Dentistry’s involvement in diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea Contemporary research has show that as much as 85% of people with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, are currently undiagnosed. This is a significant health risk that is responsible for many chronic and potentially serious medical conditions. Health Risks associated with Sleep Apnea High blood pressure…
Oral Appliances to treat Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances (OA) are a front-line treatment available in comprehensive family dentistry for patients with varying needs. They are frequently recommended as the initial treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea but are also used in conjunction with CPAP therapy to enhance breathing.
Indications for Oral Appliance Sleep Apnea therapy
- Mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) who prefer oral appliances to CPAP.
- Patients who are intolerant or unable to accommodate to CPAP devices
- Who prefer to travel with an oral appliance instead of the CPAP machine.
- Patients with severe sleep apnea and high CPAP pressure. Addition of an oral appliance can reduce CPAP pressure, providing relief from leaking masks and dry mouths.
Designs of Oral Appliances
All oral sleep apnea appliances are designed to move the lower jaw and tongue forward, thereby opening the back of the throat to reduce blockage, snoring, and increase air flow. Most appliances allow for patient adjustments to find the most effective positioning of the lower jaw. Follow-up sleep tests, frequently done at home with a small computerized device, will be necessary to determine the efficacy of the appliance. We are frequently in touch with your medical providers in order to update them on the progress of your treatment.