Patients diagnosed by their primary care physician with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have likely been recommended to use a CPAP machine to treat their condition. The CPAP machine is one way in which professionals may help patients with OSA. While CPAP is the best treatment for certain degrees and more severe forms of OSA, patients with mild forms may be treated with an oral appliance. An oral appliance may appeal to many patients who cannot tolerate or get comfortable with the CPAP machine. Patients can only address their condition if they comply with treatment. However, our dentists at Eastland Dental Center in Bloomington, Illinois, are pleased to provide patients with an effective, comfortable, affordable sleep apnea treatment: oral appliance therapy.
Dr. Mike Milligan of Eastland Dental Center is a dental professional who works with patients to help them achieve better oral health and wellness. He is pleased to provide a wide range of services, including general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry solutions. He also provides treatment for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. This condition can cause a variety of issues, including:
If patients are experiencing these issues, we will provide them with a sleep questionnaire and recommend an at-home sleep test. Based on those findings, we may recommend you see your primary care physician for further diagnosis or a more detailed sleep study. During a sleep study, the patient sleeps with monitors attached to them to watch their sleep patterns. This helps in getting a proper diagnosis. Once patients have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, their physician often provides them with a CPAP machine. In some cases of mild or moderate OSA or if the patient cannot tolerate a CPAP, they can be evaluated to determine if they are a good candidate for an oral appliance.
Oral appliance therapy is a popular choice because it is comfortable, easy to use, simple to keep clean, and great for travel. This oral appliance is an acrylic mouthguard that is made to fit the patient’s teeth. It helps to align the jaw to keep the airway open while patients sleep. It can be more comfortable than a CPAP machine, making it a desirable treatment for patients.
Our dentists will evaluate the patient and determine if they would benefit from an oral appliance for their condition. A thorough exam of the head, neck, and teeth is completed. The teeth must be in good health to maintain an oral appliance. Once it is determined the patient is a good candidate, impressions are taken to create a custom-made oral appliance. It will be used in maintaining an open airway and allow patients to address their condition in a less invasive manner. An oral appliance made for one patient will not fit another due to the custom nature of these mouthpieces.
To treat obstructive sleep apnea, patients will wear their oral appliance at bedtime and even during naps. This ensures that the airway is open and allows patients to breathe properly during sleep. By wearing the appliance, patients can reach the deeper, more restorative levels of sleep they need to feel well-rested – the levels they often cannot reach without treatment for their condition. This is what causes patients to feel tired even after eight to nine hours in bed “sleeping.”
The cost of an oral appliance will vary, depending on several factors. Some patients will have medical insurance plans that may cover the cost of the oral appliance, either in full or a partial discount. Other patients may want to or have to, pay out-of-pocket for their dental appliance. In situations like this, patients can either pay in full upfront or work with our front office team to develop a payment plan that works with their budget.
Seek effective treatment with the team at Eastland Dental Center in Bloomington, Illinois. Dr. Mike Milligan provides trusted dentistry to new and existing patients in the community and is pleased to offer oral appliance therapy as an effective treatment for such conditions.
If you are ready to book an appointment with our team or speak to a provider about solutions available for treatment, contact our front office staff at (309) 663-4711 and visit us at 1404 Eastland Drive, Ste. 101.
Dr. Mike completed his doctor of dental medicine degree from Southern Illinois University in 1978. Dr. Marisa completed her doctor of dental medicine degree from Midwestern University in 2015. Both doctors have logged hundreds of hours of continuing education to stay on top of the latest technologies in dentistry as well as the most current research on the oral-systemic, mouth-body connection to benefit their patients. Dr. Mike and Dr. Marisa are active members and in excellent standing with the American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Association, Chicago Dental Society, McLean County Dental Association, American Academy of Oral Systemic Health, and numerous other societies.
Both doctors are avid golfers and have won several national golf tournaments over the years. They are the only father-daughter team in the state to have won the Illinois State Amateur Golf Championship. Dr. Mike in 1974 and Dr. Marisa in 2005.