Snoring and Sleep Apnea

SOMNOPLASTY TO ELIMINATE SNORING

I snore and that frequently prevents my wife from getting to sleep, or wakes her up when she is sleeping. That is why I became interested in treating the problem. As an orthodontist I had from time to time read about various devices created by dentists that had been used with various degrees of success in patients who snore or had sleep apnea accompanied by snoring. In 1988 while attending the national meeting of the American Dental Association I chanced upon a dentist, Dr. Tom Meade of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had researched the problem of the prevention of sleep disorder and had fabricated a device that his patients could easily place in their mouth and wear comfortably during the night that successfully treated snoring in a number of patients. He called it “Snore Guard” He was presenting his device for the first time at this convention.

Greatly concerned about snoring and my wife’s disturbed sleep and not desirous of sleeping alone I stood before his exhibit and decided to act. Within 10 minutes Tom had custom fitted a snore guard for me. It would last for the next 5 years. It was comfortable! It worked! My snoring did not disappear one hundred percent! However, The frequency and intensity of my snoring was considerably diminished and I was happily not exiled to another bedroom.

Nowadays I have my wife keep the snore guard on her side of the bed. When my snoring is disturbing her I know it, because she virtually feeds it to me – no fight, no argument –end of snoring, back to sleep.

Dr. Meade now calls his device the “Therasnore” and purports that it is 87% successful in the treatment of snoring/obstructive sleep apnea. I am part of that success story. (Learn more about Therasnore at “Distar,” Dr. Meade’s website.)

I have provided this service largely to the parents of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment and to others referred to me by those parents.

The 2-3 visit procedure for having a Therasnore made is as follows:

1. Would-be patient is provided information about appliance.

    1. Patient is provided with Consultation-Examination to establish that (s)he is an ok candidate for the therasnore device. (Not a good candidate if preexisting joint (TMJ) problems, if wearing removable dental prostheses, if multiple missing teeth or broken down, if teeth loose, etc.) An Informed Consent document is provided to the patient giving information about the procedure which allows the patient be certain that it is the procedure (s)he wants to have done.
    2. Same visit patient is introduced to the bite procedure needed to fit the Therasnore.
    3. Second office visit (30-45) the therasnore is custom molded and fitted to the patient’s mouth.
    4. Optional: Third visit, if needed, re-custom fit and mold.In 1997 the Glidewell introduced another design approach for a snoring device. Like the Therasnore it works by gently repositioning and holding the lower jaw open about 1/4 –1/2 inch and forward and 1/4 –1/2 inch. (Learn about devices of this type). They both in effect simply enlarge the channel through which breathed air passes thereby diminishing the vibrating effect of the soft tissues in the back part of the palate and pharynx.

The Glidewell design (“Silent Night’) differs in looks significantly, definitely being a bit more elegant and dashing and slim line. Making a Silent Night” requires making molds of the patient’s teeth and sending the molds to be fabricated at a lab. It is slightly more difficult to put on. However, one of its unintended advantages is that it can serve as a “custom fitted tray” to hold teeth bleaching formulations. (View this appliance and see a movie about it.)

The treatment fee for snoring appliances ranges from $485-$685.

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