How Is Sleep Apnea Treated
Treatment will depend on the medical diagnosis of the sleep disorder. Sleep Apnea is one of the possible diagnoses that come from the result of the sleep study. The sleep study will be interpreted by a Sleep Specialist and there will be a diagnosis and treatment recommendation given by the specialist.
The most common diagnosis is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and this comes in varying degrees of severities. The norm that is being used (per AASM and AADSM) is the amount of breathing interruptions per hour: AHI which stands for Apnea Hypopnea Index.
The following are standards for adults:
- AHI 0-5: normal
- AHI 5-15: mild OSA; Treatment recommendations: Oral Appliances
- AHI 15-30: moderate OSA; Treatment recommendations: Oral Appliances, CPAP
- AHI over 30: severe OSA; CPAP and oral appliances when patient cannot tolerate CPAP
Are there contra-indications for Oral Appliances? Yes, there are limitations for the application of Oral Appliances; there should be at least 10 healthy teeth in each arch, the periodontium (gum) should be healthy, any major work should be taken care of prior to the fabrication of an Oral Appliance. TMD symptoms are not always a contra-indication; sometimes treatment for OSA and TMD are delivered simultaneously; these 2 conditions do have a lot in common.
In the last 10 years there are many oral appliances developed; there are more than 150 designs in use and it is our role to find the most appropriate design for your individual case.
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