Craniofacial Pain, TMJ and Sleep of Oklahoma

448 36th Ave. N.W., Suite 103
Norman, Oklahoma 73072

Phone: 405.321.8030
Fax: 405.321.2108

Hours

Mon. - Thurs.
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday
8 a.m. - noon
(Business Office open only)

If you suffer from any sleep disorder, we are here to help. Dr. Talley and his staff have many treatment options for sleep disorders that will help you get a good night's rest . . . every night.
There are 3 major approaches to treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

Dental Appliance Therapy

Similar in appearance to an athletic mouthguard, these splint-like devices are placed in the mouth during sleep to prevent the blocking of the airway. They function by reposturing the mandible, tongue, soft palate, hyoid bone and by stabilizing the lower jaw.
When properly customized for patients by qualified dental professionals, sleep appliances are easy to use, relatively inexpensive and extremely effective in treating mild to moderate OSA. New research is also showing that patients with severe OSA, including those who are CPAP intolerant and/or not candidates for surgery, can also benefit greatly by using a dental sleep appliance.

Nasal CPAP (continuous positive air pressure)

A Nasal CPAP unit is a machine that delivers lightly pressurized air through a hose that is hooked to a small nose mask that you must wear when you sleep. The flow of the air acts like an "air splint," keeping your upper airway open and preventing apnea.
Patients who use Nasal CPAP units experience almost immediate and nearly total relief of their OSA symptoms. Despite its effectiveness, however, the rate of patient compliance with nasal CPAP therapy is extremely low.

Surgery

In severe cases, your physician may recommend removal of throat tissues, such as the soft palate, tonsils and adenoids, to enlarge your airway opening. While this may be your best treatment option, we urge patients to consider a) the risks inherent in surgery of any type, b) the long-term prognosis since removed tissues can grow back, and c) the availability of non-surgical therapies.

Please note: Whether or not you have OSA is best confirmed by a referral from your physician to an overnight sleep lab for a diagnostic polysomnographic study. We are happy to provide the names of sleep medicine physicians as well as sleep labs that we work with, upon request.

What is Nasal CPAP?

A Nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine delivers lightly pressurized air through a hose to a small nose mask. The flow of the air acts like an "air splint" to keep the upper airway open and prevent apnea (i.e., shortness of breath). CPAP machines have 99% efficiency in restoring normal breathing during sleep. They have also undergone many improvements since an Australian invented the first one from a vacuum cleaner and a length of hose. However, the rate of patient compliance with CPAP is less than 50%.

Are There Alternatives to CPAP?

Yes! Thanks to advances in dental sleep medicine, qualified dentists can effectively treat many patients who suffer from snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, upper airway resistance syndrome and other sleep-disordered breathing problems using oral appliance therapy.
An oral sleep appliance is similar in appearance to an athletic mouthguard, and it is worn during sleep to maintain airway patency. Oral sleep appliances are safe, less expensive vs. CPAP or surgery, and easy to use. There are also few, if any, side effects. However, one size does not fit all.
There are currently six (6) different FDA-approved oral appliances we can use to treat sleep-disordered breathing. Regardless of the appliance selected, to be effective, it must be properly customized and precision fit for each patient.
For some patients, an oral sleep appliance can eliminate the need for CPAP or surgery. For patients with more severe sleep problems, an oral appliance can be an effective and convenient adjunct therapy.

Please note: To find out if oral appliance therapy can help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep, consult a dentist who is certified in dental sleep medicine. Seeing your "regular dentist" may not be adequate since all dentists do not possess the necessary training or expertise. Unlike adults, children who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing are often likely to exhibit hyperactivity during the day.

Restful Sleep is Essential to Your Child's Health

Undiagnosed and untreated pediatric sleep disorders have been linked to a spectrum of health and behavioral issues, including

  • Attention hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD)
  • Nocturnal enuresis (nighttime bed wetting)
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Nightmares and
  • Bedtime resistance

Traditional Treatment Options

Traditionally, physicians have treated pediatric sleep disorders with CPAP machines and/or surgery to remove the tonsils and adenoids. Due to advances in dental sleep medicine, today there are more conservative, yet equally effective therapies available from qualified dentists.

Conservative, Effective Dental Treatment Options

Certified in dental sleep medicine, we can often treat sleep-disordered breathing problems in children by providing them with a custom-made dental sleep appliance (similar to an athletic mouthguard) or by placing temporary ceramic crowns on their teeth. These crowns effectively open up the child's bite and maintain a natural, open airway during sleep.
We also work with parents to improve their children's sleep habits and will leverage our relationships with area sleep medicine specialists when a multidisciplinary approach to your child's care is warranted.
In recent clinical studies, dentists and physicians have found that, in the majority of patients, a well-made, well-fitted dental appliance will effectively reduce or eliminate snoring.

What is a Dental Sleep Appliance?

A dental appliance is a small, biocompatible acrylic device that is similar to an orthodontic retainer or athletic mouthguard. It is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway.

How Does a Dental Sleep Appliance Work?

Dental appliances provide an effective, conservative approach to managing snoring (and other sleep-disordered breathing problems) by:

  1. Bringing the lower jaw open and forward
  2. Holding the tongue forward
  3. Lifting the drooping soft palate.

There are 20+ types of mandibular repositioners. All maintain airway patency by holding the mandible (lower jaw) in a protruded position during sleep. Many can be adjusted quickly and easily, offering clear advantages to patients in terms of cost, effectiveness, comfort and ease of use.
Tonque retaining devices are particularly helpful for those patients who have temporomandibular joint dysfunction. These devices hold the tongue in a forward position during sleep - without placing stress on the teeth or the TM joint.