A man sleeping and arrows highlighting his airways

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Waking up frequently during the night can make you feel tired, moody, and unwell. Over the long-term, poor sleep can affect your health.

If you are one of the many people in Austin with sleep apnea, we offer treatment that can provide relief and improve your quality of life.

Why should you visit Smile 360™ for sleep apnea treatment? 

A man sleeping and arrows highlighting his airways

Our Dentist Provides Relief with Simple, Comfortable Oral Appliances

Non-Invasive Treatment Option 

Dr. Vincent Ip offers oral appliance therapy, a non-surgical sleep apnea treatment. By shifting your lower jaw forward and opening your airway during sleep, an oral appliance can reduce snoring and improve your breathing.

Reduced Risk of Health Issues 

Sleep apnea has been linked to day-to-day symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. However, if left untreated, the effects on your health can be much more serious and increase your risk of diabetes, heart failure, and stroke. By receiving treatment, you can potentially add years to your life

Overall Improved Quality of Life

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes you to wake up dozens of times or more over the course of a single night. With proper treatment, you can potentially enjoy a better night's sleep and improved energy throughout the day. You could enjoy your favorite Austin activities again, improve relationships, and boost your overall quality of life. 

How does oral appliance therapy work? 

If You Suffer from Sleep Apnea You're Not Alone

How do you know if this treatment is right for you

Treatment Is Recommended for Patients with Mild to Moderate OSA 

Non-Severe Cases of the Condition

Oral appliance therapy is most effective in patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. This means you are suffering anywhere from five to 30 episodes where you stop breathing per night. 

Obstructive, Not Central, Sleep Apnea 

Central sleep apnea, a much rarer form of the condition, is caused by lapses in your neurological activity. If you have central sleep apnea, an oral appliance is not recommended and you require the attention of a specialist.

Can You Really Find Relief Without Surgery or CPAP? 

In many cases, yes.

Oral appliance for sleep apnea infographic

A study conducted by the Department of Respiratory & Sleep Medicine at St. George Hospital in Sydney, Australia showed that oral appliance therapy is effective for up to 50 percent of patients

It is important to keep in mind that you may be a better candidate for other forms of treatment if you have severe obstructive sleep apnea. If oral appliance therapy fails to improve your symptoms, Dr. Ip can refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor or a sleep specialist in the Austin area. 

Your oral applianced is customized to your bite for the greatest benefit...

Oral appliance therapy Oral appliance therapy

Is a sleep study necessary?

The Sleep Study Is a Critical Component of Treatment

To properly identify the characteristics of your sleep disorder, a sleep study should be conducted before any treatment is prescribed. Typically, a sleep study is conducted in either a lab or through a home test. During the sleep study, you will be monitored using wires and sensors that are placed on the body for about seven hours of sleep. This detailed analysis of your sleep patterns will provide insight into whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea and snoring as well as how severe your condition is. Based on your needs, the doctor can then recommend the best treatment method for you.

What can you expect from diagnosis to treatment? 

Dr. Ip Can Guide YouThroughout the Process

Consultation 

Dr. Ip completed a mini-residency focusing on sleep apnea treatment. He has the specialized training to examine your upper airway and screen for the condition.

Testing 

Dr. Ip may take scans to determine if you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy. If necessary, he may also order a sleep study to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. 

Impressions 

Once you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, we will take digital impressions of your bite to send to a trusted lab where your appliance will be fabricated. 

Fabrication

Over the next few weeks, technicians will craft your custom oral appliance. When we receive the device at our office, we can make adjustments if necessary. 

Wear Your Appliance

Dr. Ip will instruct you to wear your oral appliance every night. The simple device will shift your lower jaw forward to help open your airway during sleep. 

Follow-Up 

Dr. Ip will see you back at our Austin office within a few weeks to determine the effectiveness of your treatment. If needed, we can coordinate therapy with your ENT or sleep physician.

Life with Oral Appliance Therapy 

One of the most debilitating side effects of obstructive sleep apnea is depression. Although the results of therapy vary from patient to patient, many see improvements in their sleep, mood, and quality of life almost immediately. 

Depression decreased from 73% to 4% in sleep apnea patients after therapy

*According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

How long will it take to start noticing a difference?

