Hallmark Sleep Solutions  & Craniofacial Treatment Center

Phillip C. Hall DDS

(435) 634-8338

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Call (435) 634-8338 for a FREE Sleep Apnea consultation

Dr. Phillip Hall is a registered provider for Medicare recipients.  Patients with Medicare and supplemental insurance rarely have any copay or out of pocket expense.  Dr. Hall's staff are experts in billing ALL medical plans for Oral Sleep Apnea appliances.  Dr. Hall works daily with all the sleep physicians in Southern Utah and they have great confidence in his ability to take care of their patients.

What is Sleep Apnea?

 

Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you may stop breathing many times during the night for intervals of 10 seconds or longer.  These are called apneic events and may occur multiple times every hour. When they occur routinely more than 5 times per hour the medical diagnosis is sleep apnea.  After an apneic event, normal breathing starts again, sometimes but not always with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep.  When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you'll often move out of a deep sleep and into a light sleep.  As a result, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day.  Sleep apnea is the leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness which is often associated with motor vehicle accidents.  Medical problems such as: heart attack, stroke, weight gain and diabetes are brought on and greatly exacerbated in people who suffer from sleep apnea.  People used to say "Oh, he just died in his sleep", but more accurately the person probably died from complications related to untreated sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  • Loud Snoring

  • Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

  • Morning Headaches

  • Difficulty with concentration, memory and focus

  • Moodiness

  • Disrupted Breathing

  • Dry Mouth

  • Awakening with Dry Mouth or Sore Throat

  • Difficulty Staying Asleep Through the Night

  • Depression

  • Weight Gain

  • Fatigue

  • Nightmares

  • Forgetfulness

  • Decreased Sex Drive

  • Nocturia (waking during the night to go to the bathroom)

Risk Factors

 

You are much more likely to have sleep apnea if you are overweight or obese. However, sleep apnea can occur in slim people too.  Common risk factors for sleep apnea include: 

 

  • Excess weight – Your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more or obese with a BMI of 30 or higher.

 

  • Large neck size - Your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you have a neck size of 16 inches or more for men, or 15 inches or more for women. A large neck has more soft tissue that can block your airway during sleep.

 

  • Middle age – Sleep apnea can occur at any age. However, it is more common between young adulthood and middle age.

 

  • Male gender – Sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. For women, the risk of sleep apnea increases with menopause.

 

  • Hypertension – High blood pressure is extremely common in people who have sleep apnea.

 

  • Family history – Sleep apnea is a heritable condition. This means that you have a higher risk of sleep apnea if a family member also has it. Inherited traits that increase the risk for sleep apnea include obesity and physical features such as a recessed jaw. Other common family factors - such as physical activity and eating habits - also may play a role.

Why Choose an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea?

 

There are many sleep apnea treatment options, and the right one for you depends on many factors, but there are many good reasons to consider an oral appliance for your sleep apnea treatment.

 

Proven Effective

Oral appliances have been thoroughly tested, and they have shown that they are effective in treating sleep apnea. They can reduce or eliminate snoring and daytime sleepiness, and can dramatically reduce your risks related to sleep apnea. The science is clear: they are a viable treatment alternative to CPAP.

 

 

Treats All Levels of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Oral appliances can be used to treat all levels of obstructive sleep apnea, but are most successful in mild to moderate cases. They will give improvement of sleep apnea symptoms and reduce sleep apnea severity for patients with all levels of apnea. That being said, people with severe obstructive sleep apnea should try CPAP first. Oral appliances can be used if you can’t tolerate CPAP, but they’re considered a secondary line of treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea.

 

Simple

Oral appliances are about the simplest piece of medical equipment you will ever own. You just put it in and go to sleep! It may take a couple days to get it completely comfortable, but there’s nothing to plug in, no settings to adjust, no hoses to put together, no reservoirs to monitor or fill.  Maintenance is simple, too. Rinse and brush it every day and soak it occasionally to keep it clean. That’s about all it takes to keep it functioning properly.

 

Easy to Transport

If you’ve ever traveled with CPAP, you know what a pain that can be. If you try to take your home unit, you might need a separate bag for the device and all its accessories. A travel CPAP is a little better, but might not have all the features you’re used to. And while most TSA agents now recognize a CPAP machine, it can still be a pain at the airport.

Oral appliances, on the other hand, can fit in your pocket or purse. It’s the kind of thing you can grab on your way out the door, not something you have to plan to be able to carry.

 

Comfortable

But the thing that many people enjoy most about oral appliances is how comfortable they are. It’s not just that you don’t have the mask, the hose, the straps, and the entire apparatus connected to your face. Those are the things that can make CPAP uncomfortable, and an oral appliance doesn’t have that, but in addition, oral appliances can be just comfortable to wear.

 

To read articles published by Dr. Hall or suggested videos on sleep apnea, please visit our "Articles by Dr. Hall" page listed above.