Snoring and Sleep Apnea

why dr. claire?


Dr. Claire has been treating sleep apnea patients with dental appliances since 2009, is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and works closely with sleep specialists at Swedish Hospital as well as Kaiser. She has an office dedicated to serving those patients with sleep apnea in Arvada.


What is Sleep Apnea?

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to high risk of increased blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, depression, excessive daytime sleepiness and loss of concentration.

The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. During dental hygiene visits, Dr. Claire and her staff screen patients for signs and symptoms of OSA. We also work closely with several sleep specialists in the area in order to facilitate proper treatment of sleep apnea, as well as ensure that communication between physician, patient, and the dental office is done easily.

How does it work?

There are several treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea. Most patients, following a sleep test with their physician, will try a CPAP machine. For those unable to tolerate this device, a dental appliance is often an easier and more comfortable solution. The goal of most dental appliances is to vertically separate the jaws slightly as well as push the lower jaw into a forward position. This allows the airway to open and oxygen to flow freely. Many patients who wear dental sleep apnea appliances report a decrease or cessation of snoring as well.