Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment
We at the Northwest Treatment Center for Snoring and Sleep Apnea want you to feel free to ask any question you may have about how we use an oral appliance to treat your snoring and sleep apnea. This page should help in answering most questions… But feel free to call if you have more.
On your visit we will ask you about your health history. This helps us understand your individual sleep breathing issue. For those who have already had a sleep study, we will need the contact information to obtain a copy prior to your first appointment.
Next we will ask you to complete a patient information questionnaire. Once that is complete we will schedule your free consultation. You will receive treatment from Dr. Don Johnson; he has been trained extensively in the field of Sleep Dentistry and adheres to the highest standards of treatment. See the Meet Dr. Johnson page.
Free Consultation (about 30 min)
- Before your appointment we will have reviewed all of your health information that you have provided us. This would include any previous sleep studies and the health information that you provided us. This helps us to have a better understanding of your sleep and health issues and helps us to personalize your treatment.
- You will meet Dr. Johnson and his staff on your first appointment. You will get to meet all those all who will be treating you. They will make sure you understand what your treatment options are and how the procedures will progress. When you are done, you will have a good understanding of the causes and medical consequences of snoring and sleep apnea.
- Next you will receive a limited oral examination to assess your upper airway, the condition of your teeth and the range of motion of your jaw. This is done to make sure you are a good candidate for an oral appliance. Dr. Johnson will be able to determine which dental sleep device will work best for you, and he let you know the expected outcome from treatment.
- At this point, if you haven’t already had a sleep study, we will discuss your options for obtaining a study to determine your level of sleep apnea and obtain a diagnosis from a sleep physician. We will talk about how your health insurance or Medicare will apply and any other financial arrangements. We will schedule an appointment to start your treatment. Before the second appointment we will obtain any pertinent medical records and insurance pre-authorizations.
Start Treatment (about 60 min)
- We will evaluate your teeth to make sure they are stable enough for an oral appliance. If you have dentures, an oral appliance can be made but different procedures apply and will be discussed with you. If your dentist doesn’t have a current Panorex X-ray, we will take one at this time.
- The evaluation will include your teeth, soft tissues, airway, occlusion (bite) and jaw range of motion. We will take digital photos of your teeth and the oral cavity.
- Next, an impression mold will be taken of your teeth and we will determine the proper initial positioning of your jaw for maximum relief of snoring and sleep apnea. This mold will be used to create your custom made oral appliance.
- Dr. Johnson will review the possible risks, and benefits and the expected outcome of your treatment. Your appliance delivery appointment will be scheduled. It will be three weeks before your custom appliance arrives and is ready for your final fitting.
Fitting Your Appliance (about 30 min)
- Dr. Johnson will show you your new appliance and explain its function. He will check it for fit, comfort and make sure it is stable. There will be minor adjustments made to insure a perfect comfortable fit.
- A morning repositioner will be fabricated for you and you will receive instructions on how to insert, remove and care for your oral appliance and the morning repositioner. It will be explained what to expect in the first few weeks of wearing your new device.
- Your next appointment will be scheduled for approximately three to four weeks later. If you have any concerns prior to that, you can call and let us know. If necessary, we will get you in to see Dr. Johnson to take care of the issue before your next appointment.
Device Evaluation (about 30 min)
- We will make sure that your appliance is fitting properly and feels comfortable. We will also determine if you are wearing it every night. If you have any questions or issues we will work to answer them and make sure that your treatment goes well.
- We will talk about your previous symptoms and document your improvement. As you use your device every night, you will notice steady improvement in your sleep. This is because the inflammation of your airways will subside over time.
- When we initially set your appliance, it was based on your subjective symptoms. It may never need to be adjusted again, but it may require a number of small adjustments. Dr. Johnson is dedicated to making sure that your oral appliance is in the best position to relieve your snoring and sleep apnea.
- If an adjustment is required, it will be done at this appointment and you will be rescheduled for another device evaluation appointment. When Dr. Johnson is satisfied that he has adjusted your appliance for maximum benefit, you will be given a state of the art home sleep test unit to make sure you are getting the best results while you are sleeping in the comfort of your own bed.
- Depending on the outcome of your home sleep test, you may not require any more adjustments. If Dr. Johnson isn’t satisfied with the results you may have several more adjustments and home sleep tests. Every person’s treatment will vary in this phase.
Follow Up Appointments
Additional appointments for evaluating your oral health and the efficiency of your oral appliance are conducted on an annual basis or sooner if needed.
Dr. Johnson holds public discussions on snoring, sleep apnea, and CPAP intolerance. Check with the office staff for times and locations.
His goal is to educate people in the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, and Post Falls area on the physical effects of snoring, sleep apnea, and CPAP intolerance and how easily they can be treated.