Dental Specialist Group
American Board Certified Prosthodontist, Endodontist, and Oral Medicine Specialist
Sleep apnea is a common condition in the United States with a published data showing prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea syndrome to be13.88%. Sleep apnea significantly affects quality of life and increases the risk of accidents due to daytime fatigue. Sleep apnea also increased patients’ risk for other medical conditions such as high blood pressure or heart problems, Type 2 Diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. The main types of sleep apnea include 1. Obstructive sleep apnea, the more common type, airway is obstructed during sleeping. 2. Central sleep apnea due to brain issue. 3. Complex sleep apnea syndrome with both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
The symptoms include loud snoring, breathing cessation during sleep and patients gasp for air, difficulty staying asleep and sharp (insomnia) and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Many risk factors for sleep apnea include:
The first thing is to confirm the diagnosis which requires doctor visit and sometimes sleep study prescribed by physician. The second but equally important thing is to live a healthier lifestyle, including outdoor activities, exercise, and body weight control, especially neck circumferential size.
Mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea can be treated by Prosthodontist and other dental professionals. The treatment modality includes advancing the mandible forward to open the airway space, orthodontics modifying the airway, and oral surgery.
Pictures show the mandible advancing device, which moves the lower jaw forward to open the airway during sleep.
The main advantages are that 1. It is effective for treating mild to medium obstructive sleep apnea, 2. no noise compared CPAP machine, 3. small and easy to carry, 4. relatively easier to adapt to, 5. serves as the night guard to protect teeth. Disadvantages include 1. uncertain results in treating severe sleep apnea; 2. Risk of teeth movement, occlusion change and TMD; 3. Requires teeth to anchor the device, so harder for patients with many missing teeth or loose teeth
To see Dr. Qing’s actual patients who were successfully treated with sleep apnea dental device, please visit