Snoring, Sleep Apnoea and Mandibular Advancement Splint Treatments
Snoring is a common problem in many bedrooms across the country. Most people think of snoring as a benign, although irritating, condition, however in many cases snoring can be a sign of Sleep Apnoea, a condition which has been linked to high-blood pressure, heart stress, stroke, daytiime drowsiness/sleepiness and morning headaches.
If you wake up still feeling unrefreshed after getting a solid night sleep, snoring and generally feel tired through out the day, you may be at risk of having Sleep Apnoea. Luckily our team at Robertson Dental Innovations can help.
Snoring & Sleep Apnoea
Snoring is simply caused by the restriction in airway when sleeping. This restriction can occur anywhere from the vocal cords to the nose. The restricted air causes the soft tissue to vibrate causing the snoring sound. A high percentage of the population snore but many people are not aware that snoring can be a sign of Sleep Apnoea. (For more information about snoring click here).
Sleep Apnoea is a condition where the body’s air supply is completely restricted, this can a occur for more than 10 seconds in each episode. These Apnoea episode can occur multiple times in a night. Often a Sleep Apnoea sufferer can be heard making a large gasp in their sleep to force air into their lungs. Sleep Apnoea sufferers often awaken without feeling refreshed by sleep, can be irritable and prone to day time sleepiness.
There are two common types of Sleep Apnoea:
- Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA): occurs when the patient’s brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, which often result in longer lasting and more frequent apnoeas (breathing pauses).
- Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA): is the more common Sleep Apnoea type and is caused by the relaxation of the muscles (such as the soft palate and tongue) while we sleep. This relaxation of the muscles can cause the jaw to slide back over the airway, restricting it.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea(OSA)
As mentioned above OSA is the most common form of Sleep Apnoea and can have some of the following symptoms:
- Waking up during sleep, gasping or choking for air,
- Restless nights,
- Difficulty getting to sleep (insomnia),
- Tooth Grinding (at night),
- Daytime tiredness,
- Lack of focus.
This condition can lead to higher risks of:
- Heart issues (as OSA causes heart stress due to decrease oxygen levels),
- High blood pressure,
- Even Type-II Diabetes.
Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) Therapy
Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) is a dental appliance used to treat OSA and snoring. These devices are similar to a set of mouthgaurds that are placed over the upper and lower teeth. These Splints have small winglets on the top and bottom that hold the jaw forward, preventing the jaw from “falling” back and obstructing the airway.
MAS treatment Outline
As each type of appliance therapy case treats different conditions with different devices, each case is unique. There are some basic similarities with these cases and in a broad sense a typical outline of appointments is provide below:-
- Consult:-At this first appointment the dentist will discuss the patients concerns regarding Snoring and/or Sleep Apnoea and discuss the various treatment options for the condition.
- Further Diagnosis:- Further diagnosis is required before we can begin treatment for Snoring or OSA. This may involve a sleep study (if not already completed) or a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon or Sleep Physician. This is in part to provide the range of options to treat this conditions.
- Impressions for Device:- After confirmation of the diagnosis, impressions of both the upper and lower teeth arches are taken and these are then sent on the lab for fabrication of the device.
- Fit of Device:- Once the laboratory has fabricated the device, it will be sent back to the dentist for fitting. At this appointment the device will be fitted in the mouth and the patient will be shown how to; use, maintain and take care of the device.
- Review of Device:- With MAS treatment, review are required regularly over the the first 3 or more months to ensure the device is achieving optimal results. At these review appointments the dentist will assess the use of the device, what improvements have been made and adjust the device forward or backward ( called “titration”) until the best outcomes are achieved.
- Follow up:– Once the device has been “tritrated” into the ideal position a follow up appointment is then recommended for 12 months later. A second sleep study is also recommended before this appointment, to check for any improvement in the overall condition.
At Robertson Dental Innovations we have partnered with Somnomed to provide our MAS devices. Somnomed are one of the world leaders in this field with labs across the world, including in Sydney.
A great resource for more information on Sleep Apnoea, Snoring and the various treatments available for these conditions see the Sound Sleeper website: www.soundsleeper.com.au. There is even a test to assess your risk of OSA, click here.
Please contact our Reception teams on the numbers below if you have any questions about the information contained on this page or if you wish to make an appointment with us. New patients are always welcome, even if it is only to provide a second opinion.
For more information about the Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea treatments using the Mandibular Advancement Splints provided at Robertson Dental Innovations, please see Our Services and Downloads pages, or contact our reception staff on (03) 5444 4924 (Dental Innovations on Sternberg) or (03) 5442 8640 (Dental Innovations on Condon).
We also have dental payment plan options from Smile Choice, ask the reception team for more details.