Sleep Apnea

v-braces3.jpgAlthough sleep apnea is a common problem that occurs with many children and adults, it has recently been recognized as a pandemic and should not be taken lightly. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition where unlike snoring, the airway is completely blocked during sleep causing significant airway blockage to the patient. These episodes can significantly reduce the patient’s oxygen levels in the body resulting in disrupted sleep and a long list of comorbidities. For every 100 U.S adults, 1 in 4 know they have obstructive sleep apnea, and 22 of those 100 don’t even know they have it! Depending on the persons age and the severity of the apnea, sleep apnea can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, weight gain and on occasion even heart attack and stroke. 

In our office, the best way to actually combat the presence of sleep apnea is to actually prevent it as early as possible. Being a children and adult airway specialist, Dr. Yousefian prefers to start as young as 3-4 years old in order to take preliminary action and allow the jaws, upper arches and facial structure to grow properly, ultimately eliminating all chances of sleep apnea occurring alter in life. However, for adults Bellevue Orthodontist Dr. Yousefian is often times able to non surgically cure sleep apnea symptoms by the use of Teledontic treatment principles which consists of expanding the upper jaw, lower mandible and nasal cavity non surgically. With more severe cases of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Belleuve Orthodontist Dr. Yousefian may require the assistance of surgery such as Telegnathic or Orthognathic surgery. 

Signs Of Sleep Apnea

It has often been thought that snoring is a direct indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, however this myth has been busted in recent scientific studies. Although snoring can sometimes be correlated with sleep apnea, snoring is just a partial blockage of the airway. When a person has obstructive sleep apnea, their airway is becomes fully collapsed, blocking all oxygen and airflow to the patient. These symptoms can be different in the pediatric and adult populations:

Pediatric Sleep Apnea Symptoms: 

Bed wetting 
Decline of academic performance 
Heavy Breathing while sleeping
Daytime sleepiness / drowsiness 
Restless sleeping or sleeping in unusual positions 

* It is important to note that many kids and adults suffer from silent sleep apnea, which means that there is no vocal indicator such as snoring. If your child suffers from any of these symptoms have them screened for sleep apnea as soon as possible. 

You can use this in home screening questionnaire. 

Adult Sleep Apnea Symptoms: 

Loud or frequent snoring 
Silent pauses in breathing 
Choking or gasping sounds 
Daytime sleepiness or fatigue 
Un-refreshing sleep
Morning headaches 
Nocturia (waking at night one or more times for voiding i.e. urinating)
Difficulty concentrating 
Memory loss
Significant weight gain 
Decreased sexual desire 

Sleep Apnea Treatment Process

Every patient who steps into our office is screened for obstructive sleep apnea with an in home sleep study before beginning any type of treatment, whether for esthetic purposes or solely for sleep apnea treatment. There are two routes patient can go; management or treatment. 

Management: The management route is for patients who do not want to go through treatment, but rather seek immediate results and want to just manage their sleep apnea. For this route, Dr. Yousefian will fit the patient with an appropriate oral sleep device for the management of sleep apnea symptoms, or refer them for CPAP therapy. The most important aspect of treatment by oral devices at our office is that they are designed by Dr. Yousefian and are FDA cleared. They do not change the bite of patient like other devices on the market and can be actually used for management of the most complex TMJ disorders. If the patient later decides they don’t want to just manage their sleep apnea but rather, cure it for life, they can proceed with Teledontic treatment. 

Teledontic Treatment Process for Cure: There are several treatment options for the cure of obstructive sleep apnea. Being a sleep apnea specialist, Dr. Yousefian will create a custom treatment plan depending on the severity of sleep apnea for each individual patient. This can range from simple non- surgical expansion of the upper maxilla and lower mandible, or Telegnathic/ Orthognathic procedures to advance and expand the oral and nasal cavity. Expanding the upper maxilla and lower mandible creates more room for the tongue in the mouth, expands the nasal cavity allowing more air flow and ultimately opens up the upper airway eliminating sleep apnea symptoms with a success rate of 91.3%! If you don’t want to just manage your sleep apnea but cure it for life, this is the way to go!

Why Choose Bellevue Orthodontist Dr. Yousefian For Your Sleep Apnea Treatment 

Choosing a provider like Bellevue Orthodontist Dr. Yousefian who is a TMJ specialist and an airway orthodontic specialist is crucial in ensuring your esthetic needs are met and also functionality that lasts a lifetime. Orthodontist Dr. Yousefian has a subspecialty and expertise, which just a few clinicians in the world have. He is Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Board - Eligible for the American Board of Craniofacial Pain and American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine.Dr. Yousefian realizes that there is not one treatment that fits every patient’s needs, and thus spends countless hours specializing treatment needs based on each individual patient. Dr. Yousefian has been recognized by his peers as an expert in his field. He has been providing cutting-edge diagnosis, prevention and comprehensive treatment for health conscious individuals with complex issues including; bite problems, TMJ-related jaw pain and headaches, snoring and sleep apnea and facial aging for over 23 years. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. His innovative approach to treatment of TMD and sleep apnea has been taught to the dental and medical practitioners in his study clubs called “Comprehensive Treatment Seminars.” He has been invited to numerous local and international meetings as well as TV health programs, to present his experience with this new integrative medical/dental treatment paradigm "Teledontics". Dr. Yousefian has obtained several undisputed patents on orthodontic and sleep appliances, which are currently manufactured and distributed by leading orthodontic laboratories.