Sleep apnea often responds to oral appliance therapy, which prevents the conditions that cause airway blockage by holding the tongue or jaw in a forward position, keeping the soft tissues at the back of the throat out of the vicinity of the airway. The appliance feels similar to a mouthguard and is quite comfortable, which is why many patients prefer this treatment method over a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask that forces air into the airway to keep it open.
If you are experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, call our office to schedule an evaluation. We can offer you effective treatment to eliminate your symptoms and reduce the health risks that have been linked to sleep apnea.
There are actually over one hundred different oral appliances designed to treat sleep apnea, and they all utilize the same basic principle, which is to pull the lower jaw forward to open up the airway.
Here are a few examples.
In this diagram, you see the open airway in a normal sleeping person.
The second diagram shows how the tongue and soft palate in most sleep apnea patients collapses the airway during sleep.
The third diagram shows how the oral device pulls the lower jaw forward, which unplugs the airway by getting the tongue out of the way.
For maximum benefit, you need a custom-made appliance by a qualified dentist, so that you get the exact position of the lower jaw. Over-the-counter devices are pure guesswork.
Being a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, I have the knowledge and training to help treat your obstructive sleep apnea.
We welcome the opportunity to give you a healthier and better night’s sleep.
You’re not alone. Approximately 83% of CPAP patients quit or are inconsistent in their therapy.
When a patient cannot tolerate CPAP, they neglect to use it. This non-compliance is referred to as CPAP intolerance or CPAP failure.
CPAP failure is often caused by issues outside of your control:
These and other issues make CPAP failure common for many obstructive sleep apnea sufferers.
CPAP and Oral appliance therapy differ in significant ways. The CPAP mask forces air into the airway in order to keep it open. An oral appliance adjusts the positioning of the jaw or tongue to reduce the likelihood of an airway obstruction during sleep. The CPAP covers a sizeable portion of the patient’s face and can make them feel uncomfortable or even claustrophobic, while an oral appliance is worn inside of the patient’s mouth and is much more tolerable. The CPAP device is also inconvenient for travel, while an oral appliance can be easily stowed into a patient’s luggage.
Whether it’s for vacation or work, travel can be stressful. Traveling with a CPAP machine is an added inconvenience. The additional weight of the machine and getting through security checkpoints can make traveling with a CPAP frustrating.
Plus, once you arrive at your destination you’ll need to find distilled or deionized water for your humidifier. Then hope there’s an electrical outlet close to your bed. And, if traveling internationally, you’ll need the correct adapter.
Traveling during inclement weather or to remote surroundings can lead to problems with power reliability. These scenarios require you to choose between carrying a back-up battery or going without your treatment. This also contributes to higher failure or non-compliance rates.
The process is simple. First, come in for a $49 evaluation, together we’ll determine if this is the right option for you. If it is, we’ll coordinate with your insurance company for coverage.
Second, we’ll custom fit your new oral appliance.
Third, you enjoy a good night’s rest. We will follow up with you over the next 3 months to make sure your appliance is working best for you.
Yes, most insurances do cover it. We will be happy to do a complimentary benefits check for you when you schedule for an appointment.
It all depends on your diagnosis and insurance plan. Financial options are available for those who do not have insurance.
Results may vary between individuals. Most patients have said it reduces their snoring.