For those diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or those who snore, oral appliance therapy offers a comfortable and effective form of treatment. These custom-made appliances, which are worn while sleeping, can help you sleep better and reduce the risk of developing health problems associated with sleep apnea.
The Basics of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are designed to fit comfortably inside the mouth and ensure that the wearer is able to breathe without interruption throughout the night. These appliances hold the jaw in a position that helps keep the upper airway open, which reduces snoring and incidences of paused breathing while sleeping. In order to obtain an oral appliance, your doctor will provide you with a prescription for one and refer you to a dentist who offers this form of treatment. Your dentist will then determine which oral appliance will be most effective at treating your condition.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy offers several benefits over other types of treatment for sleep apnea, such as CPAP machines or surgery, including the following:
- Easy to use: Oral appliances are simply placed in the mouth each night and removed in the morning.
- Convenient: These appliances are easy to take care of and carry around.
- No noise: Unlike CPAP machines, oral appliances make no noise, which can help you sleep more soundly.
- Comfortable: Oral appliances are custom-made to ensure that they do not cause discomfort.
First Dentist Visit
When meeting with your dentist for the first time about sleep apnea or snoring, you can expect to receive information about oral appliance therapy, including how it works and how much it will cost. Keep in mind that many health care plans do cover the cost of these appliances for snoring and sleep apnea. Your dentist will also examine your teeth and lower jaw, as well as your upper airway and tongue in order to determine which oral appliance would be the best option for you.
Oral Appliance Process
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, either physically or digitally, then have a dental lab build your oral appliance based on these models. When your dentist receives the appliance from the lab, you will be asked to come in for a fitting. Your dentist will place the appliance in your mouth and make sure it fits properly. If the appliance feels uncomfortable at all, let your dentist know so that it can be adjusted or modified as needed. Your dentist will also show you how to clean and care for your oral appliance.
Following Up With Dentist Visits
Your dentist will ask you to schedule follow-up visits in order to check your oral appliance and make sure that it is working effectively. You might need to have the appliance adjusted during these visits. You will also need to see your dentist once a year for an assessment.
Effects of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy can improve your quality of life overall as long as you wear your appliance each night. With this form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and chronic snoring, you will be able to enjoy restful sleep, which will help you feel more alert and energetic during the day. Using an oral appliance can also improve your physical healthy by lowering your risk of complications from sleep apnea and snoring.
Are you currently dealing with the effects of sleep apnea and snoring? Take our simple online sleep assessment. and start working towards relief.