Oral appliance solutions
Oral appliances work by moving the lower jaw forward while you sleep to increase the size of the upper airway.
The tongue is attached to the lower jaw, and by moving the jaw forward, the tongue is lifted off the back of the throat.
Research has shown this therapy to be effective with high patient compliance. Patients tend to wear these appliances all night, every night.
Some oral appliances are made from hard acrylic and some from a softer material. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine jointly, as a practice STANDARD, recommend that sleep physicians consider prescription of oral appliances, rather than no treatment, for adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are intolerant of CPAP therapy or prefer alternate therapy.
These Standard and Guidelines state that Qualified Dentists work collaboratively with Sleep Physicians in managing your Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
You may contact us for an obstructive sleep apnea screening appointment. To begin managing your sleep apnea, your family doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist for an overnight sleep study. After your sleep study, you will have a consultation with your sleep doctor. This is the time to explore management options and ask for a prescription for a custom made oral appliance.
Once you have obtained a prescription for oral appliance therapy (OAT) from your sleep doctor, we will work with your sleep doctor to manage your Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring. We will schedule appointments to explain risks and benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy, explain the fees involved, complete a comprehensive oral examination specific to sleep, take impressions and bite registration so that a custom made oral appliance may be fabricated and delivered. Your comfort is our priority. Your values and preferences are crucial to treatment outcomes. We will explain the time involved to fully adjust and calibrate your appliance so that the most desirable and effective forward protrusive setting of your lower jaw is achieved.
With the custom fabricated oral appliance in place, we can also test you using an overnight Home Sleep Test (HST), to determine your response. You will tell us how you are feeling in the morning and your level of snoring (your bed partner is a part of this process as well). You may need several appointments to gradually move your lower jaw forward so that you can get used to sleeping with the appliance in place. A custom-made oral appliance can also be worn in combination with CPAP therapy.
Once the final position is reached, we send you back to your sleep doctor for a follow-up sleep study (polysomnogram or PSG) to determine the efficacy of your oral appliance.
Throughout this entire process, we communicate with all the health care professionals that are involved with managing your sleep apnea. This way we achieve multi-disciplinary personalized care. We follow up regularly to re-asses you and your oral appliance.