Protect Your Sleep
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes interruptions in breathing repeatedly throughout the night. In response to the lack of oxygen, your body jolts you awake so that you can breathe again. These interruptions to your breathing and sleep happen throughout the night whether or not the person is aware it’s occurring.
While most people associate this disorder with loud and bothersome snoring, untreated sleep apnea can have detrimental effects on the mind and body. The lack of oxygen can affect how your brain works and reacts throughout the day as well as cause issues to your other internal systems. The body needs quality sleep and oxygen to function properly and the longer it goes without, the more damage is done to your mind and body.
Traditionally, sleep apnea has been treated using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine which blows a stream of oxygen into the airway while you sleep. While this method is effective because it allows you to breathe without interruption, many patients find this solution uncomfortable, loud, and inconvenient. With advancements in today’s dental technology, this is no longer the only option.
At Oakland Family Dental, we offer NightLase® laser treatment to alleviate your symptoms and help you reclaim your sleep and life.
What is NightLase® Laser Treatment?
NightLase® laser treatment is an alternative to traditional forms of obstructive sleep apnea treatment like CPAP or oral appliances. It is a non-invasive laser that shrinks down your oral tissue in order to open your airway so that you can breathe properly. It is a convenient, safe way to reduce snoring as well as symptoms of sleep apnea.
NightLase® is a comfortable alternative to CPAP machines and no extra, take-home equipment is needed for treatment which many patients find to be convenient.
Benefits of Laser Treatment
With advancements in dental technology, laser dentistry is becoming more prominent. Laser dentistry aims to provide diagnosis and treatment using non-invasive lasers. Laser dentistry can be used to treat a variety of issues ranging from gum disease to sleep apnea. There are many benefits of using NightLase® to treat your sleep apnea including:
- A safe, non-invasive procedure
- No downtime following treatment
- Noticeable results after just one appointment
- Improved quality of sleep
- No masks or appliances needed
- Fast and effective treatment
How NightLase® Works
During your consultation, Dr. Sheehan will provide you with a thorough examination to determine the best course of action for treating your sleep apnea.
Depending on your unique circumstances and the type of sleep apnea you have, Dr. Sheehan may recommend NightLase® laser treatment.
Treatment consists of three separate sessions over the course of six weeks. The NightLase® laser stimulates collagen contraction within the tissues of the upper airway. Meaning the tissues that are over relaxed and cause the obstruction that leads to sleep apnea symptoms tighten and you can breathe normally once again.
The treatment is non-invasive and painless so an anesthetic is not needed. During your session, you may experience a tingling, warm sensation in your throat. Some patients relate the feeling to a fine mist of hot water being sprayed in the area. There is no downtime following your session and most patients don’t experience any side effects though some report a mild sore throat.
NightLase® treatment can be repeated and results can last up to a year. Many patients see results after just one session but it’s highly recommended to follow through with the entire treatment plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer is no. In most cases, sleep apnea is a chronic condition where symptoms can only be managed. However, NightLase® has shown to be incredibly effective in managing symptoms for upwards of a year following treatment.
The effectiveness of NightLase® laser therapy depends on the cause of your sleep apnea. The cause of sleep apnea can be varied but usually falls into one of three categories:
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)— sleep apnea symptoms occur due to an obstruction of the throat due to the tongue or throat muscles becoming too relaxed during sleep. This is the most common form of sleep apnea and NightLase® laser therapy works great for this form because it actively works to tighten the muscles that cause the obstruction.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)—symptoms occur due to the brain not sending the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. If you suffer from this type of sleep apnea, a physician will create a treatment plan which may include using a CPAP machine. They may also recommend devices used to stimulate the diaphragm nerves that allow you to breathe. Sleep apnea treatments like NightLase® laser therapy and oral appliances won’t be effective for this type.
Mixed (or Complex) Sleep Apnea (MSA)— symptoms can be a combination of obstruction and neurological in this form. If you’re resistant to typical treatments, a combination of OSA and CSA treatments may work best. Depending on your specific condition NightLase® laser therapy may or may not be effective.
Get A Better Night’s Sleep Today
At Oakland Family Dental, we understand that every patient is different. What may work for one patient may not be the best treatment for all, which is why Dr. Sheehan takes great care to provide a number of treatment options like NightLase® so that we can personalize your treatment plan based on your unique needs. If you’re tired of traditional sleep apnea treatments and want an effective solution to your sleep apnea symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheehan at our Waterford office by calling (248) 674-0384 today.