frequently asked questions melbourne sleep clinic

Do I need a referral to visit your clinic?

In a word, no! Anyone looking to visit our dental sleep clinic in Melbourne can do so by making an appointment. So if you are concerned about your lack of sleep, or you have a partner who is keeping you awake at night with their chronic snoring, then make an appointment at any one of our dental sleep clinics in Footscray, Niddrie or Armadale.

That said, we happily accept referrals from GP’s physiotherapists, ENT specialists, dentists and sleep physicians.

What about a sleep study – Do I need one before I visit?

Not necessarily! If our team thinks you need one, then we will refer you to a sleep specialist. When we do, they are predominantly home-based sleep surveys. However, in some instances, they will be carried out in a specialist sleep clinic in Melbourne.

You mention that oral devices are proven, but just how effective are they?

In 95% of cases, the Australian Dental Association recognise that oral appliance therapy is hugely effective in assisting snorers. Treatment can ensure that patients and their long-suffering partners get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and re-energised.

At the 2018 sleep conference in Brisbane, a study was released stating that customised oral appliances are equally as effective as any CPAP machine in overcoming sleeping, snoring and sleep apnoea problems.

Moreover, both the Australian Sleep Association (ASA) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) state that oral appliances are now considered the first-line treatment for snoring and an effective alternative to CPAP equipment for sleep apnoea sufferers.

How do oral appliances work?

Our custom-made appliances work by holding or moving the lower jaw in a forward position while sleeping. This is only a few millimetres but it’s enough to ensure the tongue is shifted forward with it. As a direct result, the airway is kept open therefore preventing snoring and sleep apnoea issues.

I’m struggling With My CPAP machine – Can I use oral appliances as an effective alternative?

In a word, yes! Melbourne dental sleep patients should know that they are a viable, convenient and comfortable alternative to bulky CPAP machinery. Oral appliances are also a perfect back-up in situations where you need to travel, or where there is no access to power.

Can I use cheaper over-the-counter appliances?

Yes, you can, but there is no guarantee they will work. Most of these are non-customisable ‘one size fits all’ models which may exacerbate your problems or not assist them. Some appliances can even make sleep apnoea or snoring problems worse.

I have been diagnosed with Bruxism (teeth grinding), can these appliances help?

Absolutely!  As a side benefit, oral appliances can also help prevent teeth from grinding together during sleep.

Will I have to wear my oral appliance forever?

This is hard to say! While no two patients are alike, there isn’t an overnight solution. As a result, Melbourne Dental sleep clinic patients are encouraged to continue to wear their appliances even as a precautionary measure to prevent symptoms from occurring. Think of your night-time oral appliance as part of your routine. A bit like taping up your ankle when you play sports. You do it to add stability and to safeguard against other injuries.

What’s a typical lifespan of an oral appliance?

While typically they are designed to last around 5-10 years, oral appliances can last considerably longer if cared for properly. Dr Teo and the team will give your oral appliance an annual check-over to ensure it remains in good condition and is capable of doing the job it set out to do.

On some occasions, we will perform a reline in cases where wear and tear are apparent and when you do eventually need to replace your oral appliance, we will change it at a discounted price.

What about if I already wear a bridge or denture or have missing teeth?

No problem! Our custom made oral appliances are designed to be used in virtually any given situation. Provided that you have at least 4 teeth remaining, then an appliance will function easily.

Even for edentulous patients -with no teeth-, or a denture, an appliance can still be made, although it might be a little more tricky.

Are there any side effects when wearing an oral appliance?

The majority of Melbourne Dental Sleep Clinic patients suffer little or no side effects. However, a few people may experience minor side effects ranging from dry mouth to bite changes through to excessive salivation. That said, most side-effects are temporary and will usually disappear after a day or two. If not, the appliance may only need a simple adjustment.

What do the costs cover for my sleep disorder treatment?

Costs cover any initial consultations and follow-ups but also include:

  • Laboratory fees
  • Fitting appointments
  • Customised manufacture of your oral appliance and,
  • Any warranty that covers faults, repairs or maintenance
Is an oral appliance therapy claimable through Medicare?

Unfortunately not.

Can I claim through private health insurance?

Yes but it does depend on your level of cover. Oral appliances are covered under both minor and major dental cover so you will need to check the small print. Companies such as BUPA, Medibank Private, NIB and HBF may need a letter from our clinic before you can claim a rebate on the oral appliance.

Is my oral device claimable through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs?

Yes. However, you will need to have undergone an initial consultation, be referred or have undergone a sleep study and have gained approval before commencing your treatment.

What insurances do you accept?

We accept all private health insurance, however, our suites do not have HICAPS. As a result, patients will need to pay on the day in full, then claim the funds back via their own Health fund.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes. Melbourne Dental Sleep Clinic patients can benefit from several flexible ways to pay.

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