WHAT IS ORAL APPLIANCE THERAPY?
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment option for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Worn only during sleep, oral appliances are placed in the mouth to help prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open.
Oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as CPAP therapy, weight management and even surgery. Oral appliance therapy is often a good alternative to CPAP for patients who are non-compliant or intolerant of the mask.
There are several different types of oral appliances, however the two most common types of devices are:
- Tongue-retaining appliances (reposition tongue)
- Mandibular advancement devices (reposition lower jaw and tongue)
After an examination, Dr. Sinha will be able to determine the best option for your specific symptoms.
How Do Oral Appliances Work?
Oral appliances are custom-made and fitted to each patient. Oral appliances fit like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and are worn only during sleep.
Oral appliances relieve snoring and sleep apnea symptoms by positioning the tongue and/or jaw forward in order to keep the airway open during sleep. This allows for adequate air intake. In addition to stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue, oral appliances may also increase the muscle tone of the tongue.
What Are The Benefits Of Oral Appliance Therapy?
The benefits of oral appliance therapy include:
- Non-invasive treatment for snoring and sleep apnea
- Comfortable and easy to wear
- Easy to care for device
- May be a suitable CPAP alternative for patients who are non-compliant or can’t tolerate the CPAP mask
- Convenient for traveling
- Promotes increased oxygen saturation at night and decreased daytime sleepiness
What Kind Of Results Can I Expect?
It typically takes patients several nights of wearing an oral appliance before becoming accustomed to it. Used consistently, oral appliance therapy is effective and can improve the quality of your life. It is likely that you will sleep better, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
Ongoing care, including short and long term follow-ups are important in the treatment of snoring and sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances should be adjusted over time to ensure maximum effectiveness and treatment success.