Consider that an estimated 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and probably 80% of all sufferers are undiagnosed! Dentists are in a perfect position to recognize possible breathing obstructions. For the health of our dental patients, Dr Mark Liberati DDS, is now routinely screening for this problem.
What you need to know about Sleep Disorder Breathing……
Sleep disorder breathing includes snoring problems and sleep apnea. Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping and may develop into sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a medical condition where breathing is interrupted and oxygen is not reaching the brain, heart, and other vital organs. The causes of sleep apnea include:
- Obstructed airway of the throat
- Obstructed airway of the throat
- Enlarged tonsils/tongue
- Excessive weight
- High blood pressure
- Heredity and history of snoring
These factors indicate a risk of sleep apnea, but an overnight sleep study must be performed to properly diagnose actual sleep apnea.
We use a sleep apnea screening tool developed by Rest Assured Technologies to indicate if you are at risk for this condition. If you are considered “At Risk” we will send your medical insurance information to Rest Assured. They will request a review of your insurance coverage and plan an appropriate time for your sleep study. This study, called HST (Home Sleep Test), is a test to study various aspects of your sleep pattern. Rest Assured has partnered with several testing facilities to provide the equipment and training for this HST.
If the testing physicians determine that you have sleep apnea, you will be advised that treatment is indicated. You may want to discuss the results with your personal physician. One of the treatment options is a custom-fabricated dental device that fits over the upper and lower teeth. This devise is worn overnight to open the airway and alleviate breathing problems.
Making this oral appliance is accomplished by a series of short appointments at our dental office. We will take measurements of your teeth and jaws, take a dental impression of both arches of your teeth, fit the appliance after it is fabricated and adjust the fit after the first few weeks of use.
Meet Our Team
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about sleep disorder breathing and the possible treatment.
Our registered dental hygienist, Amanda, has been with our practice for 13 years. In addition to working clinically for 18 years, she has been adjunct faculty at the Westmoreland County Community College for the past 8 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Adult and Community Education from IUP, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Dental Hygiene Education from the University of Pittsburgh and an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene from the Westmoreland County Community College. She has been an integral part of developing our sleep business, Tranquil Nights, Inc. After attending several continuing education courses regarding sleep dentistry, she feels confident in recognizing patients with potential sleep apnea signs or symptoms.
Dr. Mark Liberati
Dr. Mark Liberati is a 1982 graduate of West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Before coming to Homestead in 1986, he worked with the public health service in Texas for 3 years. He is celebrating almost 40 years of practicing dentistry. His interest in treating sleep apnea began around 5 years ago. Dr. Liberati is committed to screening and adequately treating our patients at risk for sleep disorders.