Immediate  Improvement for OSA Sufferers

"Most patients see improvement on the first night." American Sleep Association®

But remember that maintaining the effects requires your cooperation...

Ensuring Positive Long-Term Outcomes 

Even if oral appliance therapy helps alleviate your sleep apnea, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle to maintain its effects. Lifestyle changes play a large role in sleep apnea treatment. To ensure the best results, you should: 

  • Stay at a healthy weight: Gaining weight increases your risk of sleep apnea by placing increased pressure on your airway and making it harder to breathe. 
  • Do not drink or smoke: Alcohol suppresses your nervous system and relaxes muscles in your throat, which can lead to a blocked airway. Smoking also has negative effects on your lungs and blood vessels, so quitting can improve breathing and promote better overall health. 

Your oral appliance should be cared for like any other medical device. Keep it in a protective case when you are not wearing it, and store it in a safe place when you remove it. Take it with you when you travel and ask us how to best clean your appliance. 

What is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep apnea is the involuntary, repetitive interruption of breathing during sleep. The most common form of this condition is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition develops when the tissues of the throat, tongue, or soft palate relax and block your airways while you sleep. When these blockages occur, you may struggle to breathe or stop breathing entirely for up to a full minute. During these periods, you will shift into a lighter stage of sleep to regain your breath, significantly disrupting your sleep.

What are the Symptoms of OSA?

Patients with OSA will experience shallow or halted breathing throughout the night but are typically unaware of these effects. Other symptoms that may indicate that you are suffering from sleep apnea include:

  • Restless sleep
  • Snoring
  • Waking gasping or choking 
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Acid reflux 
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Headaches in the morning

In addition to these apparent signs that affect your lifestyle, there are several oral symptoms you may take notice of including:

  • Eroded enamel
  • Teeth grinding (Bruxism)
  • Sore throat when you wake
  • Dry mouth
  • Worn or chipped teeth
  • Scalloped or large tongue

When these symptoms persist for long periods of time, they can a significantly interfere with various aspects of your life.

The Importance of Treatment

Interrupted sleep can lead to a host of serious, life-threatening health conditions. Sufferers of OSA face an increased risk of:

The combined effects of the symptoms and health risks can negatively impact your quality and length of life. If you believe you may have OSA, it is essential to bring it to the attention of your doctor so that you can receive the treatment you need.

Sleep Apnea Treatment 

At Smile 360, we can provide oral appliance therapy to improve your breathing and ability to sleep. A custom oral appliance can open the airway by shifting the jaw forward. This shift can prevent the tissues from collapsing during sleep to reduce snoring and promote better breathing. Oral appliance therapy is often a popular treatment as it is non-invasive and is easy for patients to wear. 

To determine if a custom oral sleep appliance can help alleviate your symptoms, Dr. Ip will examine your upper airway. To ensure the best fit, we will digitally scan your bite and send the images to a trusted lab for a custom made oral appliance. Typically, you will receive your appliance within three weeks. We can then make any adjustments to make it as comfortable as possible. 

Dr. Ip has undergone professional training to offer patients oral appliance therapy using a personalized device which can reposition the jaw to open the airway.

Oral appliance therapy is a conservative approach that can potentially treat the symptoms of OSA. If it is not effective for your condition, you should bring it to our attention. You may need to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT, a sleep physician, or seek dual treatment with both professionals to undergo a sleep study. This evaluation allows for monitoring while you sleep to detect sleep apnea. Based on your results, Dr. Ip can coordinate care with your doctor to devise a more effective treatment plan.

Serving Your Best Interest 

To provide for the needs of his patients, Dr. Ip has completed a mini-residency at the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry. This training has allowed him to effectively conduct upper airway examinations, patient screening, and use oral appliance therapy to treat his patients with sleep apnea. Dr. Ip is committed to finding the best solution for his patients. If he cannot treat your sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy, he will work in collaboration with your sleep physician or ENT to ensure that you receive the best care possible. He can accomplish this goal for his patients through a three step plan that will entail scheduling your appointment and sleep study as well as developing a custom action plan. Contact our practice online or call (512) 444-4746 if you have been experiencing symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea.  

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Austin Office

1509 S Lamar Blvd
Ste 675
Austin, TX 78704

Open Today 10:00am - 6:00pm