What Is Sleep Dentistry?

There are two answers to this question, one wrong and one right.

The wrong answer is that sleep dentistry is when they give you something to help you relax at the dentist’s office. This is properly called “sedation dentistry” because you aren’t truly asleep. You are conscious and able to respond to the dentist’s requests though you may not remember much of the experience.

The right answer is that sleep dentistry is when a dentist uses his expertise to correct snoring and sleep apnea so you and your partner both sleep better at night. Snoring, of course, is an audible nuisance, and most people know if their partner snores. Sleep apnea is subtler, but much more dangerous. Sleep apnea is when your breathing stops at night and oxygen deprivation forces you to awaken partially. You may not know you are waking up, and often the only signs are your snoring and feelings that you’re not getting enough rest, no matter how much sleep you’re getting.

How can a dentist help with these sleep problems? Snoring and the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, are caused by the narrowing or collapse of the soft tissue of our airways during sleep. These soft tissues depend on your jaw for support. With the use of a custom-designed mouthguard, your dentist can put your jaw in the right position for holding your airways open at night so you don’t snore or stop breathing.

If you know or suspect that you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, the sleep dentists at Miami Designer Smiles can help. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.