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Understanding the health risks of sleep apnea and the benefits of sleep apnea dental appliances in Las Vegas

In Las Vegas, patients who are seeking quality care for their smile may visit a general dentist such as Dr. Christopher Lim. However, at Hillside Dental, we don’t just stop there. We also provide a wide variety of services in our practice including the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea without a CPAP machine, instead using dental appliances.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Dr. Christopher Lim describes obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, as a sleeping disorder that affects the airway. The condition is caused by a blockage, which can be excess fat in the neck area or the tongue falling back into the throat. When the airways are blocked, patients wake up. The cycle can happen hundreds of times in one night, and result in patients being unable to get a restful night’s sleep.

What are the health risks of obstructive sleep apnea?

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Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Inability to stay asleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Dry mouth in the mornings
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration and memory

Unfortunately, these are not the only issues that can stem from obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who have obstructive sleep apnea are at a higher risk of developing other health concerns including high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary artery disease, strokes, heart attack, and heart failure. Because of these risks, it is incredibly important for patients to get a proper diagnosis and to seek treatment as soon as possible.

How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed?

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Dr. Christopher Lim does not provide a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea – only effective treatment options. However, patients who exhibit the signs and symptoms of this condition are urged to visit their primary care physician. This doctor may refer the patient to a sleep specialist, who can schedule patients for a sleep study. This is typically done in a sleep clinic, during which patients spend the night and are monitored throughout the night. This is often the best way to get a proper diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, patients are often advised to use a CPAP machine. This machine is cumbersome and uncomfortable for some individuals. This causes many patients who have been diagnosed and given a CPAP machine to fail with compliance, putting themselves back at risk for serious medical conditions.

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Why choose oral appliance therapy?

Instead of dealing with a CPAP machine, patients are often excited to learn that they can speak to Dr. Christopher Lim and the team at Hillside Dental to decide if oral appliance therapy is right for them. Oral appliance therapy is often considered as an alternative, as it is effective, but much more comfortable and discreet. The oral appliance is like a specialized mouth guard that positions the jaw, holds down the tongue, and keeps the airway open throughout the night. This allows patients to achieve a great night’s sleep, so they can feel well-rested and at their best the following day! Oral appliances are small, affordable, and comfortable to wear, making them an excellent choice for many of our patients. The oral appliances available at our practice are custom-made to ensure optimum fit and function.

Who is a candidate for oral appliance therapy?

A dental appliance for obstructive sleep apnea is often recommended to patients who have had a proper diagnosis of OSA and who are unhappy with the use of a CPAP machine. While CPAP machines are effective, patients who do not comply with treatment are not treating their condition in a way that improves their overall health. Due to the health risks of leaving obstructive sleep apnea untreated, our professionals will urge patients to consider the advantages of dental appliances.

Schedule a visit today!

Dr. Christopher Lim and his team at Hillside Dental are here to help patients with achieving the smile of their dreams – while also addressing conditions that can be controlled such as obstructive sleep apnea. Call the team today to book a consultation visit and discuss the advantages of dental appliances. The practice can be reached for an appointment at 702-666-8584.

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