Sleep soundly, Arkansas! Myriad gentle, painless, precise, and hassle-free treatments for snoring, sleep apnea

Benton Family Dentistry is so committed to diagnosing and treating sleep-disordered breathing that we are rolling out a dedicated menu of services and capabilities under the “Sound Sleep Arkansas by Benton Family Dentistry” name. Dr. Kyle Benton has developed considerable expertise in preventing, managing and resolving conditions that transcend the health, structure, function, and beauty of the teeth and gums.

Warm up to sleep apnea treatment in Hot Springs

Sleep apnea is generally rooted in lax oropharyngeal tissues (in the mouth and throat). These tissues relax when individuals with sleep apnea are at rest. When this happens, the airway becomes blocked. Our patients cannot breathe uninterrupted, nor do they sleep soundly through the night. Instead, they may be awakened hundreds of times each night. This condition is characterized mainly by loud and persistent snoring, gasping, and choking upon sudden reawakening. 

Additionally, those individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea rarely feel refreshed. The resulting chronic sleeplessness and fatigue can significantly affect our cognition, concentration, mood, memory, and job performance. It is also linked to a wide range of serious health concerns, from diabetes to cardiovascular disease and stroke. 

Fortunately, Sound Sleep Arkansas is qualified to screen for this severe condition. Dr. Benton also works closely with other doctors and his patients’ care team members to accurately and promptly detect sleep-disordered breathing. Traditionally, individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea had limited options for treatment. These options included CPAP therapy and surgery. While effective, CPAP is cumbersome. Patient compliance is low. Surgery is also not appropriate for all patients and carries with it risks of complications. 

There are better ways, including oral appliance therapy. Dr. Benton is also equipped to provide a safe, non-invasive, and comfortable alternative to surgery to tighten lax, problematic oropharyngeal tissues: the DEKA QuietNite laser. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The appliance is not painful to wear. It may take a little getting used to if you have never worn any type of oral appliances like a retainer or bite guard. You may have some morning muscle soreness initially, but we have some tips and treatments to help with that.

Yes, you do need to wear it every day. It repositions your lower and upper jaws back to your normal alignment and bite. You should wear it for 15 – 30 min.

When you remove your appliance, use a toothbrush or denture brush with mild hand soap to clean your appliance. Do NOT use toothpaste, as the abrasive agents may scratch your appliance over time. When you receive your appliance, you will also receive a personal ultrasonic cleaning unit for use 1-2 times per week.

We will send you an email with links to videos that will describe some simple self-massage techniques and exercises that will help alleviate the soreness. The level of morning soreness should decrease within 1-2 weeks of wearing the appliance at each adjustment stage. We will also use a TENS unit at your adjustment appointments to ease muscle soreness.

While snoring is known to be a common symptom observed in someone who has developed sleep apnea, it does not mean that snoring is always indicative of this sleep condition. For those who do have sleep apnea and also snore, this snoring is a result of bulky throat tissue that is blocking their airway while sleeping. This occurs when the tissues in the airway become relaxed. Oral sleep appliances will help keep this airway open, preventing snoring and apnea episodes.

We also offer QuietNite laser treatment for snoring. It is quite effective in increasing the airway, especially in combination with oral appliance therapy.

Anybody can have sleep apnea, even those who do not snore. While snoring can certainly be a symptom of sleep apnea, it does not have to be always. Because snoring is not always a symptom of sleep apnea, it remains crucial to have a sleep study conducted if you have any reason to believe you might be suffering from sleep apnea.

The causes of sleep apnea will differ from person to person. Anybody can have sleep apnea regardless of age, gender, weight, etc. However, there are some common risk factors for sleep apnea that can include the following:

  • Being older than 40
  • Having a neck considered large (17 in. for men and 16 in. for women)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being male
  • If you have a small jaw or large tongue
  • If your tonsils are enlarged
  • If your airway muscles are relaxed due to alcohol or sedative use
  • If you have a deviated septum or other nasal obstruction

Yes, there is a difference between CPAP machines and oral appliances. CPAP devices improve oxygen levels by means of forced air. While effective, they can be large, bulky, and uncomfortable machines. Many individuals find them difficult to wear and therefore refuse to do so. An oral appliance, on the other hand, is a popular alternative. It is a small portable custom device that fits more comfortably in your mouth while providing very similar benefits to those of a CPAP machine.

To confirm that you are getting the expected results from an oral appliance, a follow-up sleep study will be necessary. Data collected at the follow-up sleep study will be compared to the baseline study data to determine how much improvement in AHI has been achieved.

Most patients who begin to use an oral appliance will adapt within 5-10 days, during which they will get used to having it in their mouth while they sleep. At no time should your teeth hurt. The appliance can be adjusted to your comfort if teeth are sore after use.

Your oral appliance, made of durable hard acrylic, will need to be replaced every three to five years, depending on wear and tear and how you care for it. However, those who grind their teeth during sleep may need to have their appliance replaced more frequently.

An alteration of your bite could result depending on the initial position of your teeth and bone. A re-positioning device will be used each morning to minimize any alteration in your bite.

There can be some minor side effects, including morning muscle soreness, but this usually goes away within a short amount of time. We offer some therapies including intraoral and extraoral facial massage and treatment with a TENS unit to help alleviate these symptoms. Other possible side effects of using the oral appliance could include dry mouth or excess saliva. As mentioned in a previous question, minor tooth shifting could also occur.

Because sleep apnea is unlikely to decrease as you age, oral appliance therapy is likely to be a lifelong treatment. However, there are certain situations, such as significant weight loss, which could improve your symptoms of sleep apnea.

There are many over-the-counter options, but these are not FDA-approved and will likely result in a poor fit, resulting in future jaw problems and excessive tooth movement.

Real Patients. Real Results.

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) & Snoring

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) & Snoring

Do you snore or have sleep apnea? Try OAT!

Do you snore or have sleep apnea? Try OAT!