Frequently Asked Questions
Patients who come to EZ Sleep Solutions always arrive with questions, and Dr. Lively and our team are more than ready to answer them. While sleep apnea is becoming more and more common each passing year, surprisingly little is known about it in the public sphere. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions we receive every day, and you’re invited to give us a call if you’d like to know anything more.
How is a dentist able to treat sleep apnea?
Specially-trained sleep dentists like Dr. Lively are able to provide custom-made sleep appliances that help keep the airway open during the night, stopping the primary symptom of sleep apnea. Because sleep apnea physically occurs in the mouth and throat, dentists are uniquely qualified to understand this part of the body. And, thanks to his advanced training, Dr. Lively is able to assess a patient’s airway and work with sleep doctors to design the perfect treatment.
Does snoring automatically mean that someone has sleep apnea?
While snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, it doesn’t automatically mean that someone has the disorder. However, people who snore every night are likely experiencing less than optimal sleep, which can lead to chronic tiredness. Those who snore are also much more likely to develop sleep apnea in the future. Thankfully, an oral appliance can be used to stop snoring, improve someone’s sleep, and save anyone who sleeps near them as well!
What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea?
We recommend taking the STOP-BANG Assessment on our website. This is a short “Yes or No” questionnaire that will help our team quickly determine how at risk you are for sleep apnea. After you have completed and submitted the questions, our team will go over your answers and contact you within 24 hours. If there is cause for concern, we’ll suggest that you come in for a consultation.
What are the primary symptoms of sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea affects people in different ways, but the most common symptoms tend to be snoring, chronic daytime exhaustion, and stoppages in breathing during sleep, leading to choking and gasping. Additional ones can include mood swings/depression, weight gain, and consistently waking up with a sore throat or headache.
How can I get an oral appliance if I already use a CPAP machine?
If you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are currently being treated with a CPAP machine, we recommend consulting your sleep doctor and asking if oral appliance therapy would be a viable alternative. Oral appliance therapy is typically only recommended for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, though some appliances can be designed to work in tandem with a CPAP, creating an approach called combined therapy that’s better for more severe cases.
Will insurance cover the cost of my oral appliance?
Yes, patients can use their medical insurance to offset the cost of an oral appliance. This can be confusing for some patients because the appliance comes from a dentist but isn’t covered by dental insurance. Because sleep appliances provide treatment for a medical condition, they fall under the benefits provided by most health insurance plans (including Medicaid). Fortunately, our team knows how it all works and can help you figure out the best way to use your policy to save on your care.