Oral appliances are a relatively common method of treating patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The severity of the OSA needs to be considered when treating patients.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
Easy to use
They are easy to insert and remove from the mouth. They are no different to inserting mouth guards, except the oral appliance for OSA will adjust to position your lower jaw to minimize or eliminate obstructive apneas.
Most patients find it more comfortable and easier to tolerate that CPAP masks. There is no skin irritation issues, mask leaks with air blowing around your nose and into your eye, or air leaking and annoying your bed partner
There is nothing that plugs in or makes any noise while using the device.
-Can easily fit in your pocket.
-Easy to take on trips away for a night or longer.
-Easy to maintain
-Easy to wash and keep clean for nightly use. No special cleaners or hassles taking things apart and reassembling them.
Custom made devices vs boil and bite
individuals have tried the inexpensive, over-the-counter oral appliances that can be purchased at local drug stores or online. Remember a few details, these are not custom fit to your anatomy and they might not do the proper lower jaw alignment to stop your obstructive sleep apnea. Many of these are also not FDA approved to treat patients with OSA.
Custom made devices or individualized for each patient to fit properly over their teeth to reduce or eliminate any chances of tooth movement. They are also custom fit to do an appropriate lower jaw thrust and to position the lower jaw so that the persons obstructive sleep apnea can be reduced or eliminated.
There are different types of oral appliances, but the three main devices used to treat sleep apnea are: mandibular advancement devices, tongue retaining devices, or combination CPAP appliance with a custom fit dental sleep appliance. Depending on the severity of your sleep disorder, consultation with the dentist is necessary to discuss possible options for treating your obstructive sleep apnea.