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.
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.
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!
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.
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