Custom-Fitting an Oral Appliance to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Fitting a custom-designed oral appliance is the most effective way to treat obstructive sleep apnea. A custom fit appliance will not only improve your sleep pattern, it will also make you more alert and revitalize your health.
Worn during sleep, an oral appliance is designed to fit like an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouth guard. It helps support the jaw in a forward position and keeps the upper airway open. If your doctor decides that oral appliance therapy is the best treatment option for you, then he or she will write you a prescription for a custom made device.
You will be referred to a qualified dentist who is trained is this mode of therapy. Currently, over 100 appliances have received approval from the FDA, meaning there is no shortage of options available to you.
Advantages of an Oral Appliance
Patients like oral appliances over other forms of treatment because they are:
- Easy to wear
- Easy to care for
- Convenient for travel
Why is Oral Appliance Therapy Better than CPAP?
While CPAP is the most common form of treatment for sleep apnea, it is also the least tolerated. Most of the patients struggle to follow CPAP directives. The majority of them also complain about dry mouth, nasal irritation, acne breakouts, sore throat, allergies, and runny nose.
If you are experiencing difficulty complying with CPAP directives, then you will be happy to know that many of the ex-CPAP users have successfully transitioned to oral appliance therapy.
How Can a Dentist Help you?
A Dentist will work very closely with your primary physician to treat sleep apnea. During your first visit, the dentist will list out the benefits of the treatment. Your doctor will also tell you about the therapy cost and the potential side effects.
This will be followed by a thorough physical examination of your jaw, teeth, and tongue, and followed up by an X-Ray of your mouth.
Making and Fitting the Appliance
With modern technology, it is possible to customize the oral appliance using physical or digital models and impressions of your teeth. The models are then sent to a lab where the appliance is made.
Once the appliance is ready, you will have to go back to the office for a fitting. The dentist will adjust the appliance for maximum comfort and effectiveness. You will also be instructed on how to clean it and maintain it properly. Once the fitting is done, you will have to return to your primary physician for sleep study to verify the success of the treatment.
Follow-up visits play a crucial role in ensuring an optimal fit of the oral appliance. They are almost always adjusted over a period of time to ensure maximum effectiveness. The dentist will schedule you for an annual assessment to ensure long-term success.
Living with the Oral Appliance
If you remain committed to the treatment and use the oral appliance before you go to sleep every night, you will find that the quality of your life improves dramatically. Not only will you be able to sleep better at night, you will also have more energy and feel sharper throughout the day.
Contact Our Office
If you’re having problems sleeping at night, it could be a sign of something more serious than you imagine. To prevent more serious complications, you should speak with an excellent doctor who can help you find a solution. Contact the Snore Experts today to learn more about sleep apnea and how you can treat it.