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Treating Sleep Apnea through Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 

As medical specialists well-versed in facial structure and function, oral and maxillofacial surgeons play a vital role in diagnosing and managing sleep apnea through customized surgical interventions. 

This potentially life-threatening sleep disorder involves disrupted breathing during rest due to airway obstruction, often stemming from anatomical factors that oral surgeons are uniquely positioned to address.

Characterized by loud snoring interrupted by episodes of silence as breathing momentarily stops, undiagnosed sleep apnea leaves sufferers constantly exhausted and at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and accidents. While CPAP machines provide one treatment solution, dental appliances, and orthognathic surgery present attractive alternatives or adjunctive options for many patients. 

During sleep, the tongue and soft palate can fall back and block the airway due to retrognathic mandibles, enlarged tonsils/adenoids, or excess soft tissue deposits in the throat and mouth. 3D volumetric CT scans taken at the Nevada OMS facility precisely map the airway space and any obstructions throughout sleep cycles to determine the ideal combination of oral modifications to improve airflow.

For mild-moderate apnea, oral appliances like mandibular advancement devices (MADs) reposition the lower jaw and tongue in a way that mechanically widens the airway at night. Other options involve more permanent solutions through corrective orthognathic surgery. 

Procedures like mandibular osteotomies, genioplasties, and maxillomandibular advancements recontour facial bones and skeletal structures that solve airway collapse issues permanently.

Before surgically altering jaw positioning, sleep studies establish objective symptom severity levels via overnight monitoring. Our comprehensive evaluation examines dental occlusion, ENT exams, and 3D printing, which helps simulate the planned skeletal movements for a preoperative discussion. Bone grafting may accompany more complex reconstruction.

While CPAP adherence remains difficult long-term for many, oral/dental appliance therapy preserves natural breathing during sleep. For severe cases, carefully crafted orthognathic surgery rebalances facial proportions, resolving apnea root causes through sophisticated bony recontouring guided by advanced virtual surgical planning. Postoperative management facilitates a seamless transition to fully restorative rest.   

Consider an evaluation with the dental sleep medicine specialists at Nevada OMS. We welcome investigating comprehensive treatments from oral appliances to reconstructive jaw surgery, optimizing quality sleep vital for your health, quality of life, and daily functioning.