What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? OSA occurs when a person stops breathing for 10 seconds or longer for at least five times an hour while asleep. Only a sleep test (in a lab or at home) can determine if someone has OSA versus just snoring. How common is OSA? A 2015 study evaluated over 2000 people and found that one in two men and one in four women develop OSA in their lifetime. While all patients with OSA are at risk of having an increase in life-threatening events, patients with severe OSA are the most at risk for having a heart attack, stroke, or death from organ failure. Another unfortunate consequence of OSA is its progressive nature so someone with mild or moderate can progress to severe.
The two primary treatments for OSA are continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) and mandibular advancing devices (MADs). In contrast to a CPAP machine, oral appliances are a mouth guard-like device worn only during sleep to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is comfortable, easy to wear, quiet, portable and easy to care for. MADs are a first-line therapy for patients with mild or moderate OSA and used as an alternative treatment for patients with severe OSA that are CPAP intolerant.
Dr. Bryan P. Kalish, Dental Director of the Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, is helping El Paso residents get a more restful night’s sleep. Dr. Kalish recently became an American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM) Diplomate—the first in El Paso. ABDSM is the board for the leading national organization for dentists who treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with oral appliance therapy. Earning Diplomate status from the ABDSM is a unique honor that recognizes special competency in dental sleep medicine.
Dr. Kalish works with children suffering from sleep-related breathing disorders through the use of orofacial myofunctional therapy. Symptoms include: snoring, mouth-breathing, ADD/ADHD, difficulty in school, bed-wetting, delayed growth, etc.
Many patients also suffer from TMJ and myofascial pain. Dr. Kalish specializes in treating these patients with a special oral appliance, that is also custom-fabricated, called a neuromuscular orthotic.
Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders utilizes state-of-the-art 3D technologies to visualize patients’ airway, temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and digital scanning of patients’ teeth for fabrication of the oral appliances—also a first for El Paso. The center is proudly Medicare-certified and accepts all medical insurance.
Koala® Center for
Sleep And TMJ Disorders
6901 Helen of Troy, Ste. D-2
El Paso, Texas 79911
Photographed by: DANIEL FREDERICK