Compared to other areas of the country, our region is quickly evolving a collaborative community of sleep specialists and dentists trained in sleep medicine.
We're working together to bring the most up-to-date care and treatment to people who need oral appliance therapy (OAT) to treat their obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), or snoring.
Dental sleep medicine has arrived in Seattle
For decades, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has been considered the "gold standard" for treating sleep breathing disorders such as sleep apnea. However, CPAP is not always well tolerated by some users, and in some cases, it can't be used at all. The last decade, in particular, has brought about the advent of a different therapeutic approach: the oral appliance.
How does oral appliance therapy work?
These devices advance the position of the lower jaw to allow for more complete airflow in the upper airway during sleep.
The repositioning of the jaw also helps to prevent oral tissues (namely, the tongue and uvula) from falling back into and obstructing the throat.
In these applications of oral appliance therapy, the incidence of apneas can be signficantly reduced or eliminated entirely.
These specialty devices require the expertise and craftsmanship of dentists who are board certified and specially trained in dental sleep medicine.
When a sleep apnea patient is prescribed an oral appliance by a sleep physician, the following describes the process of receiving and using their new OAT prescription:
They work by referral with a skilled dentist to build one (either in that dentist's lab, or through a specialty lab).
Once the device is custom made, the dentist fits it on the patient and gives them instructions for how to use it, clean it, and maintain it.
After the patient receives their device, they are usually asked to participate in a sleep test to determine its ideal therapeutic settings.
Once the patient begins to use this unique therapy, they work with their dentist on a regular basis to discuss progress, concerns, and replacement or replenishment of its parts.
Our favorite Seattle sleep medicine dentists
We've been working with quite a few local dentists who've become board-certified in dental sleep medicine because we believe patients deserve therapy options.
The use of oral appliances may be the only way for some patients to get the help they need to breathe free at night, whereas some patients are so severe that they may require combination therapy, which matches a dental device with a CPAP device to optimize breathing during sleep.
Each patient is different and that means that we need to strive to offer them different strategies for treating their sleep breathing disorders so that they will be comfortable and motivated to use their therapy night after night. Many cases of sleep apnea require a lifetime of management; our goal is to help you make the right therapeutic choice so you can be the best manager of your own sleep breathing disorder.
We'd like to give a "shout out" to the following area dentists for their progressive efforts to help OAT emerge as a viable, effective therapy for treating sleep apnea.
Thanks for working with us to help our patients get the best care possible. Together, we can make sure nobody is sleepless in Seattle!
David Buck, DDS — 310 Harvard Ave E, Seattle, WA
Katharine Christian, DDS — 2101 4th Ave, Ste 2330, Seattle, WA
Thomas Roberts, DDS — 100 W. Harrison St, North Tower Ste 150, Seattle, WA
Sarah Khan DDS — 509 Olive Way, Ste 1024, Seattle, WA
Donald Crow, DDS — 4608 Dogwood Dr, Ste A, Everett, WA
Mitchell Marder, DDS — 9703 3rd Ave NE, Ste 205, Seattle, WA (Northgate)
J. Sam Sage, DDS — 22304 8th Ave NE, Ste B, Seattle, WA (Northgate)
Steve Carstensen, DDS & Carrie Magnuson, DDS — 636 120th Ave NE, #A-204, Bellevue, WA
Michael Koczarski, DDS — 17000 140th Ave NE, Ste 202, Woodinville, WA