CPAP is life saving technology for people with obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, the majority of patients do not tolerate CPAP and often go untreated. Dental Sleep Medicine offers a comfortable, safe and effective alternative to CPAP. Dr Shapira is a pioneer in the use of oral appliances to treat CPAP with over 30 years experience.
Ira Shapira has been utilizing physiologic dentistry for over 30 years to treat TMJ disorders, headaches, migraines and sinus pain. Dr. Shapira is a dentist whose philosophy of care leads to more than just a pretty smile. Cosmetic dentistry is one of his specialties, but more and more his practice has come to focus on the tremendous health benefits that can come from a smile that blends form and function. The founder of IHateCPAP.com, a nationwide network of dentists dedicated to educating patients about the dangers of sleep apnea and the treatment options available, he says, “I often joke that I was a quack for 25 years when I was one of the few dentists in the world treating sleep apnea and I woke one day to find I was the expert.
His interest in sleep apnea treatment began with his son’s treatment for the condition. “I was told my 5 year old son had ADHD could not start kindergarten and needed to be on Ritalin for life. I said I don’t think so. He had a sleep study and had severe apnea which was treated with tonsilectomy and orthodontic. Turns out his drug of choice was OXYGEN not Ritalin. He graduated magna cum Laude double major, double minr. All he needed was good sleep!” Following this experience he became a visiting Asst Profesor at Rush Medical School’s Sleep Disorder Center where he did research on jaw position and sleep apnea in the 1980’s long before most ohysicians or dentists even knew what sleep apnea was. He felt that people needed to learn about sleep apnea, and he decided there should be more treatment options available. This intensely personal origin to his interest in sleep apnea is responsible for his treatment attitude: “I like to think of my patients as though they were members of my family. I want them to have the quality of care they can appreciate and that I would expect for myself or my family.”
The same spirit has inspired him to found iHATEheadaches.com, a website that can help people get in touch with local physiologic dentists who can resolve the most common form of headaches: tension headaches. These headaches are related to TMJ disorders and to Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction (MPD)