Allan L. Link DMD

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Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Overview

The DentaLink | Sleep Apnea | Dentist Ballwin MO
Sleep apnea is not simply another name for snoring. While sleep apnea is frequently coupled with snoring, it is a serious condition which restricts oxygen to the brain as breathing slows or stops many times during sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 18 million Americans have Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and another 16 million remain undiagnosed. That's a lot of people sleeping poorly and destroying quiet nights for their sleep partners.

Conventional treatment for OSA consists of diagnoses by a physician based on a sleep study at a sleep center, and nightly use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. How do you think you'd sleep in a medical-type facility with sensors on your body? Do you believe you'd sleep well at home wearing a face mask attached to a noisy machine? 

Then, upon diagnoses, he designs a custom dental appliance that takes the place of a CPAP for mild to moderate OSA. You fit this small, user-friendly device into the mouth just before you fall asleep. It holds the mouth open a bit and moves the jaw slightly forward to enable airflow when your throat relaxes in sleep. The compliance rate is much higher than a CPAP.

If you suffer severe OSA and require a lot of pressure from your CPAP, Dr. Link can make a device that attaches to the machine to keep your airway open. Less pressure is needed and it makes your CPAP more efficient.

Canada has done many studies regarding the health consequences of sleep apnea, including impact on traffic and work accidents. The United States is beginning to recognize those connections, as well as high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, obesity, impotency, and depression. So, the cost of treatment may be covered by your medical insurance.

TheDentaLink takes OSA seriously. We truly care about your well-being! 

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many go undiagnosed. The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may be difficult to detect, especially for patients without sleeping partners to witness the gasping and shortened breaths during the night. However, this condition can be linked to other life-threatening issues and should not be taken lightly. Once patients have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea during a sleep study with their physician, they can speak to their medical team about treatment options.

Many physicians start treatment by suggesting a CPAP machine. The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is used for sleep apnea patients because it keeps the airways open during sleep. However, the machine can be uncomfortable to wear. Many patients find they do not enjoy sleeping with it and stop compliance. This causes the condition to continue and puts patients at risk for side effects once again.

Fortunately, the dentist can help. Dr. Allan Link and the team of TheDentaLink, LLC in Saint Louis and Ballwin, Missouri provide treatment for obstructive sleep apnea that differs from that of the CPAP machine. Instead, our team may suggest the use of oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy uses a special mouth guard worn at night instead of the cumbersome mask of a CPAP machine. This mouth guard is custom-made for patients and fits over the teeth. It helps realign the jaw and hold down the tongue. This keeps the airways open and improves the quality of sleep patients with obstructive sleep apnea obtain.

Many patients enjoy using the oral appliance over the CPAP machine for comfort and usability. Compliance with this form of treatment is much higher and ensures better quality of life for patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Dr. Allan Link and the team at TheDentaLink, LLC want patients to know they have options other than CPAP machines for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. If you have received a diagnosis of OSA from your physician and are unhappy with CPAP, contact our practice to learn about oral appliance therapy. We can determine if you are a proper candidate for treatment.

Instead of using an uncomfortable CPAP machine for obstructive sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Allan Link suggests the use of oral appliance therapy as an alternative. 

Solutions for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Unfortunately, many are unaware they are struggling with this sleeping disorder. They may experience daily headaches and feel tired every day regardless of how many hours they spent in bed. These are signs of a condition that may affect sleep quality. With the help of a physician and a sleep study, patients can be properly diagnosed with a sleeping disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is caused by a blockage in the airways during sleep. It results in patients being unable to breathe correctly. This creates a disruption in restorative sleep patterns and causes patients to fail to reach the deep sleep they require to function at their best the following day. Obstructive sleep apnea is sometimes noticed by sleeping partners who may hear the patient struggling to breathe. This is the point when proper diagnosis is required to seek solutions for the condition.

There are two primary methods of treating obstructive sleep apnea, and they include the use of a CPAP machine and oral appliance therapy.

CPAP Machine
The CPAP machine, also known as the "continuous positive airway pressure" machine, is a device that uses a mask to administer air through the nose and mouth. This keeps the airways open and allows patients to get a restful night's sleep. However, many patients complain of the CPAP machine because it is cumbersome and uncomfortable. This causes many patients to stop using it and allowing obstructive sleep apnea to become a daily problem once again.

Oral Appliance Therapy
Another option for patients with obstructive sleep apnea is oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy uses a specialized mouth guard custom-made for patients to wear while they sleep. It is much more comfortable than the CPAP and therefore many of our patients continue to use it.

Compliance is important when it comes to solutions for obstructive sleep apnea. Finding the solution that fits your needs is essential, and Dr. Allan Link and his team are happy to help. They can provide oral appliance therapy for continued use and protection against the side effects of obstructive sleep apnea. Contact TheDentaLink, LLC today to learn more about treatment for OSA.

There are two common solutions for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea including the use of a positive airway pressure machine and oral appliance therapy. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Dr. Link | Dentist Despers MO
Sleep disorders affect millions of Americans every year. They can greatly reduce one's overall quality of life due to daytime tiredness and the inability to enjoy restorative levels of sleep. One commonly diagnosed condition that affects over 3 million adults is obstructive sleep apnea, also called OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea has a variety of signs. Symptoms for OSA may include:

  • Daytime tiredness
  • Snoring while sleeping
  • Gasping for breath
  • Stopped breath during sleep
  • Dry mouth upon waking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss

The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea often mimic other conditions, which is why a proper diagnosis with a medical professional is required before considering treatment options. Diagnosis is done during a sleep study monitored by a health professional to determine if obstruction of the airway is the problem at hand. If it has been determined obstructive sleep apnea is the official diagnosis, a physician first suggests treatment using a CPAP machine.

A CPAP machine is a continuous positive airway pressure machine that gives air pressure through a facial mask while one sleeps. However, it can be cumbersome, noisy, and uncomfortable. This leads many patients to stop using their CPAP machines. Fortunately, there is an alternative much more comfortable that many patients enjoy using. This treatment is known as oral appliance therapy.

Using a specialized mouth guard, patients can keep their tongue down and their jaw aligned to improve the size of the airway and reduce the likelihood of problems associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Most patients comply with treatment better than they would a traditional CPAP machine.

A dentist provides the oral appliance necessary to maintain open airways. Patients in the Saint Louis and Ballwin areas of Missouri can contact the team of TheDentaLink, LLC to book an appointment with Dr. Allan Link. He provides obstructive sleep apnea services for patients who received a diagnosis from their physician and are ready to consider alternatives to the CPAP machine. His practice accepts new and existing patients in and around the community and encourages individuals to learn about oral appliance therapy as a way to treat obstructive sleep apnea comfortably and effectively.