Getting the Treatment You Deserve
Solving Your Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is a severe medical condition that requires immediate attention from a qualified professional. If you’re suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea, the first step toward treatment is meeting with Dr. Huff, our Kerrville sleep dentist. He has the training and expertise required to help you get the proper diagnosis and treatment you deserve.
Visiting a dentist for a sleep-related issue may sound odd, but they specialize in the oral structure, including the throat, which is where obstructive sleep apnea occurs. Additionally, most people visit dentists biannually, while they may only visit their primary physician once a year—if that.
During your sleep consultation, Dr. Huff will begin by asking you some basic questions about your lifestyle and the quality of sleep you’ve been getting. Then, he’ll examine your throat and oral cavity for evidence of sleep apnea. If he sees signs, he’ll likely suggest a sleep study—either in a sleep laboratory or from the comfort of your own home.
Diagnosing Your Sleep Issue
No matter which type of sleep study you choose, the next step toward treating the problem is to get a diagnosis. Your primary care physician must give sleep apnea diagnoses. If you don’t have one, Dr. Huff works closely with other healthcare specialists, so he can help you find one.
After your sleep study is complete, you’ll bring the results to the physician, and they’ll analyze and interpret them. If they find that sleep apnea is present, they’ll make an official diagnosis which includes a prescription for treatment.
Treating Your Sleep Apnea
Now that you have a sleep apnea diagnosis and a prescription for treatment, you’ll return to Dr. Huff who will create your one-of-a-kind oral appliance.
In recent years, oral appliances have become popular options for individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea and who can’t consistently use CPAP. They treat sleep apnea by preventing you from snoring by carefully moving your jaw forward enough to avoid the soft tissue from collapsing into the airway.
Our Kerrville patients love their oral appliances because the retainer-like device facilitates nighttime breathing without the need for a restrictive mask, machine, or hose. Oral appliances allow you to breathe freely and get a fulfilling night’s rest.
Alternatively, tongue retaining devices halt snoring by holding the tongue forward while you sleep. It works by lightly pinching the end of your tongue, creating suction. The device will hold your tongue forward throughout the night. This prevents the tongue from collapsing into the airway.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, the only way to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis is by visiting your primary care physician or a sleep specialist. However, you can bring your diagnosis to Dr. Huff, and he can create a customized treatment device to help you sleep and breathe better.
A sleep study is an overnight evaluation that helps your primary care physician diagnose your sleep apnea. The sleep study process begins by connecting you to a series of monitors that measure different vital signs while you sleep.
For the best results, you can complete a sleep study in a clinical setting, although, many of Dr. Huff’s patients prefer to conduct their sleep study from the comfort of their own home.
Once complete, your results will be interpreted by the sleep specialist, and they might make a diagnosis for sleep apnea. While they make a diagnosis, you can bring your sleep study results to Dr. Huff, and he can answer any questions you have about it.
There are several ways to treat sleep apnea — lifestyle changes, CPAP machines, and oral appliances. With your diagnosis in hand, you can return to Dr. Huff’s office. He’ll elaborate on your treatment options and help you choose the most effective solution.
For mild cases of sleep apnea, Dr. Huff may only suggest certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking.
Yes, oral appliances are said to be much more comfortable to wear in comparison to a CPAP mask. We’ll customize your appliance to fit comfortable over your teeth at night.