Advantages of Dentist-made Oral Appliances
Oral appliances are at the forefront of treatment for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea because of the high therapy compliance. The small plastic device fits over the teeth during sleep and helps prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat. These keeps the airway open during sleep and promotes proper air intake.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) involves Dr. Nugent selecting and fitting of a specially designed oral appliance that maintains an open, free airway in the throat when worn during sleep. Dental oral appliances are proven to be more effective than over-the-counter devices, which are not recommended as a screening tool nor as a therapeutic option.
A board-certified sleep medicine doctor will first provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment approach. If the recommendation is for an oral appliance, Dr. Nugent will evaluate your oral appliance options.
The initial evaluation phase of oral appliance therapy can take several weeks complete. This includes Dr. Nugent examining, evaluating and determining the most appropriate oral appliance. Then there is the impressions and lab fabrication of the oral device.
Constant care, including short- and long-term follow-up is a crucial step in the treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy. Continued visits serve to assess the treatment of your sleep disorder and the condition of your dental appliance. Plus, recall visits help Dr. Nugent determine your physical response to your appliance, and to confirm that it is comfortable and effective.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
- Oral appliances are small and convenient making them easy to carry when traveling.
- Oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear. Patients find that it only takes a couple of weeks to become adjusted to wearing the appliance at nighttime.
- Treatment with oral appliances is reversible.
- Easy to travel with.
- Patients on CPAP often complain of dry, itchy noses from the air pressure drying out their sinuses. Oral devices do not have this problem.
- There is less equipment to become entangled with during sleep, or knock off during slumber, for patients who are active movers during sleep.
- Works great for patients who are claustrophobic
- No latex allergies.
- Patients are able to sleep in any position.
- Treatment is non-invasive.
- 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
- Moves the lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate forward
- Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
- Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue
Mandibular Repositioning Device (MRD)
Mandibular repositioning (oral appliance) devices reposition and maintain the lower jaw in a forward position during sleep. The MRD also serves to open the airway by indirectly pulling the tongue forward. The MAP also holds the lower jaw and other structures in a stable position to prevent collapse of the airway.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring
Snoring is the sound of air moving over a partially obstructed airway during sleep. Snoring can be harmless or it can also be an indicator of a more serious medical condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Your at home sleep test will determine if you have harmless snoring or the more serious OSA.