Oral appliances provide an effective treatment for disruptive snoring and many forms of obstructive sleep apnea.
- They have success rates of better than 90 percent for the treatment of snoring
- They can eliminate or substantial reduce symptoms in mild to moderate OSA
- They can reduce symptoms in severe OSA conditions
For these reasons, oral appliances are now considered as a viable primary treatment option for mild to moderate OSA, and an alternative treatment for all OSA patients who are unwilling or unable to tolerate CPAP therapy. In certain cases, oral appliances may also be used in conjunction with CPAP, which allows for lower air pressures and a higher rate of treatment compliance.
- Oral appliances are worn during sleep
- They resemble a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer
- They are made from comfortable thermoplastic materials
- They are custom-fit to the user’s mouth
- Oral appliances must be fitted and adjusted by a qualified sleep medicine dentist
There are currently more than 100 types of oral appliances approved for the treatment of snoring and OSA. The majority of these devices fall into two general categories:
- Mandibular advancement deceives or MADs, reposition the lower jaw forward and down slightly to help keep the airway open during sleep
- Retaining devices that cradle the tongue during sleep to prevent it from blocking the airway
The oral appliances provided by Dr. Sabet are quite different from generic, over-the-counter appliances, which have been shown to be generally ineffective for the treatment of sleep apnea, and which may cause bite problems and other complications. All appliances provided by Dr. Sabet are selected and custom-fitted based on the patient’s individual case, and are prescribed for OSA treatment only after diagnosis by a board-certified sleep medicine physician.
- When properly fitted, an oral appliance is quite comfortable to wear, and easy to care for
- Many patients who find they are unable to live with CPAP therapy find relief from oral appliances
- Because they are compact and non-invasive, oral appliances are ideal for travel, as they are small enough to fit in a carry-on bag or purse, and don’t require electricity to operate
When patients are first fitted with an oral appliance, they may experience increased salivation or dry mouth, and temporary bite changes. These side effects are usually minor in nature, but because the appliance is influencing jaw position, it’s important to have the support of a dental sleep medicine professional such as Dr. Sabet.