Dr. Swenda is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), and is committed to offering an alternative treatment for people suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
OSA affects approximately 18 million Americans, causing them to stop breathing for 10 to 30 seconds, sometimes for one minute or longer, hundreds of times a night.
Dr. Swenda will help his patients manage sleep-related breathing disorders, such as snoring or OSA, with oral appliance therapy (OAT).
Scientific studies have shown that approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of patients with OSA are unable to comply with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), the standard treatment therapy, or do not tolerate it, leaving a large number of OSA patients that dentists can help with OAT.
OAT involves the customized selection, fabrication, fitting, adjustments, and long-term follow-up care of the specially designed oral devices, worn during sleep, which reposition the lower jaw and tongue forward to maintain a more open upper airway.
Oral appliances (OAs) look similar to mouth guards, but should be selected and fitted by Dr. Swenda trained in Dental Sleep Medicine, to maintain unobstructed breathing during sleep.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has published practice parameters, stating that oral appliance therapy is indicated for treatment of patients with mild to moderate apnea, if they prefer it to the CPAP, cannot tolerate the CPAP, or are unable to use positional therapy or weight loss to control their apnea. OAs are also recommended for severe patients if they are unable to tolerate the CPAP.
Warning signs of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, morning headaches, poor memory and mood changes.
If a patient undergoes a polysomnography and is diagnosed with OSA by a sleep physician at an accredited sleep center, he or she may be sent to a dentist for treatment.
Facts About Obsructive Sleep Apnea
(The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine is a professional organization of more than 1900 dentists worldwide. The AADSM promotes research and clinical use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders.)