Healthy Living

Illinois Dental Practice Offers Sleep Apnea Treatment

Illinois Dental Practice Offers Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dr. Robert D. Durr of Progressive Dental and Associates. Photo Source:

There are a few options for treating sleep apnea.  The most common that many people are familiar with is using a CPAP machine.  CPAP machines work wonders for most patients.  Some patients choose to get surgery to try to correct the problem.  The least known treatment for sleep apnea can actually be found at a dentist's office. 

Sleep apnea can seriously hinder someone from leading their life to the fullest.  Many people that suffer from sleep apnea do not know that they have the condition until someone else notices.  Once sleep apnea is detected the person can begin enjoying better sleep.  By working with a doctor they can use a CPAP machine to help maintain their sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is more than a simple sleep disorder.  It is true that people who have sleep apnea will feel sluggish and run down during the day.  This stems from the condition stopping them from entering deep sleep cycles.  The cycle of being tired and not sleeping well can lead to many different health problems that are much more serious than simply not getting enough sleep.

Sleep apnea treatment

This condition is different than other sleep conditions in the fact it does not affect a person falling asleep or waking up like insomnia or narcolepsy.  Instead, sleep apnea is a condition that does not allow the body to get the correct amount of oxygen that it needs.  With a lack of oxygen, a person wakes up feeling like they have not slept.  The condition only shows itself at night so it can be hard to determine if a person does have the condition. It is a common misconception that a person simply snores too much when they have sleep apnea.

While this can be a part of sleep apnea it is not the main concern.  People who have sleep apnea will stop breathing during the night.  These pauses in breath can last a few seconds or they can last much longer.  Typically the sound of snoring or choking can be heard when the person tries to take their next breath.

Typically people use a CPAP machine to help treat their sleep apnea once it is diagnosed.  The CPAP machine stands for continuous positive airway pressure device.  This machine usually has a custom fit mast that will be worn throughout the night.  The mask goes over either the mouth or nose or both depending on the treatment. With the help of the mask, the machine is able to blow air into the person's airway to help them stay breathing continuously throughout the night.  This treatment has had a lot of success with many different patients.  It is typically the recommendation from a doctor when they diagnose a patient.  It is vital to use the machine as directed by a doctor for the treatment to work. 

CAP machines can help patients get their lives back on track.  They will find themselves more energized and well rested after they get used to using the machine.  The problem is the fact many people have issues getting used to using the CPAP machine.  A large issue is the mask.  All people sleep differently and the mask must be chosen to fit the wearer's habits.  If it is not it could fall off during the night or it could be too large or too small.

Issues with CPAP machines

Getting used to the forced air is another issue people have.  If the continuous air bothers a person they find it hard to fall asleep.  There is a setting on many CPAP machines called “ramp”. Which allows the machine to slowly increase the air pressure as the person sleeps so they do not start at the targeted level. The forced air can cause a person to have a dry stuffy nose.  If this is a problem there are machines with heated humidifier option on them.  If this is not an option using a nasal saline spray before using the machine can help keep the nose moist.  If it is a persistent problem talking with the prescribing doctor can help if a prescribed medication is needed.

There are many more issues with CPAP machines but one that can make the wearer feel self-conscious is the noise.  CPAP machines have been changing since sleep apnea was first discovered.  The machines are much quieter now.  However, people that are not used to sleeping with any noise in their room can find the noise from the machine running to be bothersome.

Another aspect is how visible and apparent it is that a person is wearing a CPAP mask and using the machine.  For anyone looking to enter a new relationship, their CPAP machine may be holding them back.  Explaining why the machine is a necessity does not make it any less awkward when it is the first night of someone sleeping over. 

Treatment options

With all of the problems with CPAP machines, it is surprising to some people to learn that there are other options.  One option is surgery.  If a person's sleep apnea is serious and cannot be treated with non-invasive techniques surgery may be their only option.  Another non-invasive option, besides the CPAP machine, is an oral appliance fitted by a dentist.

Dr. Robert Durr, DMD is helping patients with sleep apnea with a new option in sleep apnea treatment.  He works alongside Progressive Dental and Associates to help custom fit these oral appliances for people who suffer from sleep apnea.  This device can help reduce their sleep apnea symptoms in a more comfortable manner. The oral appliance is similar to a retainer or a mouth guard.  It is fitted to the specific patient to ensure that it will not come loose during the night and will be as comfortable as possible.  The device stops the tongue from resting in the back of the mouth which can block a person's airway.  It will also help the patient stop grinding their teeth together as they sleep.

Not many people know that there is the option to visit a dentist for their sleep apnea.  They assume that a CPAP machine is the only option they have if they want to avoid surgery.  Dr. Durr is dedicated to making the procedure of getting an oral appliance easy and quick.  He wants as many people sleeping comfortably and soundly as possible.

Oral device

This small device can help a person avoid sleep apnea symptoms during the night.  If it does not completely take care of the issue they may still need to use a CPAP machine.  Some of the patients that have used this device with a CPAP machine have praised the technique.  They feel like the CPAP machine fits better.  Both treatments together help them feel rested and awake the next day.

Sleep apnea is a condition that should not go untreated.  A person is at much great risk for health complications if they are unable to treat their condition.  No matter what treatment works the best for them they should continue using it with the help from their doctor.  With the correct treatment, their lives can vastly improve in quality and their risk of serious complications due to sleep apnea with decreased.

An oral appliance is a great option for anyone who has obstructive sleep apnea.  It can help them avoid using a large bulky machine and switch it out for a much smaller more discrete device.  The device is created to be small and comfortable to make it much easier for the patient to treat their sleep apnea no matter where they are.