Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Sleep is a very important aspect for your health. A consistent lack of sleep or irregular sleeping patterns have been connected with a variety of issues including daily fatigue, high blood pressure, reduced concentration and focus issues, obesity, and in severe cases heart failure and cancer.


Understanding the Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea


Snoring is the vibration sound of a narrowed airway where the air is trying to get through. Snoring occurs when the tongue partially blocks the airway while the patient sleeps on their back. Snoring is often quite annoying and disruptive to your bed partner but it can signify a much more serious disorder: sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea occurs when the tongue completely blocks the airway. “Apnea” is the lack of breath, which results in an acute lack of oxygen and rising levels of Carbon dioxide (the gas that carries waste out). Your brain senses the lack of oxygen and causes you to wake up in order to restart the breathing cycle. This can happen several hundred times a night. Sleep apnea associated with nighttime teeth grinding, loss of memory, and difficulty concentrating.

Many patients are prescribed CPAP units which consists of an air compressor that forces up the nose in order to open the airway. While the CPAP is successful, 60% of patients are non-compliant after one year. Patients much prefer to wear an oral appliance the repositions the lower jaw and tongue forward which opens the airway. Patient compliance with oral appliances is over 90%.

If you snore, or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, ask Dr Benson or your physician about a mandibular repositioning device (MRD). CPAP machines can be bulky,  noisy, and annoying, which is why the compliance rate is very low. If you have been prescribed a CPAP machine and can’t, or don’t want to wear it, an MRD may be an alternative. The rate of success of oral appliance therapy is excellent, however not everyone is a candidate.

There are multiple MRD options in the market, however, Dr Benson prescribes the Narval™ CC by ResMed. It is comfortable and light weight. Patients have reported quiet and restful nights, increased energy levels, improved outlook, cheerful attitude, weight loss, stabilization of their blood pressure, and many other healthy changes.

NarvalTM CC Oral Appliance by ResMed

“Most MRDs hold the lower jaw in a forward position to open the airway. With the innovative and unique design of Narval CC, the force of retention works along the occlusal plane (or patients jawline) to retain the mandible in a protruded position rather than pushing it forward, thus relieving stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The elevated articulation point allows the connectors to be parallel with the patient’s jawline. This complements the physiological articulation, making the device more comfortable for patients.”

“ResMed utilizes the latest in computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), also known as ‘CAD/CAM.’ This enables the highest degree of customization to suit the complex dental anatomy of individual patients.

Made of highly resilient and durable biocompatible polymer material, Narval is metal-free, flexible and lightweight. As a custom-made MRD, Narval CC is manufactured following each patient’s individual anatomy, according to the clinician’s prescription. Accurate impressions and a protrusive bite registration are all that are required to produce our precise fit.”

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For patients without dental insurance, please see our Healthy Bites Club for discounts