Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances & Dental Devices
There are several treatment options for sleep apnea. One of the options is the oral appliance. Also called Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) or Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), these sleep apnea oral appliances are custom made by dentists using a plastic-like mold to form to the specific shape of the patients teeth and mouth. Not only do they work against sleep apnea, they are also effective to stop snoring.
How Does the Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Work?
Sleep apnea oral appliances work by moving the jaw forward, which increases the size of the upper airway, thus reducing the air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring.
Oral appliances for sleep apnea are often used as a substitute for CPAP or sleep apnea oral surgery. It is often used in conjunction with weight loss if the individual is overweight. Sleep apnea mouth guards are anti-snoring devices. They reduce airway turbulence and stop snoring.
These custom sleep apnea mouthpieces, often called by the general public, ‘sleep apnea mouth guards’, are often most effective in sleep apnea patients who have mild or moderate sleep apnea.
Sleep physicians often recommend a sleep study before the oral appliance is used (to determine the diagnosis), and after the oral appliance is used (to determine if it is effective).
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
- Improved compliance of therapy compared to other treatments for sleep apnea
- Compact and portable – device can fit in a pocket
- Discreet – device is not visible to bed partner when mouth is closed
- Immediate response – most patients see improvement on the first night
- Energy conservation – the device does not use any electricity. You don’t have to plug the device into a wall to function.
Consequences of Oral Appliance Therapy
Some sleep apnea patients who use oral appliances experience TMJ or temporal mandibular joint arthritis or arthralgia (pain). Others report an unusual sensation shortly after removing the device in which they have difficulty bring their teeth together in the usual position. Some patients experience teeth shifting after prolonged use. Occasionally orthodontic care is required to normalize the teeth positioning.
Although there are several businesses that sell oral appliances on the internet, it is important that your sleep physician, primary care doctor, and/or dentist approve the appliance, as many of the over-the-internet ‘boil and bite’ mouth pieces for sleep apnea are not effective.
- What is Sleep Apnea?
- Sleep Apnea Signs and Symptoms
- Sleep Apnea – Diagnosis
- Support groups
- Sleep Apnea Mouth Piece
- List of Oral Appliances for Treating Sleep Apnea
- Other Sleep Apnea Devices
The oral appliance is one of several cpap alternatives. The mouth guard is sleep apnea treatment without cpap.
There are several alternatives to cpap. These dental appliance for sleep apnea are sleep apnea dental devices. Sleep apnea dental appliance are not suitable for all patients. Sleep apnea dental devices are generally more effective in mild – moderate sleep apnea cases.
How much do sleep apnea oral appliances cost?
This depends on the type of the snore mouthpiece. The average cost for a sleep apnea mouth guard is estimated at $1800 – $2000. This includes the actual mouthpiece, dentist visits, adjustments, follow ups and modifications to the dental device. Most health insurance companies and Medicare cover sleep apnea oral appliances.
Review of snore guards, and anti snoring mouth guards and American Sleep Association oral appliance are found on the related links above.
Do Dental Appliances Work for Sleep Apnea?
Yes, some dental appliances are effective for treating sleep apnea and snoring. Although CPAP is more popular for the treatment of OSA, dental appliances are becoming more common as new research solidifies their efficacy in treating mild-moderate sleep apnea and snoring. It is important to work with your doctor and dentist to find an appropriate device for you. Follow care is imperative to insure that the treatment is working.
Problems with Sleep Apnea Dental Devices
One of complaints with sleep apnea dental devices is that they are difficult to monitor compliance. Most new CPAP machines have tracking software which shows the patient and the healthcare providers the amount of hours of use and the presence of persisting respiratory events. Because of their size, sleep apnea mouthpieces are not able to contain the same amount to technology that a CPAP device contains. There are some new mouth devices that are made with microchips that are able to measure the amount of hours of use.
Another reported problem with sleep apnea oral appliances is that they have a limited life expectancy. They are not designed to last forever. Many are only effective for a year or two before the materials weaken and the appliances loses efficacy.
How do you get a sleep apnea oral appliance and dental device?
The first step to getting any sleep apnea treatment device is talking to your doctor. Some are candidates for certain sleep therapies while others are excluded because of medical history or anatomy. Discuss your symptoms with your healthcare professional. If warranted, a sleep study might be ordered. If a diagnosis of sleep apnea is made, treatment options for OSA will be discussed. If a dental device is indicated, you will be referred to a dentist who specializes in treatment of sleep disordered breathing. The dentist usually takes an impression (a mold) of the teeth bite – called a bite registration. A reproduction of your teeth is made of plaster. With your teeth model, a sleep apnea oral appliance is designed.
With the increase in supply of manufacturers and qualified dentists, sleep apnea oral appliances (Oral Appliance Therapy) have become a popular treatment for sleep disordered breathing and snoring.