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Sleep Apnea

Snoring, waking with a headache, high blood pressure, and daytime sleepiness are all signs of obstructive sleep apnea.

Dr. Jeffrey Kearney can work closely with a sleep doctor to get you a sleep apnea diagnosis and begin effective treatment.

Our Cary, NC, dental office can provide you with a custom oral appliance that opens your airways and gives you a restful night's sleep.

How a Dentist Can Help Your Sleep Issues

Dentists like Dr. Kearney have special training in the anatomy of the jaw and oral structures. Dr. Kearney has a keen eye for recognizing when sleep apnea may be an issue. After discussing your symptoms and assessing you for common signs like worn teeth and jaw position issues, he can refer you to a trusted sleep specialist in the Cary, NC, area for diagnosis.

Your sleep doctor will likely arrange a sleep study, during which they can determine whether you have other telltale signs of sleep apnea, like high blood pressure, low blood oxygen levels, and waking frequently throughout the night.    

Once you receive your sleep apnea diagnosis, or if you have already received a diagnosis from a sleep specialist, Dr. Kearney can get to work on a treatment plan to improve your quality of sleep. This may include lifestyle changes, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or a custom-made oral appliance.

Work With a Dentist Focused on Sleep Apnea  Request a Consultation With Dr. Kearney

Dr. Kearney has studied sleep-related breathing disorders extensively during his dental career. Practicing in Cary since 1992, Dr. Kearney has helped patients like you overcome sleep disorders for more than 30 years.

If obstructive sleep apnea is interfering with your ability to sleep, our Cary, NC, practice can help you breathe easier at night. A good night of sleep promotes better overall health and keeps you mentally sharp. As someone who has extensively studied the jaw, Dr. Kearney is an excellent choice to help you overcome sleep and breathing issues.

Request your consultation today. Contact us online to see what sleep apnea treatment can do for your quality of life.

Call (919) 859-4778

Dr. Kearney

What Is Central Sleep Apnea?

Central sleep apnea is far less common than obstructive sleep apnea. It affects less than 10% of patients referred for sleep studies. Central sleep apnea occurs when signals from the brain fail to reach the muscles that control breathing, causing breathless sleep. To effectively treat central sleep apnea, you need to see a sleep specialist. 

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues in the back of your throat relax and obstruct the upper airways. This form of the sleep disorder is manageable with help from our dentist, who may recommend several different options. 

We Thank Our Patients For Their Praise of Our Team in Cary, NC


Rachel Blackmon


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Excellent experience from the call to set the appointment up through the consultation. Everyone was extremely personable and knowledgeable. They took the time to figure out my TMJ issues and helped provide a couple courses of action for healing. Thank you all for the excellent customer service. Recommend all day.

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Michelle D


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I personally appreciate that Dr. Kearney always takes the time to explain procedures and answer questions. I know he is busy, but he never makes you feel like he's too busy to treat you as important. His entire staff are friendly and professional. They make my dental experience a positive one.

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Your Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your upper airways are partially blocked when you sleep, causing breathing disruptions. Patients at our Cary practice have a few options when it comes to treating their sleep apnea, including:

oral appliance being placed

Oral Appliance

Dr. Kearney's top recommendation for obstructive sleep apnea is a custom oral appliance that you wear while sleeping. The oral appliance gently shifts your jaw forward to keep your upper airways open through the night. We'll create the custom piece using impressions and digital scans of your bite, ensuring a comfortable fit tailored just for you. Your oral appliance can help overcome your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms and enjoy restful sleep once again. 

man wearing cpap


A continuous positive airway pressure machine delivers fresh oxygen to your airways through a mask worn over your nose and mouth during sleep. Some patients have difficulty adjusting to CPAP therapy, but it is highly effective for treating sleep apnea. Dr. Kearney may recommend this option if an oral appliance isn't enough to relieve your symptoms.

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Lifestyle Changes

Obstructive sleep apnea can be significantly improved by making a few key changes to your lifestyle. Regular physical activity promotes better sleep by increasing your blood oxygen levels and helping you maintain your weight, which can also be a risk factor for sleep apnea. Cutting back on alcohol and tobacco consumption can also make a big difference. Dr. Kearney can explain a wide range of changes you can make and how they can fit comfortably into your lifestyle. 

How an Oral Appliance Can Help  With Obstructive Sleep Apnea 

Diagram that shows how an oral appliance for sleep apnea works. It reads:
Wearing an oral appliance to treat sleep apnea is similar to wearing a retainer at night. By repositioning your jaw, the oral appliance opens up your airways and allows you to breathe easier while you sleep. Depending on the degree of your symptoms, an oral appliance can be just as effective as CPAP. It can also be more cost-effective in the long term. 

Benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatment

Reduced Health Risks

Sleep apnea has been linked to an elevated risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Treatment can reduce these health risks by opening up your airways and improving the quality of your sleep. 

Quieter Nights

If you sleep with a partner or in a home with multiple people, your loud snoring could keep someone else from sleeping. Treating your sleep apnea can greatly reduce your snoring, allowing your loved ones to sleep peacefully. 

Better Mental Health

Studies show that uninterrupted sleep can improve your concentration, energy levels, and mood throughout the day. Feeling less irritable and more attentive can make social situations easier and work much smoother. 

What Should I Expect  During My Sleep Study?

A dentist can conduct a preliminary screening for sleep apnea. However, under North Carolina state law, a patient must receive their official sleep apnea diagnosis from a sleep specialist. Dr. Kearney can connect you with a trusted sleep doctor who will make your diagnosis. In most cases, this will involve a sleep study.

A sleep study examines the quality of your sleep using specialized equipment that monitors your breathing and other bodily functions. In most cases, sleep studies are carried out at dedicated sleep centers. After your night of sleep under observation, your sleep doctor can identify if you have obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, or another sleep disorder. Dr. Kearney can then help you with an oral appliance or another treatment recommendation.

woman in sleep study
A sleep study measures your brain activity, your oxygen levels, and how many times you wake during the night, among many other factors.

"Highly recommended!"  5-Star Reviews From Cary, NC, Patients


Mike Krause


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This is possibly the best dentist in the Triangle in my opinion. Every time that I have had an Emergency dental situation they have gone above and beyond the call of duty!!! Highly recommended!

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Kimberly Leblanc


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Stephanie is a very good dental Hygienist she always puts you at ease. Dr. Kearney is helpful at explaining issues and this is important. I have been a patient here for a long time . The office is in a convenient area.

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Dr. Jeffrey Kearney

Jeffrey S. Kearney, DDS

Dr. Kearney specializes in comfortable, comprehensive dental services at his modern and inviting family practice in Cary, NC. He is trained to surgically place and restore dental implants and also offers the latest treatments to treat TMJ issues, sleep apnea, and orthodontic problems. Prestigious affiliations include:

  • American Academy of Craniofacial Pain
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies
  • Academy of General Dentistry

Whether you are new to the Cary, NC, area or are a lifelong resident looking for a caring, highly trained dental professional, our team would love to meet you. Contact us online or call (919) 859-4778 to request an appointment.

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