Jaana Sippus: NightLase Procedure - Laser Snoring and Sleep Apnea Reduction Treatment
Snoring is described in Wikipedia as the vibration of respiratory structures while sleeping, combined with the resulting sound due to obstructed air movement during breathing. It’s been stated that 75% of snoring cases also involve sleep apnea, in which breathing is disrupted for short periods. This increases the risk of developing coronary heart diseases, and also leads to other problems, such as relationship breakdowns. Conventional treatments have included everything from oral appliances to uvuloplastic operations, radiofrequency tissue ablation, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) masks and alternative medicine.
Minimally invasive dentistry, with the use of a laser, now gives us the option for performing non-ablative Er:YAG tightening of the uvula, soft palate and surrounding tissues with a fractional laser handpiece. This treatment, called NightLase™, is provided by Fotona.
This presentation describes the treatment of patients with sleep apnea using an Er:YAG laser, with a long-term follow up of 36 months on average. These clinical cases are part of an uncontrolled study to evaluate the usefulness of lasers in snoring and sleep apnea treatment. Representative case examples with limitations and case selection following Mallampati classification will be included, and the benefits of NightLase™ therapy over conventional methods will be described.