Dental Sleep Medicine

Treating sleep-related breathing disorders.

Improving your quality of sleep, Dental Sleep Medicine is a branch of medicine and dentistry that focuses on the use of Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) to treat and manage sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Although not yet categorised as a dental specialty, sleep medicine dentists are dentists with additional areas of expertise in sleep medicine.

Medical professionals collaboratively work with sleep medicine dentists to identify and facilitate optimal treatment for individual patients. They can treat mild to severe sleep apnoea cases, often comprising those who have trouble tolerating or prefer an alternative treatment to first-line therapy, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.

Preventing your tongue from falling back during sleep, oral appliances are removable guards that hold your lower jaw and tongue in a forward position whilst sleeping, often alleviating symptoms like airway blockages and snoring. Each oral appliance may differ in appearance and is custom to the patient based on their suitability, impressions and bite.

OAT has effectively treated many patients however, it is important to recognise there are many factors that influence the upper airway during sleep.

What to Expect

Appointments

Treatment usually requires 3 to 4 appointments. At your initial consultation, your sleep medicine dentist will thoroughly examine suitability for an oral appliance and request x-rays where clinically necessary. You will have the opportunity to discuss your treatment plan at length.

At your next visit, treatment will usually start including accurate impressions of your upper and lower teeth. Insertion of the appliance is in a separate appointment, often 3 to 4 weeks after.

Further review appointments will be required to ensure its effectiveness and comfort.

Patients generally require a sleep study and referral to seek a consultation with a sleep medicine dentist. This is often a requirement to claim health insurance.

Appointment Duration

Your first consultation will take approximately 30 minutes, whilst treatment appointments will usually take approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Review appointments are approximately 15 minutes.

Fees & Private Health

Prior to treatment commencing, you will receive an estimate of fees and available payment options for your proposed treatment. Fees will vary widely depending on your individual treatment plan and will discussed with you in detail.

Patients with private health insurance may be entitled to rebates on the cost of treatment, depending on the type of policy and the level of cover held.


 

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