ProHEALTH Care and ProHEALTH Dental are collaborating to provide top-quality sleep services for patients and employees, so they can get the restful night of sleep that they need. Dr. Lawrence Shulman, Chief of Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine, and Dr. Jay Neuhaus, Director of Dental Sleep Services have joined together as the new ProHEALTH Sleep Medicine Team.

A consistent good night’s sleep is more important than you may think. Your quality of sleep directly reflects your quality of life and health. Overall, sleep affects weight, mood and cardiovascular health. Recent studies show that the result of poor sleep is linked to gaining weight and an increased risk of obesity.  Also, lack of sleep can be directly correlated to heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, cancer acceleration and erectile dysfunction.

In 2008, Medicare approved home sleep studies for the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea making it much more convenient for the patient. There are three primary treatment options for an obstructed airway, including Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliance therapy and surgery. CPAP is prescribed by a physician and is considered the gold standard for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, but some patients cannot tolerate the sleeping mask or air pressure through the device. Although CPAP machines are the most often recommended solution for sleep apnea patients, they are not always practical for every patient. Some common complaints include dry nasal passages, skin irritation and accidentally removing the mask while tossing around at night. For these patients, we may recommend something different like an oral appliance.

Oral appliances can help manage sleep apnea and snoring without the need for surgery or CPAP. An oral sleep appliance is designed and customized to maintain an open and unobstructed airway while sleeping. The appliance keeps the lower jaw and tongue forward, preventing it from falling backward and obstructing the airway. The appliance is similar to a plastic mouth guard, however, has some additional features. Patients report that they can be much more comfortable than wearing the mask that comes with the CPAP machine. Furthermore, oral appliances are portable and easy to carry for frequent travelers.

About the Doctors

Dr. Jay Neuhaus is the Director of Sleep Medicine Services at ProHEALTH Dental. He is a graduate of NYU College of Dentistry and is hospital trained at Albert Einstein/Jacobi Hospitals, Director of Internship program at Misericordia Hospital. He is an Accredited Diplomate of the American Sleep and Breathing Association (ASBA), a founding Board Member of the International Academy of Sleep (IAOS), and a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).  He also lectures nationally and mentors physicians and dentists screen and test their patients for Sleep Apnea. Dr. Lawrence Shulman is the Medical Director for ProHEALTH’s Sleep Center with locations in Lake Success and Bethpage. He has multiple Board certifications in Pulmonary Medicine, Sleep Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Internal Medicine. In addition, Dr. Shulman sits on the Accountable Care Organization advisory board and a number of other executive committees for ProHEALTH and Optum.

What are my next steps?

If you received a sleep study in the past three years and were diagnosed with sleep apnea, or you are having trouble with your CPAP, please call ProHEALTH Dental at 516-654-1100 to schedule a consultation. Otherwise, the cause of the issues must be determined, and it is essential to get screened. If you believe that you have sleep apnea, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Shulman at 516-608-2890 to receive your at-home sleep study.

For more information about oral sleep appliances, visit ProHEALTHCareDental.com/sleep to learn about our new sleep initiatives. If you have questions, please call 855-PHD-CARE.