Dentist Questions Sleep Apnea

Can dentists treat sleep apnea?

I heard that dentists can offer people who have sleep apnea, something like mouth guards, to use while they're asleep. Is this true? I would like to use instead of using a CPAP machine.

23 Answers

YES, YES, YES!!
This is true. A dentist can treat sleep apnea. However, they will need to treat in conjunction with a medical doctor. If they treat and diagnose I would be skeptical.
Yes, a well qualified dentist with the right training can
Yes. Search for a dentist who is board certified in dental sleep apnea. He will have the necessary training and skills to help you. Search in The American Sleep and Breathing Academy for a Diplomate near you.
Some dentists, such as myself, are trained to treat sleep apnea. It is done in conjunction with a physician as well as a sleep study/sleep clinic study. It will be important to determine how severe the sleep apnea is first and to see if you are a candidate for an oral appliance. An Oral Appliance, such as a the Res Med, can be used to slightly move your lower jaw forward, and allowing more opening of your airway resulting in greater oxygen. The compliance in wearing the appliance is much higher but can really only be used in Mild Sleep Apnea Cases. In more moderate to severe cases, a CPAP machine (oxygen mask) is more necessary to allow adequate oxygen saturation. Unfortunately, patients have only been found to wear these appliances 50% of the time after 1 year as they do not find them comfortable although they are life saving. Talk to dentist about a Referal to a sleep clinic, as a first step, for a sleep study first if you suspect you have sleep apnea. Often the signs are gasping for breath, snoring, and waking up fatigued.
Yes there are mouthguard designed specifically for sleep apnea. It positions the jaw in a way that opens the airway. Ask your dentist.
Technically, sleep apnea is a medical condition and it should be treated by a medical professional and not a dentist. There are some dentists who have had additional training in this field. In some cases, an oral appliance can be made by these dentists to help with sleep apnea for patients that can't tolerate CPAP. I would ask your physician first if an oral appliance would work in your case and then seek out a dentist that can provide this service.
Yes once they have the proper training which I do have, we can treat Sleep Apnea with a custom made oral appliance.
Yes, there are appliances that dentists can have made that are for sleep apnea where you don't need a C-Pap, but it depends on the severity of the issue.

Owen M. Waldman, DMD
A mouth guard does not position the jaw correctly to correct obstruction of the airway during sleep. They do however cushion the teeth of the person who grinds their teeth during sleep.
Good day,

Yes, it's true, however, every individual is different, so it also depends on how severe the condition is. So, my advice is visit your dentist and have a proper consultation in order to get a more accurate treatment plan.

Kind regards,

Dr. Chun-I Lee
Yes, generally, dentists do treat sleep apnea/snoring, but it varies from state to state depending on the state's dental scope of practice. The mouth guard, a snore guard, is primarily used for snoring, but can be used for sleep apnea *in some cases*. Depending on your diagnosis, your physician would determine if your CPAP can be replaced by such a guard. *A word of caution*: If a snore guard is used and a physician is not consulted, the guard may stop the snoring but not address the breathing cessation issue which can be life threatening.

Dr. Moser
As long as they are trained in the devices and working with a sleep physician, cardiologist, or pulmonologist who makes the diagnosis of sleep apnea so that they don't get sued for practicing as a physician. They must also know the medical codes for submission as the treatment is a medical problem, not dental.
Yes. Dentists can treat sleep apnea with special sleep apnea appliances.
Yes. A dentist can treat sleep apnea. Just be sure that he has taken continuing education courses and has training for sleep apnea treatment. As for the CPAP machine, that depends on the severity of your sleep apnea and it may not be able to be replaced with a snore appliance. 
Yes. Dentists can treat patients with mild and moderate Sleep Apnea using Oral Sleep Appliances like alternatives to CPAP treatment.
There are some types of sleep disorders that can be treated by dental professionals. There are appliances that can be used to help open up airways. There are other disorders that need more advanced methods. It all depends on your individual situation. Many times a dental device may not be enough to help. It’s always best to seek out a professional in your area have a chat and let them make a good diagnosis.

Dr Jensen
The nice thing about a CPAP machine is that it positively loads the lungs with distilled or sterile water mixed with positive pressure it is not a passive Appliance like one your dentist would fabricate which just moves the jaw slightly forward giving you more air space and more volume in the oropharynx but it has limited influence on snoring which the CPAP machine eliminates. Sauvie efficiency is much greater with the CPAP machine than any removable Dental Appliance
Dentists pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in adults. ... Provided by a dentist, oral appliance therapy uses a custom-fit, “mouth guard-like” device worn only during sleep. Oral appliance therapy helps maintain an open, unobstructed airway.
Yes we can, but you would want to consult your physician or sleep specialist (whoever fit you for the CPAP) to see if an oral appliance would work instead. Many times, an oral appliance will not achieve the results that a CPAP will, depending on your diagnosis.
This depends on the severity of your apnea. Consult your sleep doctor and your dentist to find out if this is the right choice for you.
Yes, dentists treat sleep apnea with appliances worn in the mouth.
Hi there,

Do check with your dentist, as regulations may differ from region to region. Dentists can treat sleep apnea if the individual's case is mild to moderate. After a sleep study is completed, visit your dentist to allow him to evaluate your situation. Oral appliances and lasers (nightlase) are a couple of different modalities which can help.