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Sleep Apnea

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Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person stops breathing during the night while sleeping. Left untreated, the condition can have significant impacts on health as well as quality of life. When there is a lack of oxygen while sleeping due to lack of breathing, the brain automatically responds by engaging the nervous system to induce an accelerated heart rate, forceful breathing and other muscular contractions. This significantly decreases sleep quality and does not allow for a completely natural sleep cycle.

Some signs and symptoms can include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Periods where a person does not breath while sleeping, followed by gasping for air
  • Thrashing while sleeping to find a position for better breathing
  • Tiredness during the day
  • An inability to focus and other cognitive deficiencies
  • Increased pulse and increased blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches


If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s important to get treatment. Those with sleep apnea may see increased incidents of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, chronic tiredness-which leads to driving and other accidents, depression, irritability, inability to concentrate, links to Alzheimer’s disease, sexual dysfunction and more. When patients get treatment, it’s often a night and day difference. Most importantly, patients being treated feel better and report significantly increased quality of life.

Contact 417 Smiles to get your assessment and to see if treatment is right for you.

What Does Treatment Entail?

Many Missourians suffer from sleep apnea of varying degrees of severity. Fortunately, there are many options for treatment available, and many of those can be covered under insurance. Your treatment plan is customized to your needs, and typically involves:

  1. A health assessment. As dental care providers, we’re familiar with many of the medical conditions you may already be experiencing involving your mouth an upper airway. We will ask you to complete a questionnaire, and depending upon your score, along with your medical and health history, we will make a recommendation for treatment with a board certified physician.
  2. Sleep study & treatment. Your sleep will be assessed using a sleep study, typically conducted at home in your own bed thanks to advancements in medical technology. With these results, the physician may make a recommendation of one of several options for treatment. Treatment can range from the use of an oral device, to the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP), or, less typically, surgery to modify the structures in the nose and throat that sometimes cause the problems. 417 Smiles and our partners can help you obtain the proper oral devices to treat your sleep apnea.
  3. Follow up. 417 Smiles communicates with you on an ongoing basis about the progress and success of your treatment. Each time you come in for your regular check up, we will make sure that your treatment is still working effectively for you, and help you find solutions if you need to make a change.

Why 417 Smiles?

Work with the local team you know and trust for your sleep apnea treatment needs. While we care for teeth, we also care for the overall health of every patient we treat. Since patients tend to see their dentist more often than their regular physician, we are seeking to help every patient be the healthiest and happiest they can be.

In partnership with other Springfield area dentists, 417 Smiles is participating in a program to provide our patients with insurance-covered oral devices for treating sleep apnea. It’s just another way that we help our patients stay healthy!