Click on the questions below for answers to frequently asked questions some of our patients have.
When you make an appointment for your visit you will be asked to bring the results of any previous sleep studies with you. If you’ve had a sleep study but do not have the results your family doctor often has them in your file. Our staff can help you locate and get a copy of your study. It’s quite all right if you have not had a study. During your first visit you will complete a health and sleep history questionnaire.
This will help Dr. Farquhar become familiar with your sleep habits and related sleep health issues. A brief examination of your mouth will help the dentist determine if you are a suitable candidate for oral appliance therapy, and help guide the appropriate choice of appliance. We will show you samples of appliances which may be suitable for you and discuss the next steps.
Night guards that dentists make are usually made because of concern that the patient grinds their teeth. Studies show that these often affect the airway but not always in a positive way. Night guards can make the airway worse. A snoring/sleep apnea appliance holds the lower jaw in a forward position.
A sleep study is the only way to know for sure what is happening with your airway when you sleep. You wouldn’t be comfortable with your doctor providing blood pressure medication without taking your blood pressure before and during treatment with medication. The same is true with a sleep study. It provides the proper diagnosis and monitors the effectiveness of the treatment.
There are two sleep laboratories in Barrie. There is also a sleep laboratory in Parry Sound if that is more convenient for you. Referral to them can be made through your family doctor. We can help you with that process.
There are more than one hundred appliances available and more every week. There is no “best” appliance. The choice of appliance depends on a number of factors. Our dentist is familiar with a number of appliances and can help you choose the one best suited to your particular needs.
Most appliances require at least ten teeth in each jaw. If you have fewer it still may be possible to provide an appliance.
Oral appliances do not work for everyone, however it may depend on the type of appliance used and proper adjustment of the appliance. It is not uncommon for a patient to not be helped with an over the counter “boil and bite” appliance have success with a properly adjusted custom made appliance.
There are some people who find the CPAP cumbersome to use if traveling, boating or camping. An oral appliance can provide a secondary option for people with an active lifestyle. The effectiveness of the appliance still has to be verified with a sleep study to ensure adequate breathing support while sleeping. In those individuals it is advisable that the oral appliance be used at least once a week so that the patient will remain comfortable with its use.
Oral appliances are custom made however they can require adjustment after a short trial to ensure teeth and gums are comfortable in the morning. Short term issues with nighttime drooling or dryness of the mouth are not uncommon.
When the appliance is removed in the morning many people feel there bite is changed. This is a sensation that lasts for minutes and is a result of your lower jaw being held forward all night. A morning positioner is provided that many patients find helps reduce the time it takes for your bite to feel right.
Over months to years the bite can change from wearing an oral appliance. This happens in more than half of patients but the majority of these are unaware of their bite changes. One study showed that in many cases the change in the bite was favourable. Another study shows that CPAP also causes bite changes. Bite changes are considered a side effect of treatment.