VIDEO: What is Sleep Apnea?
About Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea affects approximately 18 million Americans. If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, among other dangers. Oral appliance therapy is a great alternative to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) in mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. In fact, an oral appliance may even be used in severe cases when the patient is unable to tolerate CPAP. An oral appliance is convenient, comfortable and effective.
Risks of Sleep Apnea
Serious health issues can result from untreated sleep apnea, such as:
High blood pressure
Inability to concentrate
Treatment of Sleep Apnea
An oral appliance may be the best treatment option for you. These devices are custom fitted by dentists with special expertise and training in treating sleep apnea.
Oral appliances are used at night while you sleep and open your airway by gently moving your lower jaw and tongue forward. They fit in the mouth, similar to a retainer or mouth guard. They are made of durable, hard acrylic and are small, comfortable and effective.
Meet Our Team – Virginia’s Trusted Sleep Apnea Doctors
Rebecca Angus, DDS
Dr. Rebecca Angus blends a lifetime of experience in family dentistry with progressive training in leading-edge procedures and technologies. After studying at Mary Baldwin College and Virginia Commonwealth University, she earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the Medical College of Virginia. She has since been inducted as a Fellow in the Pierre Fauchard Academy which is an international honorary dental organization. Dr. Angus is an expert in the treatment of TMJ and other dental-related facial pain issues.
More about Dr. Angus.
Frank L. Angus, DDS
Dr. Frank L. Angus studied at Davidson College then earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the Medical College of Virginia. He practiced general dentistry in the U.S. Army before opening his practice in 1974. Since then he has taken thousands of hours of continuing education, enhancing his skills in cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery, endodontics, sedation dentistry, and oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea and snoring. Dr. Angus is an experienced expert in the treatment of temporo-mandibular disorders.
More about Dr. Angus.
Alexander T. Vaughan, DDS
Dr. Alex Vaughan intimately understands the situations in which many of his patients find themselves, as he is a chronic TMJ pain and obstructive sleep apnea patient himself. He recognizes the importance of an accurate and thorough examination of the whole patient in a dedicated environment. With his unique, goal-oriented, and specialized approach to pain management, Dr. Vaughan successfully helps patients manage their individual chronic pain and return to the pursuit of their dreams.
More about Dr. Vaughan.
Patient Care Process – Sleep Apnea
Diagnosis. The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea can only be diagnosed by a polysomnographic study (an overnight sleep study, conducted in a sleep lab) or by a home sleep test. Both types of sleep studies must be interpreted by a qualified sleep physician. Depending on the diagnosis, and the degree of your obstructive sleep apnea, the sleep physician will then determine the most effective line of treatment. If your sleep physician agrees that you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy, VSTT will schedule you for a sleep consultation appointment.
Insurance. Virginia Sleep & TMJ Therapy is a participating provider for most major insurance companies. Sleep-related breathing disorders are medical diagnoses, and services are filed to medical insurance companies. We take care of the insurance process for our patients. Prior to your consultation (first appointment), VSTT verifies coverage and reimbursement amounts for the oral appliance. For the portion of the cost that may not be covered by your insurance plan, VSTT offers several attractive financing options.
Consultation. Your first appointment will include a consultation with one of our doctors. The doctor will review the sleep physician’s recommendations including the result of your sleep test, and explain how the oral appliance works and the results you can expect. They will also conduct a thorough oral and airway evaluation. If the doctor agrees that you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy, we will do a joint vibration analysis and a bite registration. We will then take impressions of your teeth that are used to custom-make the oral appliance.
Communication with your physician. Throughout the entire treatment process, our doctors will remain in close communication with the physician who diagnosed or referred you to VSTT. They will share information, gain input and keep your physician informed of your progress.