Sleep Apnea Treatment at Hillcrest Dental Care in Waco, TX


Sleep apnea treatment in the dental office is also kind of an up-and-coming area. For me, in my practice, I see a lot of this because when I sedate patients, and they are very relaxed, and we have them on the monitor—same monitor that you have in a hospital that’s monitoring all their vital signs including their oxygen saturation level and their breathing, we can actually diagnose sleep apnea, at least get a preliminary diagnosis on it. Then, we can refer them to a sleep apnea doctor, an MD, who is either going to prescribe them a CPAP unit, or allow them, if they’re at a certain level, to be treated by the dentist with a sleep apnea appliance, which we can make for them here in my office. Many patients who are on CPAP either can’t tolerate the CPAP unit or just choose not to use it at all for whatever reason. And again, if we can help those patients with a sleep apnea appliance, which helps reposition the lower jaw, opens the airway, lets them breathe in more oxygen to get past the obstruction—it’s obstructive sleep apnea, then we’ve done them a great service because once that sleep apnea gets to a very severe level, you’re running the risk of not breathing. People have actually died from a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea. That is something that dentists are very— it’s our responsibility as dentists now to help diagnose that problem and help get the patient treatment.

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