There is a common misunderstanding that everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and everyone who has sleep apnea snores. An individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening.
Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from 10 seconds to several minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Each abnormally shallow breathing event is called a hypopnea.
Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body. Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance. Sleep apnea not only affects adults, but some children as well.
Management of this condition is multi-specialty involving dentists, ear, nose and throat, and sleep disorder doctors.Our dental specialist/ dentist will find out the details of your medical and dental history, perform a consultation and examination and take a digital X-ray of your teeth and jaws to enable a thorough and detailed diagnosis, to ascertain if you have sleep apnea, and to determine the most appropriate form of treatment.
Lifestyle modifications can go a long way in reducing sleep apnea symptoms. Avoidance of alcohol, sleeping pills, and other sedatives can help. These have a tendency to relax throat muscles, contributing to the collapse of the airway at night.
As sleep apnea is inherently worse when you lie down on your back with the face upwards (supine) position for many patients, sleeping on one’s side is often advised. Possibly owing to changes in pulmonary oxygen stores, this position has been found to be helpful for central sleep apnea.
Being overweight can worsen sleep apnea and your doctor may advise you to diet.
Our dental specialists/ dentists can fabricate an oral appliance called a mandibular advancement splint. This is a custom-made mouthpiece that shifts the lower jaw forward and opens the bite slightly, which opens up the airway. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is usually successful for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. OAT is a relatively new treatment option for sleep apnea in the United States, but it is much more common in Canada and Europe.
The CPAP machine is suitable for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. This device is a mask-like machine that covers the nose and mouth and provides a constant stream of air that keeps breathing passages open while sleeping. The air pressure prevents apneas and has the additional benefit of reducing or eliminating the snoring that sometimes accompanies sleep apnea.
Several surgical procedures are used to treat sleep apnea, although they are normally a second line of treatment for those who reject CPAP treatment or are not helped by it. Surgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea needs to be individualized to address all anatomical areas of obstruction. Often, correction of the nasal passages needs to be performed in addition to correction of the oropharynx passage. Base-of-tongue advancement by means of advancing the genial tubercle of the mandible may help with the lower pharynx. Many other treatments are available, including hyoid bone myotomy and suspension and various radiofrequency ablation. Other surgery options may attempt to shrink or stiffen excess tissue in the mouth or throat.
|Consultation||$80 – $200|
|CT Scan||$300 – $500 (depends on whether it is one jaw or two jaws)|
|Oral appliance therapy||$2,500 – $3,500 (complete set)
$1,500 – $2,000 (either upper or lower set)
*All fees are subject to 7% Singapore Goods and Services Tax. All fees are subject to change without prior notice.
*The CPAC machine and surgery treatment for sleep apnea are not available in our clinic but are part of the multi-disciplinary approach to management of this condition.
The information provided above is of a general nature only as you would need to be examined by our dental specialists/ dentists, together with ear. nose and throat, and sleep disorder doctors to confirm the best treatment option for you.
Medisave does not apply to sleep apnea treatment.
Specialist Dental Group’s Sleep Apnea Treatment team comprises of internationally qualified prosthodontists (dental specialists in teeth replacement and cosmetic dentistry).
We can usually schedule for you to see our dental specialists/ dentists within 24 hours and depending on your dental condition, it may be possible for you to start treatment on the same day as your initial consultation.