(01-12-2014 02:51 AM)ThatOtherGuy Wrote: Thanks for the reply, been meaning to update my progress, so now is a good time to do it.
I know my sleep apnea is not a oxygen related in the manner you are speaking of only because of what lead to the apnea diagnosis. Basically this time last year I was in Intensive Care following a very serious motor vehicle accident resulting in around 10 operations covering a multitude of injuries. In fact 1 year ago I was just being released from the coma they placed me in whilst I recovered from some of the operations and initial injuries. The shopping list was two broken legs, rupturing every tendon in one knee (reconstructed five weeks post injury), five broken ribs, punctured spleen (removed), punctured lung, bruised kidney plus a few more other less serious complications. As you would probably guess just about everything going in and out of my body was monitored constantly and oxygen saturation was never an issue, even with the serious level of apnea I suffered. Even during the sleep testing where O2 levels are monitored. the saturation levels were satisfactory.
As for my TMJ issue, after having a couple of old fillings replaced I spoke with my dentist about updating my splint since due to its age and having had a root canal and new fillings it did not fit very comfortably. The sticker price of a new one had me looking into alternatives and I found a snoring splint at the local pharmacy that you can self mould using hot water. So I have been using that now for about 5 weeks and also realised I needed to use the chin strap over the mask straps and mask, rather than under it so it did not foul the mask fit. So far everything is working really well and I am very happy with my outcomes. I have also tinkered a little with the settings as the tech who set the machine up had the max pressure setting at 20 when my max according to the studies was 15. Now I know I need higher than 15 as a precaution, but 20 was too high and I would find myself removing the hose so the machine would shutdown and reset back to a lower pressure and stop hissing air from under the mask and at times actually blowing air into my stomach. Over time I will be gradually increasing the max setting until I find the limit where the previously noted issues crop up again.
Thanks everyone for your replies and suggestions to date, its been helpful.
Wow, I can't imagine what you went through. So glad you are still with us!
As for the splint, do you have medical insurance? If so, medical should cover most of it. If your dentist is telling you otherwise go somewhere else. Also NEVER ever use a general dentist for a TMJ splint! They can do more harm than good. A TMJ splint needs adjusted every week, bi-weekly or monthly. Most general dentist give their patient a splint maybe adjust it once or twice and that's it and that is wrong!
The whole point of a splint is to retrain your bite and in order to retrain it and relax/reposition the jaw you need it adjusted every week in the very beginning, then bi-weekly then monthly. The TMJ specialist (the only dentist you should trust for this therapy) uses blue marking paper that you bite down on and the areas you hit hard, he or she will use their drill to shave away the splint in those areas until your bite is correct and your joint/condyles are no longer stressed. Usually this therapy is on conjunction with others like physical therapy and sadly dietary changes.
Since this is a medical condition, every insurance I have ever seen covers it. After spending 13 years working for dentists I went to work for the enemy, the insurance company (United Healthcare), so I have seen both sides. Sadly dentists/doctors tend to be cheap and because they can be cheap don't always hire staff that know what the heck they are doing. Because they don't know what they are doing they give patients incorrect information and if the claims get denied tell patients they are responsible (which is also wrong!!!).
If you truly have TMJ those drug store splints can, over time do more damage as your joint degenerates. Yes, you will get relief in the beginning because you are taking stress of your joint but it's a bandaid that will soon fall off. If you want, I can try to help you and see what your insurance covers and what they don't. It's only a matter of proper coding. Medical will not cover TMJ splints if the doctor writes "patient grinding teeth" because that is strictly dental (dental coverage usually sucks since it has such low yearly limits on coverage
). However, if it is coded showing medical reasons PLUS the doctor has to write a letter showing medical necessity then it should be covered.
I hope this helps and let me know if I can help