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Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea is defined as the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime sleepiness. Apnea is a Greek word that means "want of breath."

The reason for this “want of breath” is a lack of oxygen coming into the lungs.

How do I know if I have Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is the most common sign of sleep apnea. Your bed partner will most likely let you know of this or you may even wake up gasping for air.

Other signs of sleep apnea occur when you’re awake. Common daytime symptoms include mouth breathing, lack of concentration, decreased performance at school or work, and daytime drowsiness.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

What are the effects of Sleep Apnea on my health?

Recent study released by the AAP showed that lack of sleep ranked just under smoking as the #2 lifestyle factor impacting oral health.

Aside from the impact on your oral health, sleep apnea has tremendous effects on your overall health. Since not enough oxygen is getting into the lungs, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease can result. These diseases can lead to a stroke or heart attack.

Other effects of sleep apnea can include impotence, menstrual irregularities, enuresis, depression and weight gain.

What are my treatment options for Sleep Apnea?

Severe sleep apnea is treated by a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This consists of an air compressor and mask which delivers pressurized air through the nose when a person is sleeping. The biggest hurdle for using this method is compliance. People feel claustrophobic and others find wearing the mask to be offensive. The strap of the mask worn around the head may even cause headaches.

Moderate sleep apnea can be treated using a much more comfortable alternative. A customized night guard called the SomnoDent is created for your specific bite and actually positions your jaw in such a way that it opens up your airway. This allows more oxygen to enter your body and prevents or minimizes symptoms of sleep apnea.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

With the SomnoDent you’re not restricted to sleeping in only one position and you’re much more likely to use it, which is the main aspect of successful treatment.

How can I receive Sleep Apnea treatment?

The best thing to do is call a sleep apnea dentist and schedule a consultation. The dentist will do some diagnostic tests in the office and then most likely send you home with a sleep monitor the size of a small cell phone which is worn like a wrist watch. This high-tech device will give the dentist the necessary information to determine the level of sleep apnea you suffer from and be able to recommend the ideal treatment option for you.

Take the Test!

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is widely used in the field of sleep medicine as a subjective measure of a patient's sleepiness. The test is a list of eight situations in which you rate your tendency to become sleepy on a scale of 0, no chance of dozing, to 3, high chance of dozing. When you finish the test, add up the values of your responses. Your total score is based on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale estimates whether you are experiencing excessive sleepiness that possibly requires medical attention.

How Sleepy Are You?

How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? You should rate your chances of dozing off, not just feeling tired. Even if you have not done some of these things recently try to determine how they would have affected you. For each situation, decide whether or not you would have:

  • No chance of dozing = 0
  • Slight chance of dozing = 1
  • Moderate chance of dozing = 2
  • High chance of dozing = 3

Write down the number corresponding to your choice in the right hand column. Total your score below (do not leave boxes blank):

Epworth Sleepiness Scale Test

Situation

Chance of Dozing

Total Score =

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Interpretation:
0-7 It is unlikely that you are abnormally sleepy.
8-9 You have an average amount of daytime sleepiness.
10-15 You may be excessively sleepy depending on the situation. You may want to consider seeking medical attention.
16-24 You are excessively sleepy and should consider seeking medical attention.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sleep Apnea Insurance Coverage

Does dental insurance or medical insurance cover the sleep apnea appliance?

The sleep apnea appliance is considered medical treatment and dental insurance will not cover treatment however most medical policies will consider paying for the appliance at a dental office.

Do you participate with my medical insurance?

As a dental provider we are contracted with dental policies only. Medical insurances create barriers for dental providers and usually only have medical physicians as participating providers. However, since most medical professionals are not trained in the fabrication and treatment of sleep apnea appliances, medical insurances will usually cover the appliance even though we are not in their network of providers.

How do I get my insurance to cover treatment if you do not participate?

If you medical insurance policy is not an HMO plan, we are usually able to obtain benefits from your medical carrier if you meet their guidelines for treatment. We may also be able to request a "network insufficiency" which means if your medical policy does not have any contracted providers for the service, they will provide coverage at the same rate as they would for the in-network provider. If you have an HMO policy, which does not allow members to see a physician out of their network, we may request a "gap waiver". If approved, this would allow you to be seen out of the HMO network since there are no providers in the network that perform this service.

How much does my medical insurance cover?

Medical policies vary depending an insurance companies and plans. They also set forth guidelines as to what a patient's clinical indications should be for the appliance to be considered under the medical policy. This is called "medical necessity". At the initial consult we will evaluate your signs and symptoms to make sure you are a candidate for the treatment and that you meet your insurance policy's guidelines. At the time of the consultation we will discuss how your medical insurance policy covers the sleep apnea treatment.

What do I have to do to get the waivers and reimbursement from my insurance?

Our office will contract your insurance to obtain all your benefit information and request any waivers if necessary. We will also submit all claims proving medical necessity to your insurance carrier. Our goal is to get the maximum reimbursement from your plan.



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TESTIMONIALS

All of my life, the financial needs of my children and my business took precedence over my own personal desires. One of these was to improve the appearance of my smile. Once my children were grown and my business had sold, I decided that it was time to do something special just for me.

