A dentist has a role in treating sleep apnea in that they open the airway for their patients. In doing so, a dentist can put a custom-fit mouthpiece inside your mouth to pull your lower jaw open and forward. This type of treatment is in sharp contrast to a CPAP device, which blows air up your nose while wearing a mask, says Dr. Clay Hansen, a dentist in Moscow, Idaho.
By law, any dentist can make a sleep oral appliance. That being said, Dr. Hansen, having graduated ten years ago, received no training in dental school on sleep apnea and even today, there's very little training done in the area of sleep apnea. When considering a dentist to treat sleep apnea, there are some things Dr. Hansen recommends patient ask of the dentist.
The first thing Dr. Hansen recommends you ask is how many people have they treated for sleep apnea, what their success rate is, how the dentist knows when they're successful and to be sure to ask about their training in sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea treatment provided by a dentist is actually covered by medical insurance, according to Dr. Hansen.
Dr. Clay Hansen is a dentist in Moscow, Idaho with Palouse View Dental. He is a leading sleep expert and spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.