What's the difference between a snore guard and a sleep appliance?

What’s the difference between a snore guard and a sleep appliance?

Courtesy More Smiles Dental Spa

Snoring is a major nuisance for anyone trying to sleep nearby. Pulling a pillow over your head or trying earplugs may help, but ignoring the problem can lead to tragic results. Sleep breathing disorders can lead to increased risk for stroke and heart attacks.

“Shelf shopping” for snore guard appliances at the drug store, or ordering online or from a TV show, without a qualified doctor’s supervision can be setting yourself up with a “silent killer.”

“Proper diagnosis by a board certified sleep physician, treatment and monitoring can be a matter of life and death,” says Dr. Jim Moreau, a general dentist and member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. “If you’re self-treating, you could be mismanaging a serious illness, or missing the red flags altogether.”

Moreau screens all his dental patients for sleep breathing disorders and makes appropriate referrals to Board Certified Sleep Physicians and Sleep Centers. In cases of diagnosed sleep apnea, CPAP is usually the recommended treatment. But many patients are non-compliant or cannot wear a CPAP. In this case, Moreau makes an oral appliance that can be very effective in eliminating snoring and keeping airways open during sleep.

“Identifying those at risk allows me to work with sleep physicians to determine if an oral appliance should even be considered,” the doctor says. “After an appliance is delivered, we see our patients every couple of weeks for necessary adjustments, to monitoring the jaw joints, and eventually see another sleep study to make sure the appliance is doing a good job for the patient.”

“None of this comes in a box,” Moreau says. “You just can’t buy that off a shelf. That’s health care, not retail sales.”

Moreau asserts that only dentists well versed in dental sleep medicine – AND working hand-in-hand with a board certified dental sleep physician – should be providing oral appliances for sleep apnea or snoring.

Contact Lori at MoreSMILES Dental, 985-809-7645, for info or with questions about insurance and Medicare.