At Chestnut Family Dentistry, we are proud to offer the latest in dental technology to make our patients’ visits more comfortable and efficient. Our office features a Fotona® laser which we can use to perform NightLase® therapy for snoring and sleep apnea. Without the need for anesthetic, needles, scalpels, cutting or sutures, Dr. Wendy Willoughby and Dr. Teresa Bare can use this laser on the soft palate and other areas of the mouth to open the airway and prevent excess soft tissue from causing blockages at night. This procedure is noninvasive with no downtime. To learn more about NightLase therapy in Asheville, North Carolina, and to schedule your visit with our dentists, call our office at 828-255-0936.

NightLase Therapy

At our office, we will discuss all your treatment options with you and help you find the least invasive treatment available that will still solve the problem you are facing. In some cases, for those with more severe cases of sleep disordered breathing, we may recommend an effective but minimally invasive surgical intervention. Using NightLase therapy, our team can offer laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUPP). This procedure works by gently removing the excess tissue from your pharynx and soft palate. This will prevent that excess tissue from collapsing in your sleep and blocking off your airway. When used in conjunction with an oral appliance, CPAP machine or snore guard, this treatment can increase air flow throughout the day, not just at night. NightLase is also becoming a great alternative for patients that can’t tolerate a snore guard or c-pap. You can learn more about NightLase therapy at www.fotona.com.


When air movement becomes obstructed during sleep, it can vibrate the respiratory structures, causing audible snoring. The structures causing the noise are typically the soft palate and the uvula. While some snoring is soft and even too quiet to hear, it can also be loud and disruptive for you and your family.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common type of sleep disordered breathing that is identified by pauses and interruptions in your breathing as you sleep, often caused by a blocked airway. The interruptions must be at least 10 seconds long to be categorized as a symptom of sleep apnea, but they can last up to a minute. This stops oxygen from reaching your brain as you sleep, leading to a number of serious health concerns. Mood disorders, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, weight gain, daytime drowsiness, problems with digestive, immune and central nervous systems, and even hormone production, have all been linked to sleep apnea.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) include:

  • Insomnia
  • Snoring
  • Narcolepsy
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Arousals
  • Periodic leg movement during sleep
  • Night dyspnea
  • Parasomnia (talking, screaming, teeth grinding, dangerous behavior or nightmares during sleep)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleep disorders in children

Sleep Disordered Breathing

Other forms of sleep disordered breathing that our dentists can use NightLase to address include:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea — Breathing during sleep is interrupted for 10 or more seconds due to an obstruction in the airway.

Obstructive Hypopnea — Periods during sleep when your airflow is reduced by at least 30% for at least 10 seconds at a time.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome — Reduction in the size of your airway due to tissue collapse leading to arousal and sleep fragmentation.

Primary Snoring — Snoring that is unrelated to sleep apnea, airway issues or daytime drowsiness.

In order to receive NightLase treatment, patients need an official sleep study and diagnosis from a medical doctor. To learn more about sleep apnea solutions, and to plan your upcoming consultation with our dentists, call or visit our office today to speak with a member of our team.