Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is an alternative treatment option to using a CPAP machine for obstructive sleep apnea. Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
If you and your doctor decide that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then your doctor will write a prescription for you to receive a custom-made oral appliance. The appliance is classified as medical device and is covered partially by many medical insurance plans.
Am I a Candidate?
A board certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment approach. If your doctor determines that an oral appliance is appropriate the appliance must be custom fitted by a dentist with special training in treating sleep apnea for it to be effective.
The initial evaluation phase of oral appliance therapy can take several weeks to complete. This includes examination, evaluation to determine the most appropriate oral appliance, fitting, maximizing adaptation and the function of the appliance.
Ongoing care, including short- and long-term follow-up is an essential step in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy. Follow-up care serves to assess the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of your appliance, your physical response to your appliance, and to ensure that it is comfortable and effective.
Advantages of Oral Appliances
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
- Easy to wear
- Convenient for travel
- Easy to care for