Oral appliances are amazing treatment for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The dental made appliance fits in the mouth during sleep and advances the mandible (bottom jaw) forward. This forward positioning helps prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat. Thus keeping the airway open during sleep and promoting sufficient air intake. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other treatments for sleep-related breathing disorders, such as weight management, CPAP or surgery.
Oral Appliance Therapy of Sleep Apnea
Oral appliance therapy involves Dr. Nugent selecting, fitting and using a specially designed oral appliance that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat during sleep. Dentist made appliances are verified to be more effective than over-the-counter devices.
Before Dr. Nugent makes you an oral device for Sleep Apnea, a board certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommendation for the most effective treatment approach. If an oral device is recommended from the sleep physician Dr. Nugent will start the process to make your custom oral device.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
- Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Most people find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become acclimated to wearing the appliance.
- There is less equipment to become entangled with during sleep, or knock off during slumber, for patients who are active movers during sleep.
- Patients are able to sleep in prone position or on his/her stomach.
- Oral appliances are small and convenient making them easy to carry when traveling.
- Treatment with oral appliances is reversible and non-invasive.
- Patients on CPAP often complain of dry, itchy noses from the air pressure drying out their sinuses. Oral devices do not have this problem.
- Works great for patients who are claustrophobic.
- No latex allergies with oral appliance.
- There are less disposables and less maintenance and upkeep which can be costly (no humidifier, no replacement disposables, no electricity charges).
How Oral Appliances Work
- Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula in a more forward position
- Stabilizes the lower jaw and tongue
- Increases the muscle tone of the tongue
Mandibular Repositioning Appliances
Mandibular repositioning appliances move and maintain the lower jaw in a protruded position during sleep. The device aids in opening the airway by indirectly pulling the tongue forward. The oral device also holds the lower jaw in a stable position.