Sleep Apnea - Markham Woodbine Dental

Sleep Apnea

Home Sleep Apnea

No-CPAP, Non-Invasive Alternative Option for Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients

If you have been medically diagnosed with sleep apnea and can’t tolerate a CPAP machine there are non-invasive and comfortable options to help treat sleep apnea using oral appliances.

If you think that you might have sleep apnea, start here: Self-administered Sleep Apnea Questionnaire

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes snoring and sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by blockage of the airway during sleep. This can be cause when:

There are enlarged tonsils

The muscles at the back of the throat relax, the airway narrows or close

The lower jaw is too narrow or the tongue is too large and partially blocks the airway during sleep

When the airway is blocked, the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen and you briefly wake up so that your body can reopen your airway, which makes it impossible to get a good night’s sleep.

What are the health implications of undiagnosed/untreated sleep apnea?

The most common health issues related to sleep apnea include the following:

  • Daytime fatigue/difficulty concentrating/falling asleep while driving
  • Mood swings, depression and behaviour problems (especially in children)
  • High blood pressure or heart problems, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke and irregular heartbeats
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Liver problems
  • Affects the sleep quality of partner

I’m not sure if I have sleep apnea. Where do I start?

Start by asking your partner or family if they’ve heard you store or

OR Download a sleep app to record yourself while you’re sleeping. If you’re snoring at night or hear an abrupt stop to air flow, that might be a sign that you have sleep apnea.

Patients with sleep apnea often have poor sleep quality and daytime tiredness. Take this sleepiness questionnaire to determine how sleepy you are during the day.

None of the above will provide a medical diagnosis or determine the severity of sleep apnea if present. Sleep apnea has to diagnosed by a medical specialist after doing a sleep study.

For hospital-based sleep studies, a referral must be made by a licenced family doctor to a sleep specialist

Wait-times for hospital-based sleep studies for home-based sleep studies, home sleep units are provided by our office and results are sent to medical sleep specialists for interpretation and diagnosis.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

Sleep apnea is diagnosed via a hospital-based sleep study (when you sleep in a sleep lab and your vitals are monitored) or a take-home sleep study (when you sleep at home with a recording device that gets sent to a physician to analyze and report back). If you have 5 or more obstructive episodes per hour, that’s a positive diagnosis for sleep apnea.

Am I a good candidate for an oral sleep appliance?

Oral appliances work best for the following patients:

  • Patients who snore and do not have sleep apnea (not a candidate for a CPAP machine)
  • Patients with medically diagnosed mild to moderate sleep apnea who cannot tolerate using a CPAP machine or would like and alternative option to using a CPAP machine
  • Patients with medically diagnosed severe sleep apnea to help further decrease snoring and sleep apnea with an oral appliance used in conjunction with a CPAP machine

Why use an oral sleep appliance if OHIP covers most of the cost of a CPAP machine?

Most of our patients who use an intra-oral sleep appliance cannot tolerate a CPAP machine.

In severe sleep apnea appliances, Intra-oral appliances can be used in combination with a CPAP machine to further decrease sleep apnea and improve sleep quality.

How much does a sleep appliances cost? Is it covered by my insurance?

For patients with a medical diagnosis for sleep apnea, intra-oral sleep appliances cost approximately $1500 to $2500 depending on the type of appliance. Follow-up sleep studies are done via sleep specialists.

For patients without a medical diagnosis and require an in-home sleep study (results diagnosed by a medical sleep specialist) and follow-up sleep studies are done via an in-home sleep study (results diagnosed by a medical sleep specialist, the cost is approximately $2500-$3500 depending on the type of appliance and number of follow-up sleep studies required.

All medical and hospital-based sleep sonograms are covered by OHIP. Intra-oral sleep appliances are not covered by OHIP and some private insurances cover intra-oral sleep appliances.

How is an intra-oral sleep appliance made?

Appliances are made by taking a detailed and accurate 3D digital scan of your teeth and sent to a certified dental lab, who will make the sleep appliance based on the digital scan.

Can I buy an over-the-counter appliance?

We routinely analyze and check the health jaw joint prior to fabricating an appliance and during its use. Patients with untreated TMJ (jaw-joint) disorders should not use an intra-oral sleep appliance and can make jaw joint issues worse.

Used inappropriately, a sleep appliance can create problems. Bite changes can occur when using non-prescription, self-administered appliances. It’s really important to have a pre-treatment record of your bite and regular monitoring during the use of the intra-oral sleep appliance.

3D intra-oral scans are very accurate. Custom-made appliances ensure that you are wearing properly fitted appliance.

In order for an intra-oral appliance to be most effective, we titrate your jaw posture using various size/length bands or elastics over time. Monitoring effectiveness and positioning the jaw in the proper position requires expertise.

How long does an intra-oral sleep appliance last?

Modern nylon-based intra-oral sleep appliances last many (>5) years when used and cared for properly. A sleep appliance is a long-term investment in your overall health.

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