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Great Florida Smiles Now Offers Sleep Apnea Treatment

March 29, 2014 by Audrey Johnson

The team at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics completes ninety-nine percent of procedures in house while merging advances in technology with lighthearted chair side manner. In addition to full-service dental and orthodontic care, the office now provides a holistic approach to better overall health by treating patients suffering from sleep apnea.

Dr. Jonathan Alvarez D.D.S. and dental assistant Nick Newkirk are quarterbacking the sleep apnea initiative at Great Florida Smiles. Dr. Alvarez received extensive training in the practice of treating sleep apnea with oral appliances during a recent seminar he attended in Juniper, FL. Nick has ten years of dental experience that includes fitting patients with snore guards and sleep apnea appliances. Along with their knowledgeable staff, they are excited to provide patients with an alternative to uncomfortable and extreme measures associated with sleep apnea treatment.

“We want to let people know that sleep apnea is very serious and very common and there are alternatives to CPAP therapy,” Nick said. “Oral appliances move the mandible down and forward and are fairly comfortable compared to CPAP machines.”

According to Dr. Alvarez, many factors come into play when evaluating and diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea in patients. The majority of sufferers are larger men, and subtleties such as neck circumference and alcohol intake can play a role.

A 2005 study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggested that obstructive sleep apnea can be linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, increased motor vehicle accident rates, sleepiness, depression, and even death. The good news: obstructive sleep apnea is treatable.

“It’s an underserved area and patients usually don’t want to admit it. The patient’s bed partner hears the snoring, then the patient stops breathing so they make the appointment for them,” Dr. Alvarez said. “Snoring is the fire alarm, but treating the snoring doesn’t take care of the real problem.”

Both Dr. Alvarez and Nick recommend that patients get screened, and in turn they work with the patient’s general practitioner to treat obstructive sleep apnea and prevent serious health issues.

“We recommend that patients come see us first so we can find out who their primary care physician is to see if we are already working with them. If their physician is not in our network, we can call and educate their doctor on new treatment procedures,” Nick said.

With offices conveniently located in both Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs, Great Florida Smiles is able to serve children and adult patients throughout Northwest Florida. Founded by Dr. Michael O’Donnell in 2005, his expert team utilizes the highest quality of standards and the latest technologies, techniques, and materials. All procedures are completed in house to eliminate the need for visits with multiple specialists.

Services include: oral exams and screenings, professional cleaning, whitening, veneers, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, dental implants, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, root canals, periodontics, dentures/partials, nitrous sedation, and now sleep apnea therapy.

To schedule an appointment for sleep apnea evaluation and treatment, contact Great Florida Smiles Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm at (850) 622-5888. Great Florida Smiles is co-located with O’Donnell Eye Institute where Dr. Lan O’Donnell, Dr. Michael O’Donnell’s wife, runs her optometry practice.

Learn more about Great Florida Smiles, read reviews, rate, and comment in the SoWal Business Guide.


Audrey Johnson's picture

Upon realizing that life is too short not to follow her dreams, Audrey moved to the beach and became a writer. SoWal’s pristine beaches inspire her to explore further, look deeper, and do better.

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