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TMJ and Sleep Apnea Treatment

Treating TMJ Pain AND Sleep Apnea


TMJ pain can affect all aspects of life.  There are many overlapping issues with TMJ health and Sleep Apnea. It is nearly a “chicken and egg” situation, so we often can treat ONE and also the other at the same time. Since both treatments are best handled by medical insurance, we work with benefits in a specific sequence.

Diagnose Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea dentist seattle

Some patients come to our office because of their TMJ situation. We screen for sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnea/snoring) first for a reason; a majority of patients with TMJ issues ALSO have sleep apnea. Medical insurance has been covering oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea very well for many years, yet has been challenging to work with when treating TMJ issues. Interestingly enough, the oral appliance used for sleep apnea or snoring ALSO has helped many patients with TMJ issues.

Medical Insurance Coverage for Sleep Apnea

There are some insurance plans that have TMJ EXCLUSIONS, yet will cover sleep apnea treatment. For this reason we attempt to establish payment with insurance for the sleep apnea. If one is diagnosed with sleep apnea, this means much less out of pocket costs for treatment. We may ALSO find out that the TMJ issues resolve as well, saving you money!

Daytime TMJ Appliance

In the cases that don’t resolve with sleep apnea therapy, we may also opt for a daytime appliance. This would be TMJ treatment while awake, not while sleeping. Essentially treating sleep apnea at night, TMJ during the day.

Tukwila Emergency Dentist

Emergency Dentist

When looking for a Tukwila emergency dentist, finding a dentist that can take care of the situation quickly and conveniently is important. Removing pain, smoothing a sharp edge, replacing a crown that fell off, etc are all things that often can’t wait, ESPECIALLY on a weekend or before a special event!

tukwila emergency dentist

Emergency Dentist Root Canal

While historically the term “root canal” has evoked thoughts or images of pain, the treatment TODAY is usually painless and faster than ever.  Most of the pain people associate with root canal treatment from waiting too long for treatment, which can sometimes make getting numb a challenge.  Often we must do treatment in more than one appointment so that the treatment is more comfortable.  The first visit can alleviate most of the pain, but it may not “feel normal” until treatment is done.

Crown After Root Canal

It should always be pointed out that root canal treatment is only HALF of the treatment.  The tooth will be weakened from the treatment and will require a crown to prevent tooth fracture.  Much of the time, this two visit treatment can be started at the same time as the root canal treatment, saving a visit.  But make no mistake, if a tooth has a root canal and the patient chooses to NOT get a crown, they should expect to lose the tooth at some point in the future (WHEN is the million dollar question.  Could be next week, next year, or 10 years later.  Usually sooner).

Swelling Around Tooth

Sometimes the first sign that something is not right is when the tissues are swollen.  Occaisionally, the swelling is so much that an eye will have impaired vision.  This is a VERY serious situation and needs IMMEDIATE attention.  Even a visit to the ER should be considered, as the bacteria is very near blood flow that goes to the brain, so there should be no delay.

Emergency Dentist Drain Infection

With swelling that is visible, the first thing to do is often to make an incision and let the infection drain.  Antibiotics will be needed as well.  If a tooth is hopeless and needs an extraction, the extraction itself will allow drainage, so an incision may not be needed.


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