Dental Sleep Medicine

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What is Dental Sleep Medicine?


STOP-Bang Questionnaire

The STOP-BANG questionnaire is one of the most widely accepted screening tools for OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Please fill out the form below and bring it to our office.

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Sleep Test

Now you can have a sleep test for Obstructive Sleep Apnea done at home in the comfort of your own bed! Contact our Tacoma Mall Blvd office at 253-474-3223 with any questions and for a discounted rate on your in home sleep test.

(If you order through the website without contacting our office, the cost is up to 3x higher!) For details, give us a call or go to

Dental Sleep Medicine is a specialized field at Light Dental Studios that focuses on diagnosing and treating sleep-related breathing disorders, with a primary emphasis on sleep apnea.

We understand the significant impact that sleep disorders can have on one's overall health and quality of life, and our dedicated team of experts is here to provide effective solutions that can lead to better sleep and improved well-being.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, chronic fatigue, and a host of other health issues.

Our Dental Sleep Medicine specialists are highly trained to identify the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and offer tailored treatments to address this condition.

Our dentist, Shelly Bedayse, DDS, D.ABDSM is Board Certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. We are adept at processing medical insurance for coverage on these appliances.

More than 100 million Americans of all ages regularly fail to get a good night’s sleep. There are at least 84 disorders that affect sleep and lead to a lowered quality of life and reduced personal health. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most important and undiagnosed of these disorders with symptoms ranging from excessive daytime sleepiness to hypertension and other heart problems.

OSA is a disorder involving frequent partial or complete collapse of the breathing passageways during sleep.

During sleep, the muscles in the throat and tongue relax, making the airway more susceptible to collapse. When the airway is totally blocked, no breathing occurs and oxygen levels drastically drop.

People with OSA will awaken themselves in order to breath again. If your sleeping partner snores and awakens frequently gasping, then they should be evaluated by a physician trained in this area.

There are treatments available including CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) and oral repositioning appliances both of which keep the airway open for these patients.

Dr. Shelly Bedayse has attained credentialed status in the treatment of OSA by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and has dedicated her practice to the dental treatment of OSA.

The only other alternative would be surgery by a medical doctor or surgeon.

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

OAT is an alternative to CPAP therapy or surgery. The oral appliance is custom manufactured and fitted by a dentist trained in Sleep Dentistry. The appliance is a small form fitted device that is not much larger than a sports guard.

It gently protrudes the lower jaw preventing the tongue from falling back into the throat while keeping the airway from collapsing during inhalation.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

A multi-disciplinary approach to treating OSA takes more than a dentist. It can’t be achieved through a sleep study alone and your primary care physician will not be able to do it alone either.

In order to diagnose and effectively treat OSA, all parties need to work together for the benefit of the patient. An approved and effective sleep study must be performed at a sleep center or through the use of a home sleep test device provided by a physician. A sleep specialist will review the results and make a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and provide suggestions for treatment.

What is an Oral Appliance?

An oral appliance is a removable, small acrylic (BPA free) device that is gently placed orally and is similar to an athletic mouth guard. The appliance brings your lower jaw forward to allow more room into the airway and improve breathing which will help reduce Sleep Apnea and Snoring.

The Benefits of Oral Appliances

  • Improvement in sleep quality in most patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • Some patients with severe OSA will respond also.
  • Reduction of snoring in frequency and volume.
  • Reduction in paused breathing for patients.
  • For most patients it is a very convenient and comfortable device to wear.
  • Our dental office takes most medical insurance and Medicare.

What Appliance Should I Get?

For effective treatment of OSA your oral appliance MUST be custom designed and fitted by a dentist. The FDA has very strict regulations and limitations as to what is an acceptable OAT.

Our office only uses FDA approved appliances and all of them are custom fitted by a dentist only. With Dr. Shelly Bedayse's experience you are sure to get the best device for you. Here are two examples of appliances we use:

SomnoDent Classic
SomnoDent Classic
SomnoDent Herbst Advanced

SomnoDent Herbst Advanced

The first dental office in Puget Sound to offer compliance recording

Dental Sleep Medicine
Dental Sleep Medicine
All our SomnoDent™ devices can be fitted with a compliance recorder to measure clinical treatment, especially among CPAP intolerant patients.

Many physicians are interested in their patients’ compliance and now that can be recorded by the compliance recorder and compliance is objectively measured.

For the transport & airline industries compliance recording will be essential for drivers or pilots diagnosed with OSA who wish to maintain their license to drive or operate an aircraft.

SomnoDent™ devices with wearable compliance micro-recording are also FDA 510(k) approved and covered by most medical insurance.

Professional Reporting

Clean, concise and easy to read. Every report designed to make it easy to find information quickly. Our office has the ability to download the reports.

Does My Insurance Cover OAT?

In most cases, your medical insurance will cover a portion of oral appliance therapy.

Insurance will likely pay as long as you have had a:

  • Diagnostic Sleep Study.
  • Medical Diagnosis of OSA by a physician.
  • Letter or Rx form of Medical Necessity for an Oral Appliance from your physician.
We can assist you with all of the above…help you with getting the diagnosis and also we can request the letter of medical necessity from your primary care physician. We also work with your medical insurance company to make sure all goes smoothly for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

Do I need a referral from my regular dentist to access in-house specialty services at Light Dental Studios?
No, you do not typically need a referral. You can directly schedule an appointment with our in-house specialists for consultations and treatments.
What are the advantages of choosing in-house specialty services at Light Dental Studios over external providers?
Our in-house specialties offer convenience, coordinated care, and a familiar, comfortable environment. You can receive comprehensive dental services from a trusted team under one roof.
What areas do you serve?
Can I request a consultation or learn more about in-house specialties at Light Dental Studios online?
Yes, you can easily request a consultation or find more information about our in-house specialties on our website or by contacting our office.

In-House Specialties

What is Dental Sleep Medicine, and how can it benefit me?
Dental Sleep Medicine specializes in treating sleep-related breathing disorders like sleep apnea. It offers solutions to help you achieve better sleep, improved health, and increased quality of life.
How does Light Dental Studios' in-house denture lab enhance my denture experience?
Our in-house denture lab ensures faster turnaround times for fittings, adjustments, and repairs, providing you with well-fitting, comfortable dentures without lengthy wait times.
What orthodontic treatments and braces options are available at Light Dental Studios?
We offer a range of orthodontic treatments, including traditional braces and clear aligners, such as Invisalign, to address alignment issues and create a straight, healthy smile.
What services are provided by Light Dental Studios' Implants and Periodontics specialists?
Our periodontists offer dental implant procedures to address tooth loss and provide periodontal treatments to manage gum disease, ensuring optimal oral health.
What types of oral and maxillofacial surgeries are performed at Light Dental Studios?
Our oral surgeons perform a variety of procedures, including tooth extractions, wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgeries, and more, to address dental and facial concerns.
Is Dental Sleep Medicine covered by dental insurance, and what about other in-house specialties?
Coverage varies by insurance plans. We recommend contacting your insurance provider to understand your specific coverage for each specialty.
How do I know if I have a sleep-related breathing disorder like sleep apnea?
Common symptoms include loud snoring, frequent waking during the night, excessive daytime sleepiness, and difficulty concentrating. A sleep study or consultation with our Dental Sleep Medicine specialist can provide a definitive diagnosis.

Disclaimer: Please note that the provided information above is based on general knowledge, and it's always recommended to consult with our doctors for personalized advice and recommendations regarding your or your child's specific dental needs and conditions. For any questions or concerns, please call our office.


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