At Elite Dental of Staten Island, we collaborate with other health professionals to help manage sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder, but fortunately, there are several ways it can be addressed and managed. In fact, at Elite Dental of Staten Island, we often collaborate with other medical professionals to come up with effective treatment plans for our patients. Read on to find out who can help you overcome your sleep apnea.
In many cases, it can be very helpful to visit a sleep disorder center in order to have your diagnosis of sleep apnea confirmed. Here, you will have the chance to consult with a sleep specialist who will perform a thorough evaluation. During the evaluation, you will be monitored overnight, and the sleep specialist will carefully keep track of your breathing and other functions while you sleep. One of the tests that may be performed as part of this evaluation is known as nocturnal polysomnography. During this test, you will be attached to a machine that monitors the activity of your heart, lungs, and brain, as well as your body movements, breathing patterns and blood oxygen levels overnight.
Alternatively, your sleep specialist may recommend a home sleep test, in which you will be provided with a portable device to perform simple tests to measure your heart rate, breathing patterns and airflow while you sleep.
If your sleep specialist diagnoses sleep apnea, they may recommend treatment or refer you to another medical professional for further evaluation.
If you have a sleeping disorder like obstructive sleep apnea, you may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist, who will be able to check for a blockage in your throat or nose. In some cases, you may even be referred to a cardiologist or a neurologist in order to determine the cause of your condition.
At Elite Dental of Staten Island, we are able to provide treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in the form of myofunctional therapy, oral appliance therapy and continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). CPAP is often a very effective treatment for those who suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea. The machine delivers air pressure through a specially fitted mask during sleep, which helps to keep the airway passages open, preventing snoring and apnea from occurring.
Oral appliance therapy may be recommended by your dentist. There are a number of different types of oral devices currently available, which work by opening the throat to relieve snoring and sleep apnea.
Myofunctional therapy is based on the principle that there should be a harmonious relationship between the muscles of the face, mouth and throat. Myofunctional therapy seeks to correct any functional issues in the face through repetitive facial exercises.
Sometimes, surgery is recommended for the treatment of sleep apnea, usually in cases where other treatment options have proven unsuccessful. There are a number of surgical procedures that can be performed, including tissue removal, in which tissue is removed from the back of the mouth and the top of the throat, often along with the tonsils and adenoids; tissue shrinkage, in which the tissue at the back of the throat and mouth is reduced by means of radiofrequency ablation; jaw repositioning, which helps to enlarge the space behind the tongue and soft palate; and nasal surgery.
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, we encourage you to come in and see us. We can confirm your diagnosis and recommend treatment or refer you to another medical professional for further evaluation.
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