A new kind of dental clinic wants to be a part of the solution for people with sleep apnea and snoring issues that affect their sleep or others at home.
Dr. Adam Curtis and his wife, Barbra Curtis, a registered dental nurse, have started a new business called Restful Nights Dental Sleep Clinic in Cambridge. The clinic opened in May within the multi-business complex behind McDonald’s at 1001 First Ave. E., Suite 180.
People may already know Adam Curtis, who grew up in Cambridge, where he has continued the family tradition of owning a business. He is part owner of East Cambridge Dental, Minnesota Sedation Dental and North Branch Dental.
Curtis became a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine a couple of years ago after finding out that dentists have a way of treating patients with sleep apnea. A father of three who’s experienced his own share of sleepless nights, he was drawn to the subject after attending a conference on sleep disorders.
“I learned how close to 25 percent of the population has some form of sleep disorder that causes significant loss of the quality of sleep to themselves and to their partners,” he said. “It was at this same conference that I learned that untreated sleep disorders cause a 15-20 percent decrease in life expectancy. The more I learned, the more I understood how important sleep is to our well-being.”
Restful Nights is one of only a few offices in the state that offers only oral sleep appliances for patients, who must have a sleep study done ahead of time. Adam and Barbra explain the process and are happy to answer any questions, such as insurance-related inquiries, beginning with the initial visit.
The most common type of oral sleep appliance is a mandibular advancement device, which fits over your upper and lower teeth and holds your lower jaw (mandible) slightly forward as you sleep. This keeps your airway open by pulling the tongue and soft tissues forward, keeping them stable and firm, Curtis explained.
He takes the oral appliance and then customizes it to fit any patient.
“Twenty years worth of data has shown these devices work, and they last a long time,” he said. “It’s another alternative; it can work in conjunction with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).”
Adam and Barbra Curtis are working closely with Dr. Haroldson at Cambridge Medical Center’s Sleep Lab, where many patients find relief from obstructive sleep apnea through sleep studies and follow through with various therapies, such as the popular CPAP machine. They are working on this relationship for patients and their unique needs for quality sleep.
“Sleep apnea is becoming a frequently diagnosed health problem that contributes to other health problems like heart disease and diabetes,” Barbra said. “We have so many people telling us that they cannot tolerate the original CPAP treatment for this condition.”
Adam Curtis added: “This is a medical problem with a dental solution. We have to work together with the medical community.”
With plans to grow as a business, Restful Nights Dental Sleep Clinic is currently open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, though some evening appointments are available upon request. Business and phone hours occur on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information, call the office at 763-645-1233, email [email protected] or visit www.restfulnightsdental.com.