Rest Easy at Night with Sleep Apnea Treatment in CALIMESA

Man and woman sleeping in bedMany patients assume that chronic snoring is nothing more than a bad habit, but the truth is that it might be a symptom of a much bigger problem. If you constantly struggle with morning headaches and daytime exhaustion in addition to keeping your family up at night with these familiar loud noises, Dr. Scott Parker strongly recommends that you visit your general physician or a sleep specialist who can help determine whether or not you’re experiencing obstructive sleep apnea. If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and contact our Calimesa office to schedule an appointment. Many patients don’t realize that a dentist can help treat their condition, but it’s true! With a customized oral appliance, you can regain the quantity and quality of rest you need to lead a healthy, happy life.

Woman waking up and stretching

So, What is Sleep Apnea Exactly?

Sleep apnea occurs when patients cease to breathe for ten or more seconds at a time during sleep. While patients without sleep apnea can experience a few apnea events during a night’s sleep, those with sleep apnea may experience 100s or 1000s of apnea events. There are two main forms of sleep apnea, central and obstructive. Central sleep apnea is rare and requires advanced medical intervention from physicians, neurologists, and in some cases, surgeons. The more common type of this condition, obstructive sleep apnea, is characterized by a partial or full blockage of the patient’s airway that occurs during sleep. The lack of oxygen intake forces the brain to send out an emergency signal that wakes the patient, so they can readjust. While these awakenings may only last seconds, they can happen countless times, keeping patients from achieving the uninterrupted sleep they need to function properly the next day. Untreated, sleep apnea can contribute to higher blood pressure, a greater risk of heart disease and stroke, and higher chances of being involved in a car accident due to exhaustion and impeded mental function that occurs due to lack of sleep. In most cases, we are unable to help those patients who suffer from central sleep apnea, but for patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, we are happy to offer more advanced treatments.

Man placing oral appliance before bed

How do I Know I Have Sleep Apnea?

The only way you can know for certain that you’re suffering from sleep apnea is to undergo a professional sleep study. These tests use electrodes attached to specific positions to record instances of apnea and create reports that will be used by our team and/or a sleep doctor to diagnose central or obstructive sleep apnea. Before we recommend a sleep study, we will want to know if you are at risk for sleep apnea and/or experiencing the symptoms of this disease. High risk patients include males, those with a BMI of 35 kg/m2, patients over the age of 50, those with high blood pressure, and anyone with a neck circumference greater than 17 inches. We also ask that patients let us know if they have any of the following symptoms:

Why Should I Visit a Dentist for Sleep Apnea Treatment?

Dentists are healthcare professionals who have advanced training and expertise in the interaction of oral and facial structures – including the airway. In order to help patients keep their airway clear in order to sleep soundly and breathe deeply through the night, we can offer customized oral appliances.

How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?

Traditional methods of treating sleep apnea involve a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, which is bulky, uncomfortable, and very difficult to travel with. As an alternative, Dr. Parker can design a custom oral appliance (often known as a “snoreguard”) that helps to comfortably reposition the patient’s jaw as they sleep, effectively preventing airway blockage. Our team wants patients from Yucaipa and surrounding areas to wake up every morning feeling refreshed and ready to smile!

Woman sitting up in bed after a night of high-quality sleep

Understanding the Cost of Sleep Apnea Treatment

The cost of sleep apnea treatment can vary depending on a few factors. When you visit us for a consultation, we will determine what type of therapy you need and help you figure out the financial details of our recommended treatment plan. We can also help you file medical insurance claims. While sleep apnea treatment might seem pricey at times, you can be confident that it is a wise investment in your overall health and quality of life.

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Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Sleep Apnea Treatment?

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Dental insurance is designed for services that relate directly to oral health. Since sleep apnea is considered an overall health problem, you should not expect your dental insurance to cover the cost of your care. However, it is very likely that your medical insurance will cover at least a portion of your treatment.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Sleep Apnea Treatment

Man sleeping while using CPAP

A couple of factors that could affect the cost of your treatment include:

  • Your insurance coverage. Medical insurance covers most types of sleep apnea treatment. Your out-of-pocket obligation will depend on the details of your policy, such as your deductible and copay/coinsurance.
  • Which type of treatment you receive. CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy often come at different prices. The specific type of device that you use can also have a bearing on cost.

Treat Your Sleep Apnea Now to Improve Your Health

Older couple jogging outside, enjoying good health

Sleep apnea therapy can seem a bit pricey at times, but you can be confident that it is a wise investment. It is likely to help you save money in the long run. For example, it may reduce your risk of numerous health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and unwanted weight gain. You may therefore be able to avoid the costs associated with such conditions.

Sleep apnea therapy can also improve the quality of your sleep and therefore help you to perform well at work. You may be in a better position to move forward in your career.

Making Sleep Apnea Treatment More Affordable

Patient making payment at dental office front desk

Our team does not want you to be unduly stressed about paying for your sleep apnea treatment, so you can count on us to be straightforward when it comes to the financial aspect of your care. We can give you clear estimates, file insurance claims on your behalf, and help you apply for low-interest financing through CareCredit if necessary.

Woman soundly sleeping with sleep apnea treatment in Calimesa

Sleep Apnea FAQ’s

Are you still curious about sleep apnea? You’re in the right place! Dr. Parker wants all his patients to have the information they need, which is why he encourages you to contact his office with any specific concerns. However, he also understands you may have a busy schedule or like doing the research on your own, which is why he’s included the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about sleep apnea below. Read on to learn more!

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What Happens if Sleep Apnea is Left Untreated?

Unfortunately, sleep apnea can cause much more damage than a poor night’s rest. Frequent pauses in your breathing during sleep make the oxygen level in your blood start to drop. Over time, this puts a strain on your cardiovascular system, forcing your heart to work harder than it needs to. This can lead to increased risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, strokes, and more. Sleep deprivation also comes with its own risks, making it more likely that you’re involved in a car accident due to daytime sleepiness.

Am I a Candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy?

CPAP machines have been traditionally used for sleep apnea therapy, forcing air through the airway to allow patients to breathe during sleep. However, this treatment comes with its own problems like discomfort and loud noises during the night. Instead, Dr. Parker can provide you with a custom-made oral appliance that puts your jaw in a position to keep your airway clear. You may be a candidate for this treatment if:

  • You find yourself intolerant of the CPAP machine
  • You do not receive enough relief from your CPAP machine
  • You travel frequently, making it difficult to use a CPAP machine
  • You’re looking for an easier, more convenient way to get relief from sleep apnea symptoms like snoring in Calimesa

Does Dental Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Treatment?

While you are seeing a dentist for sleep apnea treatment, your dental insurance usually isn’t used. Instead, we can typically bill your medical insurance. Every plan is different, which is why you should always check with your provider before making any final decisions. However, most medical insurance plans include coverage of sleep apnea treatment in Calimesa. We are happy to do all we can to minimize your out-of-pocket costs while maximizing your insurance benefits.

Can I Treat Sleep Apnea on My Own?

Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s vital that you seek treatment from a professional to avoid the health risks that come with prolonging a solution. That said, there are some steps you can take to breathe better and mitigate some of the symptoms that sleep apnea causes. You can combine sleep apnea treatment from Dr. Parker with the following:

  • Exercise to maintain a healthy weight and feel well rested
  • Meditation or any other activities that help you relax
  • Avoid alcohol before bedtime
  • Quit smoking
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