Blog

Answers to Your Sleep Apnea Questions

What are the signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Snoring affects millions of people every night, but it could also be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  At certain levels of severity, complete blockage of the airway by the soft tissues and tongue can occur.  If this period of asphyxiation lasts longer than 10 seconds, it is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a medical condition with serious long-term effects. 
Other symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea may include: excessive daytime sleepiness (which may cause you to fall asleep at work or even while driving), morning headaches, difficulty concentrating, acid reflux, dry mouth, waking up throughout the night gasping for air (you may also have chest pain or shortness of breath), difficulty staying asleep, or high blood pressure.   Many people also suffer from mood swings such as depression or irritability, anxiety, or even attention deficit disorder.
 

What are the medical implications if it is not treated?

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an estimated 18 million Americans have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and do not receive enough oxygen during the night endangering their health. With 80% - 90% of sufferers remaining undiagnosed and untreated, it may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease including arrhythmias and heart failure, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Stroke, diabetes, car accidents, or even death. 
 

What are treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

If you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, it is important that you are getting treatment every night and are regularly monitored to ensure it is working effectively.  Traditionally, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a machine that provides a constant stream of air though a mask you wear while you sleep is prescribed. 
If you are not wearing or are unable to wear a CPAP, we can provide a comfortable and effective alternative.   A properly fit and custom made oral appliance keeps your airway open and allows you to breathe easily.
 

What makes our appliance different from many others?

In order to treat your condition, we must first properly diagnose your sleep disorder.  To differentiate between mild snoring, and the more serious Obstructive Sleep Apnea, we perform an at-home sleep study.  This portable sleep monitor will export your sleep data and breathing patterns which a licensed physician will analyze and prescribe the proper treatment based on your individual results. 
Our highly trained clinicians will fabricate a custom fit appliance that is made specifically for your needs based on the above reports.   We use a patented “accufit” liner allowing the appliance to be customized for a much more personalized and comfortable fit while permitting small movements of the jaw (TMJ) and uninhibited oral breathing.  This also means if you have future dental work, you will not need to have a new appliance made saving you future expense.  Many people with Sleep Apnea also suffer from nighttime clenching or grinding of their teeth, and we are able to fabricate an appliance that is suitable to treat both disorders at once.  However, every case is different and treatment depends on your individual needs; we are happy to discuss the best option for you.

LANAP Frequently Asked Questions

Are you considering Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure™ (LANAP™)?  Below are some common questions we receive about the procedure.  With these technological advances, we are able to offer a "NO cut.  No sew.  No Fear." alternative to traditional gum surgery.  Please give us a call if you would like more information about the laser procedure. 


Video animation of LANAP procedure:

The LANAP protocol is a patient friendly, minimally invasive treatment for gum disease. Using the PerioLase, dentists must be trained to perform this FDA cleared laser gum disease treatment.



1.  Q: But my doctor said he'd have to pull my teeth because they are so loose, and I don't want to do that.
A: We have been able to save a lot of teeth that other dentists wanted to extract.  We have had great success in saving teeth that were to be extracted.  There is nothing better than your own natural teeth.  We can schedule a complimentary consultation for you!

2. Q: How much more is the laser?  I've been told by my Periodontist that it is expensive...
A: The laser is comparable to the fee for conventional periodontal surgery.  It is not more because it is new technology.  Our fee has actually been less than some of the offices using the conventional technique. 

3. Q: How will I feel after the laser surgery?
A: You may experience some ache, throbbing, or soreness.  The doctor will then prescribe some antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory to take care of any discomfort you may experience.

4. Q: How many appointments will I need?
A: Usually two treatment visits and a couple of post-operative visits.  The doctor will then prescribe visits with a hygienist every three months to keep up what s/he has started.

5. Q: I only need a cleaning.  That is all I have ever needed and had.  Can the laser do cleanings?
A: Yes, we do laser cleanings in the office.  Our hygienists has been using the laser for almost 4 years now. 

6. Q: Will my insurance cover this?
A: We do not use any special codes because it is a laser.  We u se the same codes that every office uses so coverage will not differ.

