Snore Relief Center, Forney Family Dentistry and Rockwall Family Dentistry
Patients at Forney Family Dentistry and Rockwall Family Dentistry are finding that Dr. Melina Cozby can improve more than their smiles and dental health. She can also help them get a good night’s sleep.
As a trained Sleep Dentist, Dr. Cozby screens her patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea—a serious medical condition that affects more than 22 million Americans. Symptoms of sleep apnea are not always obvious, according to Dr. Cozby who noted that nearly 80 percent of cases go undiagnosed.
“Snoring, daytime sleepiness, headaches, a lack of energy, memory loss, or teeth grinding are signs that a person may have sleep apnea,” Dr. Cozby said. “Not only can sleep apnea leave you tired and restless, it can cause multiple health problems.”
Sleep apnea can stop a person from breathing several hundred times a night, leading to serious disorders. Dr. Cozby pointed to studies showing that people with sleep apnea are 27 times more likely to die of a heart attack, four times more likely to die of stroke, and six times more likely to die in a car accident.
Dr. Cozby operates the Snore Relief Center from Forney Family Dentistry and Rockwall Family Dentistry. She is passionate about helping patients reduce snoring, sleep restfully, and live an overall healthier life. The issue is close to her heart because her husband, Brandon, suffers from sleep apnea. Although he is a fit and healthy person, he suffered from allergies and endured five sinus surgeries. When Dr. Cozby set him up with a home sleep study, they discovered he stopped breathing 17 times in an hour. Dr. Cozby treated her husband with a dental appliance, and now he reports better sleep and says he feels much better.
Although many people suffer from sleep apnea, they may not want to be diagnosed or treated, Dr. Cozby said, because they’re turned off by the idea of participating in an overnight stay at a sleep center.
As an alternative, Dr. Cozby recommends a home sleep study. Patients go to sleep in their own beds, wearing a watch-like device that is designed to monitor heart rate and oxygen levels. The results are then interpreted by a Sleep Physician for diagnosis and sent directly to the Snore Relief Center for evaluation and treatment options.
Another roadblock to sleep apnea treatment, according to Dr. Cozby, is that patients are often daunted by the idea of sleeping with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device (CPAP). A CPAP is a facial mask that emits a steady stream of air into the airway as a person sleeps.
“A CPAP is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, but it may not be the right treatment for your lifestyle,” Dr. Cozby said. “CPAPs can be uncomfortable and patients often express an inability to sleep while wearing one. At the Snore Relief Center, we will make a custom-fit dental appliance that can greatly reduce the risks associated with sleep apnea.”
Patients can also be intimidated by the unknown cost associated with an oral appliance, but Dr. Cozby said, the procedure is usually covered by medical insurance. Her team is specially trained to help patients utilize their medical insurance plans, including Medicare.
The Snore Relief Center offers oral appliance therapy, proven to be equally as effective as a CPAP machine and far more comfortable and convenient for patients. Dr. Cozby offers patients a custom-fitted oral appliance known as a Mandibular Advancement Device. This FDA-approved mouthpiece positions the lower jaw forward to open the airway and prevent obstruction during sleep.
“We can help people take control of their sleep apnea without the discomfort of other, more traditional treatments,” Dr. Cozby said. “I feel truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to help educate patients on ways to improve their lives through better overall health and oral health.”
More About Forney Family Dentistry
Forney Family Dentistry offers general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. They serve the entire family, from infants to grandparents. Dr. Cozby and her staff use the latest technologies to provide wisdom tooth removal, implant-supported dentures, low-cost braces, and more.
“I understand how important a smile can be, and how each person’s ‘ideal’ smile is different,” Dr. Cozby said. “It is my goal to create a trust-based relationship with each patient where I can care for their individual needs.”
Dr. Cozby grew up in Forney and dreamed of opening a dental practice in her hometown. As a child, she felt fear and anxiety when visiting the dentist. When she opened her own practice, Cozby decided to create a place of calm for her patients. She had her office designed to feel like home, with soothing colors and artwork.
“I think about what would calm me as a patient because it’s important to have empathy,” Dr. Cozby said. “I feel blessed that I am able to cater to all of my patients’ needs and provide care for entire families.”
Recently, Dr. Cozby opened a second location, Rockwall Family Dentistry. She is now able to serve the community of Forney where she grew up, and the community of Rockwall where she and her husband are raising their children.
Meet Dr. Cozby
Dr. Cozby grew up in Forney and attended Forney schools through the eighth grade before completing her high school education via home schooling. She graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce with highest honors before completing her Doctor of Dental Surgery through Baylor College of Dentistry.
On average, Dr. Cozby completes three to four times the amount of continuing education hours required by the state in any given year. She believes in offering her patients the best level of care in every aspect of dentistry. She does research and gets hands-on experience with each sample of the latest technology before bringing it to the practice.
When she is not at work, Dr. Cozby enjoys time with her family. Her husband, Brandon, was Dr. Cozby’s high school sweetheart. They have three children: Colton, age 8, Kendall, age 5, and Cannon, age 2. The Cozby family loves to be together for game night or movie night, and to travel. They go to Walt Disney World in Orlando several times a year and enjoy the special memories. This year they are looking forward to a Star Wars-themed Disney cruise, and a trip to Washington, D.C. where Dr. Cozby will be speaking to other dentists about sleep apnea.
Snore Relief Center Dinner Seminar
For patients who want to learn more, Dr. Cozby welcomes them to attend one of the upcoming dinner seminars at Forney Family Dentistry, hosted March 9 and March 30 at 6 p.m.
108 E US Hwy 80, Suite 190
Forney, Texas 75126
By Jessica Wyland
Photography by Marcie Florance