Oral Sleep Apnea Appliances − Olympia WA

Illustration showing the impacted location of obstructive sleep apnea

We are excited to announce that the craniofacial pain and dental sleep medicine part of our practice is now operating three full days per week.

Do you have chronic headaches? Facial pain? Jaw pain? Migraines? Does your jaw click or pop or is it difficult to open wide?

Have you been told you have “TMJ,” but have not received treatment or relief? Do you suffer from snoring or untreated sleep apnea?

Does your bed partner? If you answer yes to any of these questions, or, as is often the case, more than one of them, we can help!

I have limited the majority of my practice to the non-surgical treatment of craniofacial pain and sleep disorders (snoring, sleep apnea).

By addressing the root cause of these problems, we routinely change peoples’ lives.

Decreasing or eliminating pain, improving sleep for patients and their bed partners, treating chronic disease to not only improve quality of life but to significantly decrease the risk of early death from chronic systemic diseases.

If you are ready to address your pain or sleep concerns, call to schedule your initial consult with Dr. Russell. Together we can discuss the possibilities.

“I have chronic jaw and neck pain due to temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Previous surgery and therapy relieved some of the symptoms but my old appliance had worn out. Dr. Russell and his team of trained dental assistants worked with me to fit a new oral appliance, explaining the process and taking care to give me the best possible treatment. I’m thrilled with the outcome. The new appliance is comfortable and is helping the muscles in my head, jaw and neck relax even more than my first one. I also feel confident that the oral appliance will help me age more comfortably.”   — L Oman

What is the process?

If you are considering an oral appliance to treat your sleep apnea or are experiencing recent or chronic TMJ and/or craniofacial pain, your first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Russell.

During the consultation, we will discuss your history, symptoms, and desires so that we have an understanding of what treatment success looks like for you.

This is also our first step in determining if you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy.

At that point, Dr. Russell can make his recommendation for your next step in treatment which will likely involve an in-depth examination and 3D imaging.

Treatment can often be initiated on the same day as the examination.

“My primary physician, after reviewing my concern of right ear pain and chronic breathing distress referred me to Capital ENT physician XXX.  Dr. XXX offered two options, (1) surgery (a turbinate reduction and septoplasty) and (2) a referral to Russell & Bode Dentistry for a consultation and full examination due to years of grinding my teeth being the root-cause of my chronic ear pain. Dr. Russell also concurred with Dr. XXX recommending surgery for complete resolution.

Steven Russell completed a CT scan of my head to analyze jaw and neck pain, breathing concerns, muscle palpitation with a treatment plan to resolve any sleep disturbances and breathing issues to include making a new sleep device to alleviate my grinding.

From my first visit with Dr. Russell and his amazing staff, my chronic pain level was a 7- 8+ (on a scale of 1 – 10).  Over a two month time frame together with my laser treatment (which reduces muscle swelling at various points in my jaw, temple area neck and shoulder together with completing a sleep study to monitor my sleep pattern while awaiting the month it took to make my sleep device; diagnosing every step of the way my progress and pain level.  

I wish I would have known about this type of treatment years ago as Dr. Russell’s treatment plan has resolved my ear, neck and shoulder pain and once my nasal surgery is done, I will enjoy a peaceful night of sleep which I never realized could be until my introduction to Dr. Russell.

I know there are many of us that live with grinding issues (which cause serious bone loss in our jaw); now aware there is a resolution to mitigate this problem …. Russell & Bode Dentistry!”

Dental Sleep Medicine

Dental sleep medicine is the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, including Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), with Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).

OSA must be diagnosed by Sleep Physicians, but specially trained dentists such as Dr. Russell can provide treatment if you suffer from a sleep disorder.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), oral appliances are indicated for mild to moderate sufferers of OSA who prefer OAT to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy and severe sufferers who have tried CPAP and failed.

Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing while sleeping. This can occur hundreds of times a night and for long periods of time. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause:

  • high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases (stroke)
  • memory problems
  • weight gain
  • impotency
  • heartburn
  • depression
  • and headaches

Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.

Snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea and even when not, can be a significant strain on relationships with bed partners as well as leading to awkward social situations.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway gets blocked, usually by the soft tissue of the throat.

Click here to read Dr. Russell’s article on Sleep Apnea on ThurstonTalk.com

Do you have sleep apnea?

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!

Patient Links of Interest

Call us: 360-742-3912

Oral Appliances 

Oral appliances are used to reposition the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula, thus reducing or eliminating soft tissue blockage of the airway during sleep.

There are various types of oral appliances that can be fabricated by dental professionals, each with specific advantages and disadvantages based on the clinical situation.

Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other treatments for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as weight management, surgery, or CPAP.

The most common appliance used in our office for sleep disordered breathing is the Diamond Digital Sleep Orthotic (DDSO®).  

DDSO  Diamond  Digital  Orthotic  Sleep  Appliance

How do I know if I have sleep apnea?

Dr. Russell and/or your physician can discuss your specific risk factors for sleep apnea and can refer you to a board-certified sleep physician for evaluation.

Once a diagnosis has been obtained, treatment options can be discussed with the sleep physician and Dr. Russell.

Standards of Care for Oral Appliance Therapy

  • Patients with primary snoring or mild OSA who do not respond to, or are not appropriate candidates for treatment with behavioral measures such as weight loss or sleep position change.
  • Patients with moderate to severe OSA should have an initial trial of nasal CPAP, due to its greater effectiveness with the use of oral appliances.
  • Patients with moderate to severe OSA who are intolerant of or refuse treatment with nasal CPAP. Oral appliances are also indicated for patients who refuse treatment or are not candidates for surgical intervention.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy involves the selection, fitting, and use of a specially designed oral appliance that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat when worn during sleep.

Custom-made oral appliances are proven to be more effective than over-the-counter devices, which are not recommended as a screening tool or as a therapeutic option.

Dr. Russell is familiar with the various designs of appliances and can help determine which is best suited for your specific needs.

A board-certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment approach.

Dr. Russell may then provide treatment and follow-up.

The initial evaluation phase of oral appliance therapy can take several weeks or months to complete.

This includes examination, evaluation to determine the most appropriate oral appliance, fitting, maximizing adaptation of the appliance, and the function.

Ongoing care, including short- and long-term follow-up is an essential step in the treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy.

Follow-up care serves to assess the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of your appliance, your physical response to your appliance, and to ensure that it is comfortable and effective.

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy

  • Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become acclimated to wearing the appliance.
  • Oral appliances are small and convenient making them easy to carry when traveling.
  • Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.

How Oral Appliances Work

  • Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, and uvula
  • Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
  • Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue

Need Help With Managing Your Sleep Apnea?

Schedule an appointment today!

Call us: 360-742-3912