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New Pacemaker-Like Device Approved for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

New Pacemaker-Like Device Approved for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

best dentist pasadena caObstructive Sleep Apnea is a prevalent health issue affecting roughly 18 million Americans. 

OSA occurs when the soft tissues of the mouth and airway, especially the tongue, block air flow into the lungs. This causes breathing to stop multiple times throughout the night, and oxygen levels in the body to fall. The drop in oxygen while sleeping is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart failure and falling asleep while driving. Sleep apnea can also be disruptive to everyday activities causing depression, spousal issues, irritability and daytime fatigue.

Implantable Device for Sleep Apnea

While treatment for sleep apnea is extremely effective at our practice, not everyone is a candidate for a dental-centered therapy. Fortunately, for those people, there’s a new sleep apnea device available that may alleviate the condition. The device is called Inspire. Just approved by the FDA, Inspire is much like a pacemaker;  it is a remote-controlled chest implant plus two thin wires that runs under the skin monitoring a patient’s breath, delivering a mild electric current at night.

A clinical trial of Inspire therapy found a 78% reduction in the number of sleep apnea events per hour for patients.

Inspire is an invasive procedure, so it is not recommended as a first-line treatment and not everyone is a candidate.

The price tag for the Inspire device is $20,000, with surgery costing extra. Insurance companies are reviewing requests on a case-by-case basis.

Medical experts say ideal candidates for Inspire:

  • should be over the age of 22
  • have a diagnosis of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea
  • be unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP
  • not be significantly overweight

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Southern California

In our office, we practice a non-invasive approach to sleep apnea treatment. I prescribe the SomnoDent ® MAS for sleep apnea treatment. This is a custom made device, designed to hold your lower jaw (mandible) forward while you sleep. This tightens the muscles of the upper airway to allow easier breathing. It does not impinge on your tongue and fits completely inside your mouth, which means it is more comfortable and discreet than other products. It is the only device of its kind to allow normal mouth opening and closing. This means you can talk or drink with the device in position and close your lips. And, it can be adjusted forward and back to the optimum position for effective treatment.

 SomnoDent ® is now recognized globally by an expanding group of sleep dentists as the MAS Gold Standard.


THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently situated with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we offer most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental rebuilding and TMJ/ Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.