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What is a sleep study and should I have one?

Posted by Anzac Avenue Dental Team on 25 June 2020
What is a sleep study and should I have one?

Sleep studies are generally proposed for people who have a history of snoring, who are over weight and who have a list of other symptoms associated with sleep disordered or upper airway resistance.

Sleep studies help your dentist and medical specialist to diagnose sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing.  As well as having general health implications, upper airway resistance can have effects on your teeth and this often presents as heavy wear, cracked fillings, a scalloped shaped tongue and jaw joint pain among other things.  Your dentist and dental hygienist will discuss sleep related concerns at your regular preventive care appointments.  If you are worried about your sleep, if you snore or think you may have a sleep related problem, you can discuss these concerns with your treating dentist at Anzac Avenue Dental and we can allocate some time for further diagnostics.

Your symptoms, the results of your 3D diagnostic scan and a clinical assessment will determine your suitability for the sleep study.  You dentist and treatment coordinator will discuss which study is best suited to you at your consultation appointment.

In many cases a sleep study can be done overnight in your own home using equipment that records your sleep patterns, breathing, oxygen levels and heart rate.  Medicare will generally bulk bill a sleep study so long as the patient meets the Medicare requirements.  Your treatment coordinator will discuss these requirements with you.  Once the results of your sleep study are back, further discussions can occur about treatment options.

Conservative options such as weight loss, sleep positional therapy and health and sleep hygiene such as quitting smoking, reducing your intake of alcohol or the use of nasal sprays to treat allergies may be helpful and influence your sleep related breathing disorder.

In some cases a consultation with a Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon is advised to make sure there is no structural interference with the upper airway.  If an ENT is required, you dentist will organize the referral for you.

CPAP (Continuous positive air pressure) machine and surgery are other options for more severe cases.

An MAS (mandibular advancement appliance or sleep appliance) uses a simple technique called "Continuous open airway therapy".  An oral appliance is recommended for use in patients with mild to moderate cases and is sometimes appropriate for patients with a severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  An MSA is a custom fitted dental device worn while you sleep that fits over your upper and lower teeth.  It is designed to keep your airway open by holding your lower jaw forward.  It is comfortable, discreet and easy to use so most patients have no problem wearing an MAS all night.  These devices are fitted by a dentist over several visits and they need to be adjusted to ensure the device is working well.  The dentists at Anzac Avenue Dental are trained and accredited to fit these appliances for you and part of the cost of the MSA device may be covered by most health insurance funds.

If you would like to discuss your sleep concerns or talk further about the options available to investigate or treat snoring, sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing, book online or call 07 3491 8131 to make an appointment.

Author: Anzac Avenue Dental Team
Tags: sleep apnea

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