Dr. Winters is not only a dentist trained in the treatment of oral appliance therapy for sleep related breathing disorders, but also has a personal sleep story.
My sleep story is one that is like most new patients! I displayed signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for many years and never realized it. I was experiencing daytime sleepiness, tiredness while driving and when sitting inactive (to name a few!), but even as someone in health care, I did not see what my true problem was and thought I just needed more sleep. I have now learned that it wasn’t the amount of sleep, but the quality of my sleep that was having such a negative effect on me!
It was not until my wife Angie noticed that I was snoring and gasping in my sleep (and my ribs were sore from all her elbowing!) and encouraged me to seek treatment that I realized I had a problem. Even then, I did not realize how serious my sleep problems were and the significant impact they were having on my daily life. I did a lab sleep study and it came back negative for OSA, but I decided not to take that as my final answer and sought out solutions. I attended a seminar on Dental Sleep Medicine in 2010 and that is where I was given my first oral appliance. Even though this appliance was not custom to me, it did provide some support and I noticed better rest and improvement during the day. This is the spark was started into the passion I have today for bringing awareness and treatment of OSA!
After losing my first appliance, I decided to look more into oral appliances to find one that was the best fit for me. After continuing my education on Sleep Related Breathing Disorders, I now wear a customized oral appliance and I am not only sleeping better, but I have started experiencing vivid dreams again (a sign of deep restful sleep!) and my quality of life has changed for the better! I am now healthier and feel better throughout the day. Wearing my first appliance showed me the importance of treating my OSA, but now my customized appliance has shown me how amazing the benefits really are!
I have become passionate about helping my patients who may be like I was, undiagnosed and unaware of the dangerous effect that untreated obstructive sleep apnea can have not only on sleep, but on quality of life. The risk of serious and life changing complications due to sleep apnea only increase as it is left untreated. If you think that you or someone you love may have sleep apnea, my office can help turn their signs and symptoms into a patient success story! Contact us today!
Dr. Fred Winters DDS
Sleep All Night, Live All Day!