Our dentist, Steve Marinkovich, DDS, D.ABDSM
, is Board Certified by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine
, the only dentist in South Puget Sound, and has been making oral appliances for over 19 years. 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. Marinkovich has attained credentialed status in the treatment of OSA by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and has dedicated his 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. Marinkovich's nineteen years of experience you are sure to get the best device for you.
Here are two examples of appliances we use:
SomnoDent Herbst Advanced
The first dental office in South Puget Sound to offer compliance recording
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.
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.
If you are looking for dental sleep medicine experts, Please contact
our Tacoma dental office