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I was confident that my expectations would be met because of my positive experience with Dr. Ronkin. Honestly, when I first sat with Dr. Ronkin, my one and only fear was if it was going to be all worth it.

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After years of visiting different dentists and leaving with my questions unanswered, Dream Smile Dental provided the solution that I had been looking for.

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What our Patients are Saying

Front desk people were awesome as usual. Courtney the hygienist is always great too. Pushed me to go have something on my lip looked at which proved to be pre cancer that needs to be removed.

LZ 3-26-13

Dr. Barton was great with my son. He let him "play" with some of the instruments before actually using them so that made my son feel more comfortable. My son, at age three, loves going to the dentist and hopefully this will continue.

CC 11-7-12

Courtney Wager was excellent......she had a thorough understanding of my Son's needs. She also advised me to seek a total diagnosis with an ENT doctor. She was looking at the whole condition (tongue-thrust swallow) not just her speciality. Great experience over all!

RL 11-4-12

Ever since I have been coming to Dream Smile I have had nothing but great experiences. All the employees are very professional and cater to your every need, especially Nicole.

EDC 7-28-11

My visit, from start to the end, was great. When I do have the work done on my tooth, I would prefer the dentist that was on duty that day, as he took the time to explain things to me about the tooth. Also, special thanks to the girls behind the desk who were patient and extremely nice as my Delta Dental Plan was being determined.

MG 8-24-11

There was some confusion re: my appointment time. Courtney was kind enough to fit me in. The front desk team is excellent!

PC 9-20-11

I am always treated with respect and Service is always provided in a prompt timely and professional manner. Also Courtney does a great Job cleaning my teeth and providing needed information so that I don't have to make so many vists to the Dentist. Thank you.

PC 9-21-11

All the staff were wonderful!

JF 9-22-11

Sandy and Courtney are awesome. And the girls at the desk treated me great. Always look forward to going to Dreamsmile.

TR 9-30-11

All of the staff was wonderful and the office was the nicest dentist's office I have ever been to. Even my son had a good time and is looking forward to his visit in November.

MD 10-2-11

I just want you to know that Courtney and Sandy are the best!!!

DO 10-5-11

Your office is extemely professional and talented. Thank you so much. I will continue to be a patient here.

CC 10-8-11

The entire staff at DSD is outstanding, professional and makes you feel very comfortable...outstanding!!

MD 10-12-11

The girls were great and were very knowledgeable about what they do.

EC 10-19-11

It is always a pleasure to come in and see everyone again.

AL 10-19-11

Many offices to choose from, but nothing else compares, THE BEST.

RO 10-21-11

Ashlee is always so friendly! It was our first time meeting Dr. Barton but he is also great!

QG 10-25-11

I would like to thank Courtney and Dr Shwartzman for cathing my sinus infection. I saw Dr Dana and I am now on amocicillin for 2 weeks.

DC 10-25-11

It was a very pleasant experience! I'm hoping to dazzle family and friends with my pearly whites during the holidays.

NM 10-25-11

My appt. was for a whitening and the dental technician explained everything clearly and was very attentive to my comfort during the whole procedure. I'm sorry I don't recall her name but she was very friendly, professional did a very good job.

PS 10-27-11

Staff is always friendly, efficient and highly skilled. Although the idea of "going to the dentist" is not something I look forward to, DreamSmile Dental makes it a positive end result.

JV 10-27-11

I think Courtney is a great dental hygenist. She has alot of energy, does a great job, and knows her stuff.

MC 10-27-11

My appointment was at 4:30, I was running late due to traffic. I called and I believe her name was Jeannine. She was great. She reassured me that my late arrival was not an inconvenience for anyone! The administrative assistant at desk, was also very kind and polite. Excellent, flexible with appointments Thanks so, so much. What a great team! Thank you!

CD 10-28-11

Loved the whole team. Courtney was amazing! Very passionate about her work

KR 10-28-11

Jeanine is always so friendly and welcoming!

RG 10-30-11

Everyone was great and actually dont mind coming to the dentist office. Great job.

Anonymous 11-7-11

Staff was great...Yelena was great as well. Thanks

BM 11-16-11

Love Stacey. She is always gentle, kind and keeps me entertained so the time flies by quickly.

RE 11-17-11

Dr. Ronkin is a tremendous asset. He is very helpful. Courtney is a terrific hygenist. I think the world of her and am graeful for the care she provides.

BD 11-28-11

Everybody was great from front desk people to Sandy, Courtney, and, of course, Dr. Shwartzman. Considering a year ago I was totally dental phobic, I can't believe how comfortable everybody has made me feel. Lucky to have such great workers.

JL 11-29-11

The staff and especially my hygienist make my visit enjoyable despite the fact that I hate going to the dentist.

DM 11-30-11

everyone who greeted me was welcoming,those who treated me were efficient and timely.

VP 12-3-11

very good experience! everyone was super friendly and seemed very capable.

RP 12-9-11

Stacy is great!!!!!

JC 12-11-11

I had a wonderful visit. Everyone was very conscientious.

KR 12-14-11

Everyone was polite and professional . didn't have to wait . the service was explained and i'm very happy with the result .

DM 12-15-11