Is a Dental Appliance the Solution to Your Sleep Apnea?

If you suffer from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a custom-fit dental appliance could put an end to the problem. Wear the device when you’re sleeping, and you’ll enjoy a better night’s rest – and, as a result, you’ll improve your overall health and quality of life.

To find out if a dental appliance can effectively resolve your sleep apnea, you’ll need to consult with an experienced local dentist. In the meantime, however, the following guide explains the basics of this OSA treatment approach.
Dental appliances for sleep apnea

How Dental Appliances Work to Treat Sleep Apnea

Dental OSA appliances are similar to sports mouthguards and orthodontic retainers in the way they fit. They’re custom-made, using digital or physical impressions of the teeth taken by a dentist.

A wide range of FDA-approved oral appliances is available, all of which are clinically proven to help restore regular breathing by repositioning the jaw to keep the upper airway open during sleep. If wearing a custom-fit dental device is the right OSA treatment for you, your dentist will recommend the best option. In many cases, medical insurance covers all or part of the cost.

Advantages of Dental Appliances

For the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the standard approach. However, many patients who use CPAP machines complain about ill-fitting masks, skin irritation, dry mouth and nasal congestion. Others have difficulty tolerating the pressurized air flow, or accidentally remove the mask during sleep.

Dental OSA appliances don’t come with these drawbacks. Patients often prefer oral devices because they are:

  • More comfortable than a CPAP mask
  • Silent, unlike CPAP machines
  • Easy to keep in place all night long
  • Simple to clean and maintain
  • Convenient for travel

Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea with a Dental Appliance

If your dentist decides that a dental OSA appliance can work for you, you’ll need to commit to follow-up visits.

Over time, dental appliances need adjustments from a dentist for maximum effectiveness and comfort. Routine visits are essential to long-term OSA treatment success – skipping regular follow-up care could be detrimental to your health.

In addition, wearing an oral device that doesn’t fit properly can lead to dental issues such as loose restorations or a change in the bite. With regular evaluations from an experienced dentist, these problems are much less likely to occur.

If you have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and are interested in exploring the possibility of treatment with an oral appliance, Dr. Richard Hughes and the professional team at Alta View Dental Care can explain your options.

With over 30 years of experience helping patients in northern Utah, Dr. Hughes has the skill, knowledge and expertise to determine the most effective approach to treating your obstructive sleep apnea. To schedule a consultation and find out if a dental appliance is right for you, contact Alta View Dental Care in Sandy, Utah, today.

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