Patient Resources &
Frequently Asked Questions

Sleep Apnea & Snoring Treatment in Pittsford, NY

Rochester Dental Sleep Therapy provides treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring in Pittsford, NY. For over 30 years, our practice has provided patients with caring, compassionate treatment and support. We are proud to be the dental team patients of all ages trust to help them restore and maintain their oral and overall health. We are dedicated to providing you with the resources you need to take charge of your health and understand your treatment options.

Please take a look through the Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Links below for information about obstructive sleep apnea and snoring treatment. For further questions, please contact our office at 585-586-3808. We are happy to address any concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a medical condition in which the airway is partially or completely blocked by the collapsing of the tongue and soft tissues in the throat. These episodes can last anywhere from just a few seconds to even a minute or more. When the body is deprived of oxygen, the brain perceives this as suffocating. The body reacts to this by triggering your “fight or flight” response. Blood pressure and heart rate increase and the person partially awakens gasping for breath. The continuous arousals from sleep, along with elevations in blood pressure and heart rate, prevent the person from getting the deep and restful sleep that the body needs. These spikes in blood pressure and heart rate can cause an increase in medical conditions such high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and many more.

NO, THIS IS NOT NORMAL. It is a symptom of a far more serious problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

YES! Sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, personality changes, impotence, depression and diabetes. One of the most significant symptoms is excessive daytime sleepiness. Because of excessive sleepiness, there is an increased risk of automobile or work related accidents.

YES! Medical research has shown that oral appliance therapy is very effective for mild and moderate sleep apnea, and very helpful for CPAP intolerant severe sleep apnea patients. This therapy is also very effective for people that have had failed attempts at treating obstructive sleep apnea with surgery or behavioral changes.

Definitely yes. In 2006, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a position paper stating that oral appliances are equally as effective as CPAP for mild and moderate apnea, and are a treatment option for patients who are unable to use CPAP effectively or have had failed surgical treatments.

NO. When selecting a dentist to treat you with an oral appliance, be sure that the dentist has the experience, knowledge, and continuing education necessary to treat your problem. The dentist should have extensive training specifically in dental sleep medicine.

Research and clinical data show that there are no long term adverse effects on the jaw joint. This is not to say that, in rare cases, jaw problems can not occur. Some patients may have minor tooth movements or temporary discomfort in the jaw joint. This may be a small inconvenience in comparison to the dangers of sleep apnea. Always remember, your ability to breath trumps everything else.

Weight can have a direct impact on one’s snoring and apnea. The severity of sleep disordered breathing can fluctuate with the ups and downs of one’s weight gains and loss.

YES! Most people easily adapt to wearing a dental sleep device at night. After wearing the device for a short period of time it will become part of your routine, and most people will hate to go to sleep without it after they realize how much better they feel in the morning. Most scientific studies show that up to 95% of individuals will comfortably wear their devices nightly.

Once patients experience better sleep and improved health associated with use of a dental device, it is rare for someone to stop using it.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) stated that a dental device can be the first line of treatment for anyone who has mild to moderate apnea or for anyone (even patients with severe apnea) who cannot tolerate CPAP. The AASM states that these devices should be made by a dentist who has had special training in the field of dental sleep medicine. This prohibits physicians from making the dental devices, and your device should only be made by dentists with proper training. We work closely with your physician to make sure that your dental sleep therapy is medically successful.

Longevity of dental sleep devices is highly dependent on the person using the device, the specific device made, forces placed on the device, and your care of the device. If the device is well-maintained, it should easily last for two to five years before needing to be replaced. Most medical insurance providers will pay for construction of a new dental sleep device every two years but the devices may last much longer than that.

Many patients can tell that the device is working to some extent because they simply feel better and more rested. Officially, a follow-up sleep study is needed to test how well the device is working. With this follow-up sleep study we will work together with the sleep physician to determine if the device is positioned properly or if more adjustments are necessary to get the best result.

Fees for the treatments of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring with dental sleep therapy vary depending on the particular treatment delivered, and on the individual office and various insurance plans. In many cases, medical insurance will reimburse you for some or all of the total treatment.

We invite you to visit Rochester Dental Sleep Therapy for a no-obligation consultation to see if you are a candidate for dental sleep therapy. During this visit, fees associated with your individual treatment needs and particular insurance plan will be discussed. By providing the highest quality care at the lowest possible cost, we seek to provide unmatched patient care.

Since insurance plans vary widely, we work with all our patients to help them obtain reimbursement from their medical insurance carrier to the maximum allowed by their plan. Most insurance companies have coverage for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with an oral appliance. Insurance companies generally do not cover treatment for snoring only. If coverage is available for oral appliances, it would come from the medical insurance carrier. Dental insurance companies do not cover treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. We encourage you to call and check with your medical insurance company. We will be happy to send information to your insurance company regarding your situation to request a determination of benefits.

Yes you can. We encourage you to continue to see your existing dentist for routine and preventative dental care. Our goal is to successfully treat your snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

We evaluate your teeth to ensure that they are stable enough for dental sleep therapy. We work closely with your existing dentist and other medical providers. We forward copies of any pertinent records or x-rays that were completed during your visit to help in future treatment. We work hard to provide the best possible treatment to you by providing coordinated patient care.

Yes, dental sleep devices work quite well at reducing the sound and severity of snoring. However, if you are a snorer and have never had a sleep test it is advisable to be screened or tested for the more serious disorder of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Many snorers also have obstructive sleep apnea, often without even realizing it.

If a diagnosis of Primary Snoring is made then a dental sleep device can be made to control the sound and severity of your snoring. Usually, the procedures needed to treat snoring are simpler than for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. This often results in fewer office visits and follow-up observations for people whose diagnosis is only snoring and not obstructive sleep apnea.

Substantial scientific evidence indicates that custom-made adjustable dental sleep devices are far more effective and comfortable than self-fitting, “boil and bite” devices that sometimes appear on television commercials. The self-fitting devices are typically much larger, which decreases their effectiveness because the device may actually obstruct your airway during sleep. Most “as seen on TV” self-fitting devices are not adjustable, which can lead to discomfort and pain. Successful dental sleep therapy is extremely dependent on precise adjustments of the dental sleep device. Without this ability to finely adjust the device, treatment success rates drop dramatically.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious and life threatening medical disorder. It is unwise to treat obstructive sleep apnea or any other serious medical problem without proper medical supervision and guidance. Failure to seek medical supervision and “do it yourself” can have serious medical risks, and can lead you to believe the problem is fixed when in fact it is not.

Helpful Links