How We Treat Sleep Apnea


A Step in the Right Direction

You’ve had enough. Enough of waking up in the morning feeling like you haven’t slept a wink. Enough of dragging through the day, unable to concentrate on even simple tasks. Enough of snapping at loved ones or feeling out of control of your emotions. You know you want to seek treatment for your obstructive sleep apnea, but getting started can often seem overwhelming. Dr. Stephen J. Burds, your Des Moines dentist, has years of experience treating obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy and understands the concerns common to many of his patients.

Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea: Step-By-Step

One of the most important things to know about treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is that it involves the coordinated efforts of several highly trained professionals. Although your unique experience will differ from another patient’s, you can expect to go through the following steps:

  1. Before moving forward with oral appliance therapy, you must first be diagnosed with sleep apnea by a medical doctor who specializes in sleep disorders. Most often, a diagnosis is reached via an observed sleep study at a sleep clinic.
  2. Once a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea has been made and the severity of your condition has been determined, you, your doctor, and your dentist can discuss treatment options. Most patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea will benefit from oral appliance therapy, although some patients with severe sleep apnea also experience better sleep with oral appliances. Rest assured that your care providers will recommend the treatment option which will benefit you the most.
  3. If oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for your case, your next step is meeting with your dentist for record-taking. During this appointment, your dentist will take precise measurements of your oral structures to guide in the fabrication of your custom-fitted sleep apnea appliance.
  4. Once your appliance returns from the dental fabrication lab, you will come back to the office for a try-in. Your dentist may need to make minute adjustments to make sure the appliance moves your jaw forward in such a way that the air passage remains clear. When you’re both satisfied with the fit, you can take your appliance home and wear it that night.
  5. Wearing your oral appliance correctly and consistently (that means every night, all night!) is essential to the successful treatment of your sleep apnea.

Enjoy the Benefits of Custom Sleep Apnea Treatment

Custom sleep apnea treatment can help you finally rest peacefully and eliminate associated risks to your overall health. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact our Des Moines dentist’s office at 515-244-0329 or email us at [email protected].