Snoring is usually one of the initial clinical presentations for sleep disorder breathing, like obstructive sleep apnea, with research showing a continuum between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, says Dr. Dan Winter, dentist in Salina, Kansas. If someone snores continually and it goes untreated, there is the potential for an obstructive sleep apnea condition to arise, he adds.
Dr. Winter says it is important to treat snoring as a definitive entry. A lot of times with oral sleep appliances, he's able to treat the snoring for his patients but doesn't always eliminate all of the snoring, as a totally silent patient is difficult to achieve.
Snoring is an entry point for a lot of patients into his practice, the Downtown Dental Group and Center for Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. Winter says that these patients will come in with a complaint of snoring not realizing they have other sleep disorder breathing.
As far as insurance reimbursement for oral sleep appliances, Dr. Winter says that a diagnosis of snoring is not enough but rather sleep disorder breathing, so it is important for patients to have a lab study done for a proper diagnosis.
The Downtown Dental Group and Center for Dental Sleep Medicine is in Manhattan, Salina and Topeka Kansas. Dr. Winter is also a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV.