Sleep Apnea

When to see a doctor

Please call Dr. Cuartas immediately if you experience, or if your partner observes, the following:

• Snoring loud enough to disturb your sleep or that of others
• Waking up gasping or choking
• Intermittent pauses in your breathing during sleep
• Excessive daytime drowsiness, which may cause you to fall asleep while you’re working, watching television or even driving a vehicle

Many people may not think of snoring as a sign of something
potentially serious. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience loud snoring, especially snoring that’s punctuated by periods of silence.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

• Excessive daytime sleepiness
• Loud snoring
• Observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
• Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking
• Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
• Morning headache
• Difficulty concentrating during the day
• Experiencing mood changes, such as depression or irritability
• High blood pressure
• Nighttime sweating
• Decreased libido

Our 5 step approach to help you is simple:

1. Start with a free screening and consultation with Dr. Cuartas to determine your risk factors for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
2. If you are at risk for OSA we will arrange a two night at-home sleep study which you get directly from us in our office.
3. Once returned to us, we have the results evaluated by a certified sleep physician who will provide a diagnosis.
4. A consultation with Dr. Cuartas is scheduled to review, in detail, the results from the sleep study. All treatment options ranging from lifestyle changes, Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), to surgery will be discussed if diagnosed with OSA.
5. If the Oral Appliance Therapy option is chosen, Dr. Cuartas includes a follow up, 2 night at-home sleep study to be sure the treatment is working  effectively.

If CPAP is the best treatment, we refer you to Pulmonary Home Care for proper fitting and instructions on CPAP. We then advise patients to have a follow up study done every 18-24 months to ensure long term results. OSA is a chronic condition and long term follow up is essential.

We bill to your medical insurance for reimbursement, however, the maximum out of pocket expense for the two night sleep study is only $350. This fee includes the two night study, analysis and diagnosis by the board certified sleep physician, and the follow up consultation with Dr. Cuartas.

 

The Eccovision Acoustic Diagnostic Imaging System

The Eccovision device uses acoustic reflection technology to accurately map out the size, structure and collapsibility of the oral and nasal airway. The Eccovision is widely used in ENT, Orthodontic and Sleep Disorders Dentistry practices.

Orthodontists can use the device to examine the health of the airway before, during and after treatment. It is well documented that a compromised nasal airway is a cause of mouth breathing which is a primary cause behind facial growth and orthodontic problems. It is critical to have accurate airway records and ability to recognize these obstructions.

Sleep Disorders Dentists use the Pharyngometer to screen patients prior to diagnosis. A narrow airway reading on the Pharyngometer correlates to higher Apnea Hypopnea Indices once the person is diagnosed. After diagnosis the pharyngometer helps to show us how the airway changes in repsonse to mandibular advancement. It has been concluded that the pharyngometer was accurate in ruling out patients who would not benefit from oral appliances 95% of the time.

Data from Pharyngometer & Rhinometer tests is displayed on an easy-to-read graph.

 

Pamela N. DeYoung, B.S.1,2; Jessie P. Bakker, Ph.D.2; Scott A. Sands, Ph.D.2; Salma Batool-Anwar, M.D., M.P.H.2; James G. 

 

Patient Testimonials

Marty Boquet – Pedro, thank you very much for suggesting I try a mouth piece for better sleep.  It has been a life saver!  When you first brought it up I was very skeptical and apprehensive about wearing a mouth piece to sleep.  My feelings were: Would it be comfortable?  I’m too young to have this problem?  I don’t want to have to bother with this “thing” in my mouth every night.  What about when we travel, will I have to remember to bring it?  Will this mouth piece mess up my bite and cause other problems with my jaw down the road?  All these things were running through my head but the bottom line was; how was I feeling all day long not getting solid sound sleep?  Well the truth is I was feeling hung over, fatigued and very aggravated because my wife was kicking me all night for snoring.  We both were not getting quality sleep.  Honestly this has been one of the best choices for my health, my sleep quality is awesome, I sleep solid all night without waking up, when I get up in the morning I’m full of energy and ready to go, and my wife no longer kicks me through the night so she’s sleeping better also.  Pedro thank you very much for asking the right questions, being compassionate enough to offer the right solution and following through to make sure all is well after I started wearing the mouth piece.  I have now been wearing this mouth piece for better sleep for about 1 year and I’d do it all over again.  I actually look forward to getting to bed and wearing it because I know how well I’ll be sleeping.  I’d recommend this for anyone not sleeping well.

Chris C. – After being diagnosed with sleep apnea, I used the CPAP machine for a year or so. The hook-up was awkward and I found it hard to get used to it. After discussing this with my sleep apnea doctor, he suggested I may want to consider looking into a sleep appliance (mouthguard). I was recommended to Dr. Cuartas. He took measurements and made adjustments for this appliance. I have been using this appliance for the last 3 years or so and I am completely satisfied. I would recommend this appliance to anyone who can’t tolerate the CPAP machine.

Contact Us

Pedro J. Cuartas, DDS
600 Valhi Blvd.
Houma, LA 70360
985.872.3677
cuartasdentalgroup@hotmail.com

Hours of Business

Monday: 8:30am-12pm - Business office only
Tuesday: 8:am-5:pm
Wednesday: 8:am-5:pm
Thursday: 8:am-5:pm
Friday: 8:am-3:pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed
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