7. Q: Do you offer financing?
A: We offer Care Credit Financing.  It is a credit card for medical as well as dental services.  It is easy to qualify for, and if you would like, we can send you an application.

8. Q: How do I know this will work?  I had surgery 5 years ago, and I now need it again."
A: The doctor can answer all of your questions regarding treatment.  We offer a complimentary consultation so you can have all your questions answered.  You can meet the doctor and staff and have a demonstration of the laser performed for you. 

Navigating Your Insurance Coverage with Your Dentist

Insurance coverage plays a big part in whether you decide to move your dental care to our office, so it is no surprise that it's one of the most frequently asked questions.  It is challenging to give a generic"yes" or "no" answer as it is dependent on each individual's policy.  Since every patient's coverage varies, we will provide some broad information which will hopefully give you insight into how we work with the insurance companies.   

Do you accept my dental insurance?
The answer is most of the time, yes!
We are an "in-network" provider with a couple specific insurance companies: WEA and Delta Dental at the PREMIER level.  However, we still file claims to almost all the other insurance companies at the out-of-network level to provide you with the best possible coverage available. 

Please ask for a FREE Benefits Check!
If you would like to know how much your insurance will pay at our office, call our front desk at 608-836-5700.  We will require some basic information from you (name, birthday, insurance company, group number, and ID number) in order to complete the complimentary benefits check.  Once we have your specific coverage information, we will call you back with the detailed overview.

What does "in-network" mean (verses an out-of-network insurance plan)?
In-Network is an extra benefit to the patient.  We have negotiated a discount with Delta Dental and WEA which in turn passes the savings on to the patient.  Insured individuals usually pay less when using an in-network provider.  Out-of-Network coverage means the patient is fully responsible for everything the insurance company does not cover.
 
The following insurance plans pay $0.00 at our office which means a patient with one of these insurances policies will be responsible to pay the full price out of pocket:
  • Medicare
  • Momentum
  • American Dental Plan
  • Badger Care
  • Forward Health
  • GHC
  • Physicians Plus
No insurance? No problem!  Check out our Insurance Page to learn about other available discounts. 

Whether you have insurance or not, it is still important to see a dentist every 6 months for an oral exam and professional cleaning.  Prevention is always best! 

What exactly is LANAP?

Most of us have some knowledge about gum disease, and unfortunately, many of us probably know someone who has it.  With new advances in dental technology, Madison No Fear Dentistry now offers a laser treatment of the infected area.  This means no peridontal surgery!  Learn more about LANAP and how it differs from "laser dentistry" that you've heard of before:  

   

For more information and frequently asked questions, visit our Gum Disease page. 

Common Questions about Sedation Dentistry

Q:  Who can benefit from Oral Sedation Dentistry?
A  Lots of patients in Madison suffer from dental anxiety.  It is important to know you are not alone!  Sedation dentistry is a great option for people who have put off dental care due to fear or embarrassment.  Other patients that can benefit from sedation dentistry are those who:
 
  • suffer from dental phobia or anxiety
  • experienced past traumatic dental treatments
  • need a large amount of dental work completed
  • gag easily
  • fear needles
  • do not get numb easily
  • have extremely sensitive teeth
  • dislike the sights, sounds, and smells associated with dental treatment
  • are embarrassed about the amount of dental work needed

Q:  Will I be unconscious?
A:  No.  You will be in an extremely relaxed state and will most likely no remember the appointment.  However, you will be conscious and responsive the entire time.

Q:  Will I be monitored?
A:  Yes, at ALL times.  Your vital signs will be taken throughout the sedation.  One of our team members will always be with you throughout your treatment.

Q:  Will someone need to accompany me to my appointment?
A:  Yes, you will need a companion to drive you to and from your appointment.  

Q:  How long will I remain sedated after my appointment?
A:  Each person's recovery time is different based on their body as well as the medications and dosages used.  Plan on relaxing at home for the remainder of the day after your appointment.  Have your companion stay with you until you are fully recovered.