In an ideal scenario, getting treated with an oral sleep appliance can be done in three visits with Dr. Hetland. However, not every situation is going to be ideal because different variables—insurances, sleep studies, healthcare providers—need to be taken into consideration. Rest assured, we are here to guide you through the process and strive to make it as easy and efficient as possible.
A LOOK AT THE PROCESS FRAMEWORK
Visit #1 – This is the information gathering visit, which can be done via telemedicine. Dr. Hetland will ask details on your medical insurance, so we can verify benefits and submit for coverage, if applicable. He will also ask you some health-related questions and do a visual exam of your mouth, teeth, tongue, tonsils, etc.
Variables—If you have a current, valid sleep study then you can go on to Visit #2. If you do not have a current, valid sleep study, we will check with your insurance to see what is required. Most insurance companies approve at-home sleep studies (ones done in the comfort of your home). In some cases, an in-lab study is required. If you qualify for an at-home study, a sleep unit will be sent to you for you to wear and collect data. Once you return the sleep unit, a Board Certified Sleep Physician will interpret the data and make treatment recommendations. Dr. Hetland will contact you to go over results, and if you choose the oral appliance option, it’s on to Visit #2.
Visit #2 – Impressions of your upper and lower jaw are needed so the lab can make your custom oral appliance. Dr. Hetland can come to your home and take the impressions or, in some situations, impression materials and instructions can be sent to you and you can take the impressions. After the lab makes the custom appliance, you will be contacted to arrange a time to “seat” the appliance.
Visit #3 – Depending on circumstances, Dr. Hetland can deliver the appliance to you at your home and guide you through how to place or “seat” the appliance in your mouth as well as how to remove it and care for it. Or, the other option is to send you the custom appliance and then via a Zoom-style visit, instruct you in how to seat, remove and care for the appliance.
We are committed to making sure the oral appliance is the right choice for you, so we follow up with you at regular intervals to verify effectiveness and use. If any issues arise, we want to know about them.
For those who have a CPAP machine but hate it, the process to get an oral appliance is similar. We just have a few more insurance hurdles to overcome so that you get coverage for alternative treatment.