By: Haylie Smart | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: September 2023
Anyone suffering from Sleep Apnea and wears a CPAP machine at night when they sleep knows how dreadful they can be. Many people using them complain the machines are too loud, the mask over their mouth and nose is uncomfortable, they feel claustrophobic wearing the mask, and they don’t like the impressions the mask makes on their face.
Fortunately, oral appliance therapy is helping to make CPAP machines a thing of the past, and the dentists at Healthy Sleep in Tulsa are proud to offer that service. “We’ve been offering oral sleep appliances in our day to day dentistry for a number of years,” according to Dr. Lori Hare, one of the partner dentists.
We added a sleep focused team and developed Healthy Sleep when Dr. Nauman joined us last September.”
You might be wondering what an oral sleep appliance is, but before that can be answered, we first need to understand Sleep Apnea. It is a disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or abnormally low breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from 10 seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times in an hour. People who suffer from the disorder are basically suffocating in their sleep, and long periods of apnea can cause a person to wake up, gasping for breath. In some cases, people have died in their sleep due to not waking up during a long apnea.
Dr. Lori Hare
The CPAP machine is designed to force oxygen into the airway, but if the airway could remain open on its own, it wouldn’t be needed. That’s where the oral sleep appliance comes in.
“It’s an appliance that fits on the upper and lower jaw,” Hare said. “The concept of it is similar to CPR. When you perform CPR you bring the lower jaw forward and it opens up the airway. That’s what the appliance does.”
Oral appliance therapy is best for people who have mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, but Dr. Hare believes the appliance can also help those with severe Sleep Apnea. “If someone is severe and is using a CPAP, but absolutely cannot tolerate it, then doing something is better than nothing. We’ll get them a sleep appliance and still decrease the number of times their breathing stops during the night.”
If you don’t like having impressions of your teeth made, you’re in luck. A small camera takes hundreds of photos of your mouth from the inside and a custom made appliance is created from those pictures, fitting only your mouth. To qualify for an oral sleep appliance, there is one requirement. “All sleep patients must have a sleep study within two years and that sleep study must be read by a medical doctor,” Hare said. “We need to know how many times a person stops breathing in an hour at night so we’ll know if they’re a candidate for the appliance.”
Though Dr. Nauman merged her existing practice with Drs. Hare, Reeder and Ross to form Healthy Sleep, the well known and beloved doctor is now living and working in Texas. Dr. Nauman continues to be an active part of Healthy Sleep providing teleconsults.
Lori Hare, DDS FAGD received her Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1993 from the University of Oklahoma and is a partner of Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. After graduation, Dr. Hare entered Advanced Education in General Dentistry at the University of Oklahoma and completed the program in 1994. Dr. Hare was awarded the Oklahoma Dental Association’s Young Dentist of the Year award in 1995. In the year 2000, Dr. Hare cofounded and developed Green Country School of Dental Assisting. In 2006, Dr. Hare was awarded a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Hare is an active member of Spear Dental Education focusing on interdisciplinary techniques for complex dental cases. It was through her Spear training in 2013 where she was introduced to sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing. This additional training ultimately led to the integration of sleep apnea treatments. Additionally, Dr. Hare received her certificate in Myofunctional therapy, which is designed to help a patient re-learn how to use their tongue, mouth, and throat muscles after undergoing airway treatment. Through these combined therapies, she is able to improve the lives of our patient family. She also has completed multiple continuing education courses in orthodontics with a large focus on Invisalign treatments. Dr. Hare works annually with Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services providing dentistry to those in need, and she has remained active in various dental societies throughout her years in practice. She resides in Tulsa with her husband Todd. They have two grown sons, one of whom is now a practicing orthodontist.
Billie Reeder, RDH, DDS received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Oklahoma in 1993. She graduated with honors and is a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon honorary dental society. Following graduation, she practiced in McAlester, Oklahoma for three years. In 1996 Dr. Reeder moved to Collinsville, Oklahoma and began practicing in Claremore as a partner in Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry. In the year 2000, Dr.. Reeder cofounded and developed Green Country School of Dental Assisting. In 2013, Dr. Reeder chose to further her dental education and to cover a broader scope of patient care. She joined Spear Education, a worldwide leader in dental training of advanced skills. It was in this environment where advanced treatment of sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing was introduced. This additional training ultimately led to the integration of sleep apnea treatment into Healthy Smiles’ overall approach to improving the lives of our patient family. Dr. Reeder woks annually with Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services providing dentistry to those in need, Dr. Reeder has remained active in various dental societies throughout her career. She currently resides in Tulsa with her husband Tony. They have a grown daughter who also resides in Tulsa.
Robin Ross, RDH, DDS received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Oklahoma in 2009. She graduated with honors at the top of her class and is a member of the Omicron Kappa Upsilon national dental society. In 2010 she joined Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry which eventually led to a partnership in the practice. After graduation she completed an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the University of Oklahoma. Her advanced training included placing and restoring dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and many surgical techniques. She was also introduced to sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing during her advanced training. Upon joining Healthy Smiles, along with her partners, they worked together to make treating sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing an integral part of the practice. This interest in sleep apnea led her to receiving additional training in treating lip and tongue ties for both infants and adults. Dr. Ross works annually with Eastern Oklahoma Donated Dental Services providing dentistry to those in need. Dr. Ross has remained active in many dental societies throughout her career. She currently resides in Collinsville with her two children Peyton and Marissa.
Angie Nauman has been a dentist for over 21 years, and she has spent half of that time treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea and snoring. With her busy life raising five kids, being a wife, and working, Dr. Nauman recognizes that quality sleep is what allows her to survive in this season of life! She is passionate about helping her patients thrive in life by getting restful sleep. Dr. Nauman is the only Tulsa dentist double board certified in Dental Sleep Medicine. Over 1500 Tulsans have experienced the Healthy Sleep difference, so ask us how you, too, can sleep better!
Dr. Billie Reeder
Dr. Robin Ross
201 N Lynn Riggs | Claremore, OK
1326 E 43rd Ct, Suite 100 | Tulsa, OK
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