Oral appliances are custom-fit dental devices designed to treat snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) by opening the airway and preventing the tongue from blocking the throat during sleep. Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is a proven, comfortable and non-invasive treatment for OSA that is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and covered by a majority of medical insurance plans for the treatment of sleep apnea.
Most oral appliances work by moving the lower jaw slightly forward and lifting the base of the tongue away from the back wall of the throat. This helps prevent apnea-causing blockages and has the added advantage of stopping oral snoring by reducing the vibration of the soft palate and uvula. The appliance may not improve restricted nasal breathing, which is caused by a deviated nasal septum or other nasal blockage, but a significant reduction in chronic nasal congestion is usually a benefit of OAT.
Other appliances available fromactually reshape the mouth, jaws and air passage over time. This method has additional benefits, as it deals with the basic physiological problem causing the sleep apnea in the first place. While it takes longer for such appliances to reach full effectiveness, patients report that the ultimate changes are worth the effort.
Most patients find oral appliances to be a more comfortable and convenient OSA therapy than a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine and face mask. One of the major benefits of OAT is the ability to sleep in any position, and to change sleep positions without the encumbrances of air tubes and a mask. Reported satisfaction rates with oral appliances are typically above 90 percent. In addition to comfort, there are several other reasons why many patients prefer oral appliances. Users find them to be less intrusive than CPAP, and their compact size and freedom from electrical cords makes them ideal for travel. In addition, oral appliances require little in the way of maintenance other than routine cleaning, and have no ongoing need for replacement parts.
The majority of patients fitted for oral appliances report that they fall asleep easily while wearing the device. After an initial adjustment period of a few weeks, many find they do not want to sleep without it. Because the airway is now more open, the body responds quickly and experiences deeper, refreshing sleep. If a patient forgets the appliance, or chooses not to wear it, they quickly return to previous patterns of poor sleep. A patient’s bed partner can see the difference in restlessness and snoring without the appliance, and often encourages the patient to continue using the appliance.
Sacramento Sleep Apnea Solutions is ready to provide you with an oral appliance to solve your sleep apnea problem. To get a custom-made oral appliance, follow these steps:
To get your oral appliance therapy started, call us at 916-538-6900 or stop by our offices at 1105 E Street for more information.— providing better sleep now and into the future!