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Dentist in Wichita answers, what is sleep apnea?

At the practice of East Wichita Dentist, we believe patients are entitled to have a wonderful quality of life. However, patients are not always aware of our full capabilities. Not only do we help patients take care of their smile, but we can also provide effective treatment for conditions such as sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea? Our dentist in Wichita describes sleep apnea as a chronic sleeping disorder that can keep patients from getting the restful sleep they need to function at their best. It is the result of obstruction of the airways, which keeps patients from being able to breathe. When this happens, the patient partially wakens and then the sleep cycle must start all over again. This causes the sleeper to be unable to reach the restorative level of sleep. Patients may experience problems such as:
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor memory
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Chronic headaches
Many physicians who perform a sleep study on patients and diagnose them with sleep apnea suggest the use of CPAP machines. CPAP machines are the first line of defense against sleep apnea as these devices can help keep the airways open at night. However, they are uncomfortable, can irritate the skin, and are unattractive to wear. Our practice can offer a more desirable alternative, oral appliance therapy.

Oral appliance therapy works differently from a traditional CPAP machine. This appliance is similar to a mouth guard that is worn at night while patients sleep. It is comfortable, as it is made of smooth, medical-grade plastic and it is custom made to fit into the dental arch for each individual. The device can help reposition the jaw or hold the tongue down, thus opening the airways and helping ensure patients are able to breathe properly.

If you live in or around the area of East Wichita and are unhappy with traditional CPAP therapy for your sleep apnea, contact our practice to learn more about oral appliance therapy and how it can help you treat your condition in a way that does not interrupt your sleep and comfort.
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