Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a variety of factors. Dr. Todd Fincher can send you home with a WatchPAT device, which allows us to track your sleep and diagnose your level of sleep apnea comfortably in your own home. A treatment plan may include a custom oral appliance.View transcript
Sleep apnea is a condition that when you go to sleep, your oxygen level drops in your body for some reason. It may be your tongue falls back and occludes your airway. It may be on people that have heavy necks, the muscular turn on your neck falls back and collapses airways. You're a smoker. You have a poor airway from smoking over the years. We diagnose sleep apnea a couple of different ways. The main way to diagnose it is with a polysomnogram. The problem with that that we find is that patients are very non-compliant when it comes to going to the hospital. We have a better mousetrap, we feel, that is a home sleep test called a WatchPAT. It can measure essentially all the parameters that you measure in a hospital-based study, and the patient is able to sleep in their own bedroom, in their own pajamas, their own pillows and, hopefully, get a good night's sleep, thus giving us good data to measure the amount of sleep apnea that they're having going on at night. People with sleep apnea shorten their own lives. They essentially choke themselves to death at night. Dentistry has a product that can be fabricated for these patients to wear at night when they sleep which changes the position of their jaw, moves the position of their jaw forward just a very little bit, opens up their airway, stops their snoring, and stops the sleep apnea where it is.