Are you or someone you know plagued by sleep apnea or snoring? If so, the team at Richmond Smile Center can help!
Although jokes are often made about snoring, we know that it is no laughing matter. The snorer is rarely aware of the problem, but it can ruin the sleep of his or her sleeping partner. We offer advanced, customized solutions to a wide variety of dental-related problems, including sleep apnea.
Our commitment to providing highly customized treatment and excellent dental experiences have earned Richmond Smile Center an outstanding satisfaction rating.
What is apnea?
Most patients who visit Richmond Smile Center for snoring treatment are doing so for the benefit of, or at the request of, their sleeping partners. About 60 percent of the time, those patients actually have a much more serious problem than simple snoring, they are afflicted with obstructive sleep apnea, and do not even know it.
Apnea interrupts breathing during sleep, sometimes for 30 seconds or longer. On average, an apnea patient’s breathing will pause about 30 times per hour, or every two minutes. This means that if you have sleep apnea you might not be breathing about one-quarter of the time that you are asleep. As you can imagine, this chronic oxygen deprivation can be harmful to your entire body.
Loud and persistent snoring is disruptive to anyone trying to sleep within hearing distance. Fragmented sleep can result in fatigue and daytime sleepiness. When it occurs regularly over an extended period, it can contribute to memory problems, slow reflexes, difficulty focusing or thinking clearly, poor job performance, and even auto accidents. Snoring that is loud enough to wake the affected person or others in the household is one of the most common signs or sleep apnea.
Although an apneic individual typically stops breathing hundreds of times every night, he or she will likely have no memory of it after waking. Often, people who live or sleep alone are entirely unaware of the condition, even if they have been afflicted for years.
Individuals who have untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure, and fatigue.
You may even suffer from a form of sleep disordered breathing without the tell-tale sign of snoring. Some people simply stop breathing during sleep, without any audible clues. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to how you sleep at night, and whether you wake feeling rested in the morning.
Diagnosis and treatment
At Richmond smile center, we use cutting edge diagnostic and treatment techniques, including:
- ICAT three dimensional imaging to assess the airway opening and soft tissues
- The Pharyngometer dynamic test, which is used to evaluate the dimensions of the airway
- The Stanford University developed evaluation known as Epworth Sleepiness Scale
We can also help arrange a convenient sleep study, which measures the breathing rate and pauses throughout the night.
Continuous positive airway pressure, better known as CPAP, is the common medical treatment for apnea. Although it is effective, most patients find it uncomfortable or intolerable and over half of them quit using the device. That is why we offer a convenient, comfortable alternative.
We use the SomnoMed apnea device, which is similar in appearance to a tailor-made mouth guard. It is a small, lightweight, custom-made device that you wear in your mouth while sleeping to prevent the airway from closing. It does not inhibit your ability to speak, yawn, or move your mouth. Most patients describe it as gentle and comfortable.
It’s time for you and your sleep mate to enjoy a good night’s sleep – every night. Call Richmond Smile Center, at 804.417.7203, and schedule a consultation today.