Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does Carolinas Dental Sleep Center (CDSC) put people to sleep for dental work?
    1. Carolinas Dental Sleep Center focuses on treating patient with sleep disordered breathing, not general dentistry.  While we don’t use anesthesia at CDSC, we will help you get a good night’s sleep.
  2. What does Carolinas Dental Sleep Center do?
    1. CDSC uses Dental Sleep Therapy (DST) to treat patients suffering from various forms of sleep disordered breathing.
  3. What is Sleep Disordered Breathing?
    1. SDB is a spectrum of disorders in which patients’ normal breathing pattern at night is disrupted.  SDB includes simple snoring all the way to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
  4. What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
    1. OSA is a sleep disorder in which a patient’s breathing repeatedly stops throughout the night.  This leads to decreased oxygen availability and puts a significant strain on the heart, lungs, and brain.  
  5. What causes snoring?
    1. Snoring is the sound that accompanies turbulent airflow through the airway.  Whether caused by a temporary condition (sinus congestion) or something more progressive (OSA), snoring is not normal and could be the first manifestation of a more serious condition.  Additionally, snoring is not just bad for your sleep, but your loved ones as well.  
  6. If I snore am I sure to have OSA?
    1. Not everyone who snores has OSA.  As mentioned above, snoring can be caused by a temporary condition such as sinus congestion.  However loud, persistent snoring is a cause for concern.  No matter the initial cause, continual snoring leads to inflammation of the airway, which causes snoring to worsen.  Eventually the airway becomes inflamed to the point of obstruction, causing the pauses in breathing and decreases in oxygen which are the hallmarks of OSA.
  7. How is sleep apnea diagnosed?
    1. The gold standard for diagnosing sleep apnea is a sleep study.  During a sleep study multiple aspects of your sleep are measured, including pauses in breathing, brain waves, oxygen levels, and limb movements.  A sleep study can be done at home or in a sleep lab.  Which one you undergo is based on your insurance plan.
  8. How does CDSC treat OSA?
    1. Dental Sleep Therapy involves the fabrication of an oral device (Mandibular Advancement Device), very much like a retainer, that brings the lower jaw forward while the patient sleeps.  With the jaw forward, the tongue is brought off the airway and breathing and oxygen availability are improved.  
  9. Does insurance pay for an oral device?
    1. Since the oral device is treating a medical condition we file the cost of the device with your medical insurance.  Coverage and payment varies from company to company and plan to plan, but all require that the patient have an official diagnosis of OSA.
  10. How do I know how much my out of pocket will be?
    1. As a courtesy to you, CDSC will submit a verification of benefits (VOB) to individual insurance companies.  The result is an ESTIMATE of the insurance company’s MAXIMUM payment and the patient’s MINIMUM payment.  This estimate is not a guarantee of payment and patients will be responsible for any difference between the insurance payment and the total cost of the device.  
  11. How much does the oral device cost?
    1. The total cost filed with insurance companies is $2500.  This covers your initial consultation, impressions, the device, and all follow up appointments up to a year.  
  12. Do you offer financing options?
    1. As a practice, CDSC does not offer payment plans.  We do offer a 10% discount for self-pay patients, and a 20% discount for veterans and first responders.  Additionally, we do take Care Credit and offer 12 months interest free when used to pay for an oral device.
  13. Are there any other costs associated with treatment?
    1. An initial consultation will determine your need for a formal sleep study.  This is done at an outside lab who are responsible for contacting for insurance company for cost.  Following improvement of your subjective symptoms, a repeat sleep test is required to assure your objective measurements of sleep apnea have improved.  You are charged an office visit for annual follow up.
  14. How long do the devices last?
    1. The device is estimated to last between 3-5 years, though with proper care and cleaning, they can last 7-10 years.  
  15. Are there any side effects from using a MAD?
    1. As the MAD is a dental device, any side effects are dental in nature.  These  can include, but are not limited to, jaw pain, shifting teeth, temporary and/or permanent changes in bite, sore teeth/gums, oral decay, periodontal disease, neck or facial pain.  The possibility of these side effects is highly decreased through proper care and cleaning of the device, maintenance of regular dental hygiene, commitment to exercises and treatments specific to DST, and annual follow up.