and ear, nose, and throat specialists. Since snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are medical problems, you’ll obtain an objective medical assessment before we explore oral appliance therapy.

Determining Your Sleep Treatment Choices

Following referral from a physician, Dr. Blumenstock thoroughly examines all patients and discusses all options, advantages, limitations, and consequences. Then it’s time to determine which oral appliance is for you.

Oral Appliances

Oral appliance therapy repositions the lower jaw and tongue to keep the airway open and reduce or eliminate apneic events. The oral appliance is molded to the inside of your mouth and worn at night. It may be made adjustable to gradually move the jaw forward.

Follow-Up Treatment

After initial placement of the oral appliance, several visits will be needed to titrate the appliance to a comfortable and effective position. Then we recommend a follow-up evaluation by the referring physician to objectively document the effectiveness of the therapy. We like to see all our sleep patients twice per year long term during active treatment, to ensure the integrity of the oral structures and continued effectiveness of the treatment.

Behavioral Adjustments

Snoring or mild sleep apnea may be treated with small behavioral adjustments, such as the following:

  • avoiding alcohol before bed
  • losing weight
  • moistening the air
  • not eating close to bedtime
  • quitting smoking
  • raising the head of the bed or mattress
  • increasing daily exercise
  • sleeping on your side

But for moderate to severe sleep apnea, further measures are usually necessary. Explore your options for alternative oral appliance therapies.

CPAP Machine

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure.  It uses a constant stream of air to keep breathing passages open.  It requires the patient to wear a mask attached with a hose to a noisy machine next to the bed.

CPAP has close to 100% efficiency when used, unfortunately studies have shown that success rates are only approximately 50%, due to the inability to tolerate the CPAP machine.  Its restriction of movement, noise, and occasional symptoms of dry throat and raw skin where the mask rubs often cause patients to discontinue use, either before the machine is able to have a positive effect, or despite their good results.

Dr. Blumenstock has treated hundreds of patients that “hated” their CPAP machines and who are now happy with the results of their oral appliances.

Surgical Treatment

There are a few different kinds of surgeries that can be performed in an attempt to resolve sleep apnea or severe snoring. However, surgery carries risk for complications and infection, requires an uncomfortable recovery period, and has a high failure rate.

Fortunately, we offer a number of oral appliance alternatives that are proven to offer relief to sleep apnea sufferers.  Contact us now for an evaluation to see which one is right for you.

Combination Therapy

This category consists of combining the mandibular advancement appliance (MAS) with the CPAP machine.  This could be either MAS in conjunction with the CPAP or having the CPAP machine connect directly to an oral appliance.  This is a new emerging treatment option.

Dr. Blumenstock is versed in combination therapy and has several different options to offer.  The reason for combination therapy would be if the patient is unsuccessful with the MAS and also unable to tolerate the CPAP machine.  By combining these 2 together, all the possible treatment issues can be addressed.  These combination devices are generally comfortable.  Their compliance of satisfaction is very high for this type of therapy.  This works best for people who are severe but not necessarily have to be severe in order to obtain benefit this type  of therapy.