Sam Gilani, DMD, MS -  - Periodontist

Beverly Hills Center for Perio & Implantology

Sam Gilani, DMD, MS

Periodontist & Prosthodontist located in Beverly Hills, CA

Sleep Apnea Treatment Specialist

Dr. Sam Gilani, DMD, MS is an oral health specialist, who practices in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. The doctor and his associates at Beverly Hills Center for Perio & Implantology serve residents who live in Beverly Hills, California, as well as many nearby towns and communities.
    1. "I have never felt as well taken care of as I have by Dr. Gilani and staff..."

    2. Lilly S. Yelp

    1. "I now have a beautiful, healthy smile and recommend Dr. Gilani to anyone..."

    2. JacquelinJ Dr. Oogle

    1. “I would not go to anyone else.”

    2. Sam Vitals

    1. "Dr. Gilani is very personal, a wonderful doctor."

    2. Linda P.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Q & A

by Sam Gilani, DMD, MS

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition where the soft tissues of the throat become are loose and drop into the throat, obstructing breathing while sleeping. These disruptions last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. The breaks in breath also range in frequency occurring once or twice a night or more than 30 times in an hour. The disrupted breath can also interrupt the sleep cycle either causing the person to move from deep sleep to light sleep, or even to wake up. The result is poor sleep, which has its own range of symptoms and risks. Symptoms can be mild or nonexistent or they can severe such as snoring, snorting, or choking while asleep.

What Are Treatments for Sleep Apnea?

For milder cases of sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend only lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. If these measures don't improve your signs and symptoms or if your apnea is moderate to severe, other treatments options are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. In other cases, surgery may be necessary.

What Is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)?

If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, you may benefit from a CPAP machine. CPAPThis machine delivers air pressure through a nose mask while you sleep. The air pressure from the CPAP keeps your upper airway passages open preventing apnea and snoring. Although CPAP is the most common and reliable method of treating sleep apnea, some people find it cumbersome or uncomfortable. With some practice, most people learn to adjust the tension of the straps to obtain a comfortable and secure fit. If you are using a CPAP and find it uncomfortable, don't just stop using it, check with your doctor to see what modifications can be made to make you more comfortable.

What Is an Adjustable Airway Pressure Device?

If you cannot tolerate the CPAP even after modifications made by your doctor, you may be able to use a different type of airway pressure device that automatically adjusts the pressure while you're sleeping. For example, units that supply bi-level positive airway pressure (BPAP) are available. These provide more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale. For example, you may benefit from an Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP). This Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatment uses small, single-use devices, which are placed over each nostril before you go to sleep. The device is a valve that allows air to move freely in, but when you exhale, air must go through small holes in the valve. This increases pressure in the airway, keeping it open.

What Are Oral Appliances?

Another option is wearing an oral appliance designed to keep your throat open while you sleep. Oral appliances are often easier or more comfortable to use than air pressure machines. Some devices are designed to open your throat by bringing your jaw forward, which can sometimes relieve snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. A variety of devices are available from your dentist.

Will I Need Surgery?

Surgery is typically only considered when other less invasive options have not resolved the issue. Generally, at least a three-month trial of other treatment options is suggested before considering surgery. However, for those few people with certain jaw structure problems, it's a good first option. The goal of surgery for sleep apnea is to enlarge the airway through your nose or throat that may be vibrating and causing you to snore or that may be blocking your upper air passages and causing sleep apnea. Surgical options may include:

  • Tissue Removal: Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), removes tissue from the back of your mouth and top of your throat. The tonsils and adenoids usually are removed as well. This type of surgery may be successful in stopping throat structures from vibrating and causing snoring. However, it may be less successful in treating sleep apnea because tissue farther down your throat may still block your air passage.
  • Laser Assisted Tissue Removal LAUP: This surgical procedure removes the uvula and surrounding tissue to open the airway behind the palate. This procedure has been used to relieve snoring. This procedure has been used somewhat successfully in treating sleep apnea.
  • Radio Ablation: This is an option for people who can't tolerate CPAP or oral appliances. Radio Ablation uses radio waves to destroy (or ablate) tissue at the base of the tongue. This shrinks the area and increases breathing flow during sleep. Multiple treatments may be required, and the ablation technique can also be applied in the nasal passages (called turbinates) to boost nasal breathing.
  • Jaw Repositioning: This procedure moves your jaw forward from the remainder of your face bones. This enlarges the space behind the tongue and soft palate, making obstruction less likely.
  • Pillar Palatal Implants: This quick, 30-minute procedure, is a minimally invasive treatment for patients who snore or are suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea. During the procedure, three tiny implants are placed into the soft palate, adding structural support. This stiffens the soft palate to reduce or completely eliminate the tissue vibration and/or collapse that can cause snoring and OSA. More than 30,000 people have had the Pillar Procedure and it is quickly gaining popularity for the treatment of sleep apnea/snoring.
  • Creating a new Air Passageway (Tracheostomy): This procedure is only used when all other treatments have failed and you have severe, life-threatening sleep apnea. In this procedure, your surgeon makes an opening in your neck and inserts a metal or plastic tube through which you breathe. You keep the opening covered during the day. But at night you uncover it to allow air to pass in and out of your lungs, bypassing the blocked air passage in your throat.

Other types of surgery may help reduce snoring and contribute to the treatment of sleep apnea by clearing or enlarging air passages: 

  • Nasal surgery to remove polyps or straighten a crooked partition between
    Your nostrils (deviated nasal septum)
  • Surgery to remove enlarged tonsils or adenoids

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "This place is like my home, Dr. Gilani is my favorite. He takes his time and listen to your needs. He doesn't rush on appointments."

    Anna S.
  • Yelp

    “Dr. Sam Gilani is seriously the best surgeon I have ever been to! I had a great experience with his office...they treat me like family!”

    Shannon L.
  • Dr. Oogle

    "Dr. Sam Gilani and his staff are fabulous. They really were caring, and they even checked in with me a couple of times afterward just to make sure I was doing fine."

  • Google+

    "This place is like my own home. Dr. Gilani does [a] great job every time I visit him. He definitely should get more than 5 stars. I love his professional staff..."

    Anna S.
Beverly Hills Center for Perio & Implantology
416 North Bedford Drive, Suite 407
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Phone: 310-274-1047
Fax: (310) 274-3181
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Sam Gilani, DMD, MS
416 North Bedford Drive
Suite 407
Beverly Hills, CA 90210