Dr. Keahey on Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea patients that we have—although, as a dentist, we cannot diagnose sleep apnea, it is diagnosed through a sleep physician. There are a few options other than a CPAP machine. We do offer options of mouthguard pieces that can be made to help with sleep apnea.
What we’re trying to do is open the airway into the back and this appliance, for most of them, works by pulling the lower jaw forward while you’re wearing the appliance, without damage to the joint or muscle tissue, to open up the airway when you’re relaxed. We have patients that CPAP machines are not comfortable, they have a hard time with the dryness and there’s also having the full face or the nasal pad.
And the sleep bite system, or the apnea appliance, is the secondary group that we can do. CPAP has always been the number one piece to start with.