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Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep Apnea Dentistry in Falls Church with Dr. Morabito 

Snoring

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, almost 50% of people snore at least on occasion. In addition to this, a quarter of people (25%) are considered to be habitual snorers. While snoring is more problematic for males and people who are overweight, anyone can suffer from snoring. If you are a snorer, you should not take this lightly, as it may be a sign of obstructed breathing while you sleep.

Snoring occurs when air cannot flow freely through the passages of your nose and throat. As a result, this area, the collapsible airway containing your uvula, may vibrate and cause snoring. For children, snoring may be a sign of health issues with the tonsils or adenoids. A tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy may be necessary to correct the issue and restore the child’s health.

What causes snoring for adults?

  • Poor muscle tone in the throat/tongue
  • Obesity
  • A long uvula or soft palate
  • Stuffy or blocked nose 

Robert Morabito, DDS Sleep Apnea Dentistry in Falls Church, VA

In addition to the causes mentioned above, snoring can also be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a breathing condition that causes you to stop breathing for more than 10 seconds at a time, several times per night, due to an obstructed airway. If you suffer from OSA, the oxygen levels in your blood will be lower and your heart will be forced to work harder. Additionally, your sleep will be interrupted throughout the night and you will not wake up feeling well rested.

In addition to OSA, sleep apnea can occur in the form of central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain forgets to send signals to your body to breathe, rather than your airway being blocked. Please note that central sleep apnea is not nearly as common as obstructive sleep apnea.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, OSA can be life-threatening as it can increase your risk of developing a heart attack, strokes, diabetes, and other more serious health problems.

If you suffer from OSA, there is treatment available for you. At our dental office in Falls Church, we care for patients who show all different signs and symptoms of OSA, and provide them comfort through oral appliances. Dr. Morabito can serve as your sleep apnea dentist and provide innovative solutions to ease your breathing throughout the night.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Appliances

Typically, sleep apnea is a result of soft tissue blockage in your throat. When this occurs, you will begin to grasp for air and produce loud choking and snoring noises while you sleep.

OSA is able to be treated via specialized dental mouth appliances. Your personalized appliance will give your jaw a place to rest, open up your airway, and allow you to breathe without interruption through the night. While CPAP machines are an option for treatment, many patients cannot adjust to wearing a mask over their face and mouth as they sleep. Due to being unable to adjust, patients often do not utilize their CPAP machines properly and do not relieve their OSA.

Dr. Morabito’s Treatment Approach to Sleep Apnea

The first step in receiving treatment for your issue is receiving a proper diagnosis from your primary care physician (PCP) or sleep specialist. Once you receive a proper diagnosis, and determine how severe your case is, a team of medical professionals will be able to put together the best treatment for your needs. Falls Church dentist, Dr. Robert Morabito, provides the following steps for sleep apnea treatment:

  • Evaluation of Oral Health - In order to rule out any possible dental issues, Dr. Morabito will evaluate the health and alignment of your teeth/bite. During this evaluation, Dr. Morabito will also make sure that your sleep apnea appliance can fit properly.
  • Bite Impressions - To work properly, your sleep apnea appliance needs to fit comfortably and properly. If it does not fit correctly, your airway will not be opened up. Dr. Morabito will take impressions/molds of your teeth and mouth and send them to a dental lab that specializes in sleep apnea oral appliances. 
  • Fitting your Sleep Apnea Appliances - After your appliance has been manufactured to the correct specifications, you will require a follow up appointment with Dr. Morabito. This appointment will be utilized to ensure a good fit, demonstrate how the device works, and how it should be worn. 

Please contact our office today for more information on this potentially life threatening condition or schedule a consultation.


Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age.  Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night.  Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.

There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly.  This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again.  Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep.  Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Sleep apnea appliances fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable.  Here are brief descriptions of some commonly used sleep apnea dental appliances:

TAP® 3 (Thornton Adjustable Positioner)

The TAP® 3 is the smallest, most comfortable member of the TAP family.  It is a two-part custom-created sleep apnea appliance that fits over the teeth in much the same way as a sports mouthguard.  The TAP® 3 projects the jaw forward to prevent the tongue and soft tissues from impeding the airway.  The lower jaw positioner is adjustable, which means that it can be altered to suit the comfort level of the wearer.  The TAP® 3 appliance can accommodate the three main types of malocclusion, and allows the lips to fully close.

Somnodent Appliance

 The SomnoDent oral sleep appliance is a custom-made splint, which is placed over the teeth. The device consists of upper and lower dental plates with a unique patented fin-coupling component, which allows normal mouth opening and closing. The splint moves the lower jaw slightly forward. The lower jaw advancement is adjustable, which increases the effectiveness of the treatment. The design of the SomnoDent MAS is characterized by a number of key features that are significant improvements on existing MAS oral appliances. These improvements make the splint both comfortable and effective. Is has been shown to provide successful treatment of snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It has an unrivalled patient acceptance and compliance.  It is extremely comfortable and a phenomenal alternative to the c-pap.

 

 

Herbst Telescopic Appliance

The Herbst appliance is held in the mouth by clasps and friction grips.  It is made of acrylic, and contains adjustable metal wiring.  The advantage of this appliance is that the wearer is able to move vertically and laterally without dislodging the appliance.  The Herbst appliance is usually used in mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea, and can also alleviate loud snoring effectively.

If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask your dentist.

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Testimonials

Dr. Morabito and your wonderful staff - Thank you so much for your kind, welcoming, and kid-friendly attention you gave me and my sons when we came in for the Harrison's 1st dental checkup. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

The Harrisons

Dr. Morabito is an awesome dentist, a great personality with the hift of humor, he is personable, and amazingly manages to choose the very best people to work for him. They are all excellent and most of all - caring and genuine. And with my dental problems, believe me I have had my share of being treated like a "number." I recently flew back to Falls Church from Kansas City to have him do my implants, because I don't trust anyone else.

Lynn S.

Dr. Morabito is a rare man: intellectual, very professional, very sensitive and practical to his patients. HIS STAFF: ADIMINISTRATION, DENTAL HYGENISTS, DENTAL ASSISTANTS , entertainment, and a charitable character are exceptionally capable, as he demands. If his practice were a fine hotel, his ZAGAT rating would be the highest. Dr. Morabito is an exceptional man! His professional associations keep him in the forefront of the latest methods and technology. He is excellent with the fearful and anxious patients and makes them feel confident. He is great in all the technical aspects of dentistry. He makes thousands of patients look better and feel great about themselves. You can feel secure in knowing that Dr. Morabito is the only dentist you will need, and he is affordable with a variety of financial plans. All aspects are well explained. If you want a great dentist, see Dr. Morabito and his charming and professional staff that will make you comfortable like family.

Michael C.

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