Sleep Apnea, Dental Sleep Medicine

Sleep Apnea, Dental Sleep Medicine

Sleep Apnea is a disorder that is characterized by periods of not breathing and lowered blood oxygen levels while sleeping. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, lasts anywhere from a few seconds to minutes! When this occurs, we wake up and seriously disrupt our sleep. There are many treatment options to avoid this serious disorder. As well as prevent other diseases that are directly related to untreated sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and excessive daytime sleepiness, just to name a few. Daytime drowsiness is responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. Sleep Apnea makes all other diseases worse as you are not getting enough oxygen at night. Dr. Ira Koeppel is proud to be board-certified by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Apnea. In addition, our office is also one of less than 70 offices as of 1/2018 in the United States that is a facility accredited by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Apnea. There are strict protocols to ensure the highest quality patient care that our office is required to follow to obtain and keep this status. We are very proud to be in this elite category of dental sleep medicine professionals, and provide this level of care.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a very serious disorder that directly contributes to many health problems. There are three main types of sleep apnea: central, obstructive and mixed sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is when breathing is stopped while sleeping due to a lack of effort to breathe (no message from the brain to breathe). Obstructive sleep apnea is when the airway becomes closed off (obstructed), so air is unable to get to the lungs when trying to breathe while sleeping. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of central and obstructive. Snoring is when the airway has too much “floppy tissue” and when air passes through it vibrates, usually causing bed-partners to interrupt their sleep.

Should You Get Tested for Sleep Apnea?

Do you wake up gasping for air or choking?

Do you snore?

Do you feel very tired during the day, especially around 3pm-6pm?

Do you have trouble concentrating or feel “cloudy”?

Do you have a tough time falling asleep or staying asleep?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may want to speak to your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can only be diagnosed by an overnight sleep study prescribed by a medical doctor. There are two types of overnight sleep studies: polysomnogram (PSG) and home sleep apnea test (HSAT). A polysomnogram is the most common type of sleep study. For a PSG, the patient will sleep in a sleep lab, either in a doctor’s office or hospital setting. Leads are attached to the head and body to take many measurements while asleep. This will allow the sleep physician to determine if there is any sleep disorders. HSAT are the more preferred by patients. Although there are still leads that take measurements, this test can be performed in the comfort of your own home.

What Treatments Are Available?

The most common treatment of sleep apnea is continuous positive air pressure, better known as CPAP. This works by wearing either a nose piece or a mask that uses air force to keep the airway open overnight. CPAP is typically very successful.

For those that are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy, a mandibular advancement device (MAD), oral appliance can be a great alternative. This therapy consists of wearing an oral appliance while sleeping. It is designed to hold the lower jaw slightly forward in hopes of enlarging the airway and preventing it from collapsing while sleeping. MAD is a simple solution that is discreet, silent and comfortable. If given the option, most patients choose this MAD over CPAP.

Color error is a big red flag that your veneers could have been done much better. With all the advances in dental technology, you should be unable to detect the difference in the color of a veneer and a natural tooth. If you are having sensitivity in your veneers, this could be a sign that the veneer did not adhere properly to the tooth, allowing for air and bacteria to work its way inside. You should feel no or little sensitivity, and the veneer should look flawless and flush against the tooth structure. Always ask to see before and after photos of the cases your dentist has completed. If you are unhappy with the results or your dentist cannot come up with any photos, you may want to reconsider the procedure being done there.

Some dentists might not have gone to special training courses for the correct preparation and placement of veneers. Just because a dentist is licensed does not mean they know how to correctly fabricate veneers and bond them to teeth. One of the most important things in dentistry is to constantly attend continuing education seminars. New and better products and techniques are always arising, and by always learning about them Dr. Koeppel, director of Koeppel Dental Group, can fix inferior quality dentistry and give his patients world class care and results.

Koeppel Dental Group
126 Gnarled Hollow Road. East Setauket, NY 11733

Opening Hours
  • Mon:
    9.00 am - 7.00 pm
  • Tue:
    8.00 am - 7.00 pm
  • Wed:
    8.00 am - 5.00 pm
  • Thu:
    8.00 am - 5.00 pm
  • Sat:
    8:00 am - 1:00 pm