Sleep Apnea

Call Dr. Frank Now for Sleep Apnea Solutions.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Here is How Dr. Frank Can Help

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As a progressive dental practice in Bakersfield, California, we provide all traditional dental services, including diagnostics and treatment for sleep apnea. 

As a sleep disorder, sleep apnea affects millions of Americans and counts as both an oral condition and airway management problem, both of which can affect your life and overall health.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is the name of a condition that causes your body to begin choking on itself, causing repeated episodes of partial or complete suffocation while you sleep. In some cases, each instance of choking can last for up to a minute or more. 

The cause of the condition is blockage of the airway, usually by the tongue or throat. The first sign of sleep apnea is typically snoring, which happens when you attempt to breathe deeply despite a narrowing of the airway. If left untreated, snoring can often escalate to full Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is characterized by a full blockage of the airway. 

Nearly one in four adults over thirty are unknowingly suffering from at least mild sleep apnea. Are you at risk?

How Do You Know if You Are at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Answer each of the following questions and be completely honest. If your answer is YES to two or more of them, you should have your health evaluated. Contact our office to schedule a sleep apnea diagnostics test.

Sleep Apnea Questions

  1. Do you snore? While minor snoring isn’t necessarily a sign, you could have sleep apnea if you snore louder than a person talking or at least loud enough to be heard through a closed door.
  2. Are you often tired throughout the day? If you feel you got enough sleep and yet still have heavy eyelids, a sleep disorder like OSA could be to blame. 
  3. Do you stop breathing during the night? Ask your spouse to listen to your breathing periodically while sleeping to determine if your breathing ceases between snores.
  4. Do you experience high blood pressure? Answer yes if you have ever been treated or are currently being treated for this condition. 
  5. Are you overweight? You should answer yes if you have a slightly higher BMI than normal or if you are considered obese by medical standards. 
  6. Are you of advanced age? Answer yes if you are aged 50 or older. 
  7. Is the circumference of your neck greater than 16 inches? Get a tape measure and wrap it around the span of your neck at the base or use a string and measure with a measuring stick or ruler. 
  8. Are you male? The male gender tends to be greatest at risk for sleep apnea. 
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What Are Your Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?

CPAP

Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) is considered the gold standard for the management of sleep apnea. A CPAP machine works by pumping regular room air through a hose attached to a nasal mask. 

You wear the mask by strapping it to your head before you go to sleep. Constant pressure will then push the collapsible tissues like your tongue and throat out of the way. This lets you maintain an open and stable airway during your slumber, letting you breathe a little easier through the night. 

cpap

Oral Appliance

If you have trouble wearing a CPAP every night, an oral appliance might be the better option. Dr. Frank specializes in fitting patients with custom oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea. 

An oral appliance works by holding your lower jaw (mandible) in an open and forward position. This prevents your throat and neck from collapsing, allowing the free flow of air.

An oral appliance is an excellent option for those who find the CPAP uncomfortable to wear. In 2015, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine updated its practice parameters to encourage sleep apnea sufferers to use oral appliances, but only ones made by a specially trained dentist. 

Dr. Frank is one of those dentists who can fit you with a custom-made oral appliance. This may be ideal if you have tried CPAP and are unable to continue its daily use. Talk to our front desk staff to learn more, as these devices are usually covered by medical insurance and Medicare. 

Get a Custom-Made Oral Appliance

If you have decided that CPAP is not for you, we highly recommend an oral appliance made just for you. Unlike CPAP, a mouthguard you wear at night won’t disturb bedpartners. It could prevent snoring and you will get better quality rest. Simply store it when not in use or travel freely with the appliance in your night bag. 

These devices are manufactured according to the strictest of safety and oral health standards and FDA-cleared to manage sleep apnea. The appliances are comfortable to wear and can resolve many of the symptoms usually associated with OSA.

Surgery

Dr. Frank can also recommend surgery for select cases. If you have sleep apnea issues that cannot be resolved easily with CPAP or an oral appliance, Dr. Frank will review and discuss any surgical options with you during your appointment. 

These devices are manufactured according to the strictest of safety and oral health standards and FDA-cleared to manage sleep apnea. The appliances are comfortable to wear and can resolve many of the symptoms usually associated with OSA.

The Technology We Use to Diagnose Sleep Disorders like Sleep Apnea

Eccovision Acoustic Imaging

Eccovision Acoustic Imaging

Our practice uses the Eccovision Acoustic Pharyngometer and Rhinometer system made by Sleep Group Solutions. The machine allows us to test our patients for breathing and airway blockages through the use of sound waves. 

The machine sends sound waves into the airway and measures how quickly they bounce back to determine the size of the airway. The Pharyngometer measures the oral airway while the Rhinometer measures the nasal passage. 

Both systems are FDA approved for identifying the site and severity of airway collapses caused by sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing problems. 

Ares Apnea Risk Evaluation System

Ares Apnea Risk Evaluation System

To make an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis, an overnight sleep study is required. Don’t worry; you won’t be forced to visit a sleep center for an inconvenient sleepover. Instead, the ARES system lets you take the sleep study home with you to wear at night. The system is comfortable to wear as it slips around your head like a baseball cap.

Once it’s hooked up, the system begins recording right away. By reviewing the data afterward, Dr. Frank can determine when and how easily you fall asleep and will receive detailed information regarding the quality of your sleep. 

If you wake up once or more with breathing-related events, the ARES system will record each time the events occur and their duration. You will then bring the device back to our office, where the information can be extracted and analyzed for an accurate sleep apnea diagnosis. 

Tired of Feeling Exhausted All the Time? Call and Ask About Our Sleep Apnea Treatments

If your snoring is causing a problem with your spouse and you suffer from sleep apnea related ailments like frequent headaches, high blood pressure, and acid reflux, call Dr. Frank’s office in Bakersfield, California. 

If you suffer from sleep apnea or suspect you do, we can help you find relief in the form of a restful night’s sleep. With oral health and clear airways so closely connected, your first step toward a comfortable solution is to contact us. Call and schedule an appointment today.

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