When Your Patient Asks, "Why Do Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?"
If you're a dentist who treats sleep apnea, you've probably heard this question more than once. Many of your patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea will likely have been to medical doctors for treatment. Some may already be using CPAP and cannot tolerate it. Others will have been to other dentists who did not have the education and training to treat this complex but prevalent breathing-related sleep disorder.
Whether you’ve been treating sleep apnea for years or have just added this service to your practice, here you will find some information that may help your patients understand why you’re the best choice for their sleep apnea treatment. It may also convince you how valuable your sleep apnea expertise is for those needing help.
Some Startling Statistics
Your patients may not realize that while approximately 22 million Americans have sleep apnea, 80% are not diagnosed with OSA. That means that the patients you’ll be treating are part of a small population that had a sleep study performed, and their results indicated they do, indeed, have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
If your patients have been to medical doctors for their symptoms associated with sleep apnea, the odd array of symptoms may not lead a medical doctor to think sleep apnea is the culprit. Also, snoring is considered more of an annoyance than an indication of a breathing-related sleep disorder.
Here are some eye-opening statistics about sleep apnea and snoring:
- 25% of people snore regularly.
- Men are more likely to snore than women.
- Snoring is more common in middle-aged and older adults.
- Only 59% of those who snore are aware they snore.
We Guide Those with Sleep Apnea to a Sleep Apnea Dentist
Sleep apnea dentists are educated and trained to understand the link between snoring and sleep apnea. They can provide highly effective treatments that are non-invasive and require no medication. The challenge lies in getting people with diagnosed OSA to your office, and that’s where sleeptest.com comes in. Once a patient receives an official diagnosis of sleep apnea, sleeptest.com helps connect them with qualified sleep apnea dentists in their area—like you.
You Change (and Save) Lives with Sleep Apnea Treatment
You will explain the physiology of sleep apnea and how being fitted with a custom-made oral appliance will prevent their airway from becoming obstructed while they sleep. You will explain how oral appliances are much more appealing than CPAP, and you will share the success stories of previous patients.
By achieving the optimal position of the jaw and mouth during sleep, an oral appliance will gently but effectively keep the patient’s mouth in a position that will allow them to achieve restful, uninterrupted sleep for the first time in years or even decades.
You will also discuss lifestyle changes that can significantly reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, including:
- Exercising to boost oxygen levels
- Abstaining from alcohol and cigarettes
- Changing sleep positions, pillows, or mattresses
- Keeping to a structured sleep schedule
- Avoiding certain medications
- Limiting nighttime distractions like phones, computers, and work
You will explain how untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to severe medical conditions, including:
- Heart attacks
- Type II Diabetes
- Shortened lifespan
- Mood disorders
People with untreated sleep apnea usually experience various symptoms that significantly impact their quality of life. These include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
You can prevent many problems with sleep apnea treatment because you’re a trained sleep apnea dentist who can change lives without invasive procedures, narcotic medications, or cumbersome CPAP machines. That is why you are treating your patients instead of their medical doctor.
Tell Your Patients Why You’re Their Best Hope for Better Sleep
When you partner with sleeptest.com, you can reach more people suffering from the debilitating symptoms of OSA. You have the honor of changing lives and saving lives with effective, affordable treatments accessible to people of all ages and socioeconomic statuses.
Take the time to explain why you’re the sleep apnea dentist who can provide the treatment that will allow them to sleep restfully for the first time in months, years, or decades. Changing one life will lead that patient to tell their loved ones and friends how much better life can be when restful sleep is a regular part of their lives and not an elusive luxury they simply cannot attain.
With a sleep apnea dentist’s custom-designed treatment plan, most anyone can get the sleep they need and deserve to live their best life. You are the dental professional with that capability, so take hold of that and put your hard work, training, and education to work—give people a new lease on life. Your practice will thrive, and the intrinsic rewards will be immeasurable.
Learn more about the process of partnering with sleeptest.com.
Many couples joke about their partner’s snoring and often kick the snoring spouse to the couch or guest room, but snoring may indicate a severe medical condition such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. While snoring may seem like an annoyance that you have to put up with because your marriage vows say you have to take the good and the bad until death do you part, snoring is the sound people make when they struggle to breathe during sleep.
Many of your patients may not get how severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is when left untreated. If their at-home sleep study indicates mild sleep apnea, they may not see the need for immediate treatment, and some people are likely to put off sleep apnea treatment indefinitely.
Before diving into what drugs may contribute to sleep apnea, it’s important to clarify that the upcoming list of medications has not been shown to cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), the most common of the three types of sleep apnea. However, these medications result in weight gain and some other symptoms tied to sleep apnea.
We encourage you to never stop taking medication until speaking to the prescribing physician. The information contained here is meant to show you that sleep apnea results from several factors—medication is just one of those many factors.