Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea (from Greek, meaning “without breath”) is one of the most common sleep disorders in which breathing stops and then restarts again recurrently during slumber.

sleep apnea diagram showing blocked airway

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when the airway temporarily collapses during sleep, preventing or restricting breathing for up to 10 seconds or more. OSA patients commonly suffer from low oxygen levels in the blood, high blood pressure and an overall decrease in the quality of life due to daytime drowsiness and headaches. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes.

Such events can occur several hundred times a night, severely disrupting sleep. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. The term *Sleep-disordered breathing* (SDB) includes a spectrum of respiratory disorders ranging in severity from snoring to OSA.

Sleep apnea usually is a chronic condition that disrupts your sleep 3 or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.

This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.

More than 40 million American are estimated to suffer from a sleep breathing disorder and 20 million suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Despite the high prevalence, 93% of women and 82% of men with moderate to severe OSA remain undiagnosed, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Diagnosing sleep problems no longer has to be uncomfortable, inconvenient or costly thanks to ARES™, a state-of-the art wireless device for in-home sleep testing offered exclusively at McCreight Progressive Dentistry.


Client using ARES take-home sleep testing unit
A dental client using the ARES take-home sleep testing unit.

OSA is a physical condition caused by the airway collapsing. The result is an interruption in breathing that lasts for at least 10 seconds. Sleep apnea is considered severe when it occurs every 2 to 3 minutes.

According to the National Sleep Foundation

  • About 1 in 4 men and 1 in 10 women suffer from sleep apnea;
  • Some 17% of middle-aged people have moderate apnea;
  • Middle-age people with severe apnea were 46% more likely to die of a heart attack;
  • There are more than 20 million OSA patients, only 5% of which have been diagnosed and treated;
  • Breathing problems for as little as 11 minutes a night double the risk of death.

Diagnosing sleep apnea used to be an expensive and inconvenient process requiring an overnight stay in a hospital sleep lab or sleep center where they will preform a sleep study called a polysomnogram or a “PSG”. A sleep technician observes the patient and records sleepings habits using audio and video equipment. Many sleep centers operate at full capacity causing 4-6 week delays in patient testing and waiting for results from the PSG.

The home sleep test is more convenient for you. Many experts agree that testing sleep in your normal home environment offers many advantages to the laboratory setting, which is admittedly uncomfortable and unrealistic.


Next-generation device ARES
Next-generation device ARES™ was designed to be used from the comfort of home, in order to capture the most accurate information about a patient’s actual sleeping patterns. ARES™ is worn on the forehead and accommodates all sleep positions. Simple, clear audio and visual indicators promote reliable data capture by making it easy for patients to know when ARES™ needs adjustment.

Your Medical Insurance may Cover Home Sleep Testing

ARES™ home sleep testing is covered by almost all major medical plans. A trip to the sleep lab may cost you a high co-pay and deductible. The average co-pay patient expense for a formal sleep lab study is $1,000 or more. ARES™ helps reduce healthcare costs in this tough economy. It is a convenient and effective method to diagnose sleep disorders.

ARES™ is a new, low-cost, patient-friendly wireless device that is worn while you sleep in your own bed at night. Your sleep data is reviewed by a certified sleep technologist and then interpreted by a board certified sleep physician from UC Health at the Yampa Valley Medical Center. Your primary care physician or sleep physician will then recommend the appropriate therapy.

ARES™Provides a better profile of your breathing during sleep by allowing you to be studied in your normal sleeping environment. The device collects physiological date while you are asleep, and integrates the data with clinical history and physical data to determine the presence and severity of sleep apnea.

ARES™ is worn of your forehead, and is usually worn for one night. The small size allows the device to be comfortably worn in all sleep positions, and ARES™ even notifies you with voice prompts that you are wearing it correctly.


Take this Quiz for Sleep Apnea

  • Are you regularly unrefreshed, even after waking from a full night’s sleep?
  • Do you fall asleep easily during your waking hours at home or at work?
  • Are you a loud, habitual snorer?
  • Have you been observed choking, gasping or holding your breath during sleep?
  • Do you often suffer from poor concentration or judgement, memory loss, irritability and/or depression?
  • Are you overweight, or do you have Diabetes, Hypertension, or Heart Disease?

Take a very common sleep questionnaire called an Epworth Sleepiness Scale

If you checked two or more boxes, you may be suffering from sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. Untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases, memory problems, weight gain impotency and headaches. It may also be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Ask the team at McCreight Progressive Dentistry about symptoms and possible treatments at your comprehensive or recare exam appointment.


Sleep Apnea Screenings at McCreight Progressive Dentistry

Since 2009, McCreight Progressive Dentistry has been on the forefront of the medical model for the screening, diagnosis and the treatment of Sleep Apnea. This model involves being directly connected with not only your primary care physician, but also a board certified sleep physician. Both interpret and diagnose the data from all sleep studies (including both formal and take home) to recommend the most ideal treatment for our dental clients. Options for the treatment of Sleep Apnea vary from Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) which is an oral appliance made at McCreight Progressive Dentistry.

Continuous Positive Airway. Side and front view of the Micr02 a Mandibular Pressure
Shown Left: Continuous Positive Airway                                        Side and front view of the Micr02 a Mandibular                                                                                                                        Pressure (CPAP)                                                                                   Advancement Device (MAD)

Some of McCreight Progressive Dentistry’s qualifications in the treatment of Sleep Apnea involve many “firsts” for the Yampa Valley. Including, the Apnea Risk Evaluation System (ARES) “take home” level III sleep testing device. Another first was the McCreight Progressive Dental Team was being chosen to be one of the first dental offices in the world to offer the revolutionary Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) called the Micr02. Today, the Mic02 is offered as one of the best oral appliances for the treatment of Sleep Apnea. The Micr02 was one of the first CAD/CAM milled oral appliance in the world and has quickly gained popularity due to its streamline design and comfortable fit.

All clients as part of the McCreight Progressive Dentistry comprehensive or recare dental exam process are screened for Sleep Apnea. Screening includes, digital photos of the airway to grade the Mallampati classification and the Freidman Tongue Position. At an additional fee, the 3D imaging via cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) is also offered and completed onsite. All CBCT images are interpreted by a board certified radiologist to rule out other areas of pathology that might be present beyond the airway that is imaged. Finally, as previously noted a take home sleep study via a level III sleep testing device (ARES) is offered for an additional fee which also will include the interpretation and diagnosis by a board certified sleep physician from UC Health (Yampa Valley Medical Center).

Start today! Schedule a consultation with the team at McCreight Progressive Dentistry