Our dentists, Dr. Harbin and Dr. Kempton, and dental team are trained to help you eliminate dental obstacles that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. We know that quality sleep ultimately means improved wellness for an optimized lifestyle and less chronic disease.

Good sleep habits are an important part of wellness and longevity. Most adults require about 7 hours of quality sleep to retain a healthy system.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. Apnea is described as the occurrence of 10-second intervals of time where a patient does not breathe. During apnea, blood is not oxygenated completely and the body struggles to get oxygen in correct amounts to all its vital organs. When apnea is underway, blood pressure always goes up, as well as incidences of heart attack and stroke. The lack of oxygen can also have an impact on any ongoing inflammatory disease, like diabetes. Apnea is common among those who snore, but may occur without snoring.

Apnea is diagnosed by a sleep MD using a sleep lab or sending the patient home with a special tracking device. Results seem to be most accurate with home devices, as people are most comfortable in their own bed, but there are certainly times when the lab experience is needed, such as to monitor oxygen levels during sleep.

The sleep physician will determine if apnea is mild, moderate, or severe. Severe apnea is usually best treated with a CPAP unit; a mask device connected to a continuous flow of oxygen. Mild to moderate apnea can be treated with the same, or a dental device that holds the jaw forward and opens up the airway to allow more oxygen to enter.

In any case, where a patient does not tolerate the CPAP unit, a dental device may be considered as an alternative.

Our dental team is trained to work with sleep MDs, to read sleep studies, and to help select the type of dental device to best solve the airway and oxygen issue for a given individual.

Dental sleep apnea devices are “medical devices” and are not covered by dental insurance, only by medical insurance and Medicare. Our team will help patients understand how their medical insurance works in these situations. Please call our office at (989) 448‑2664 for more information on our sleep apnea treatments in Gaylord, Michigan, and to make an appointment at Otsego Dental Group.