Worn much like a sports mouthpiece, Oral Appliances are the popular solution for many patients with sleep apnea. They are available only by prescription by a licensed dentist or physician.
Oral Appliance Therapy uses a specifically designed dental appliance during sleep to reduce heavy snoring and, in some instances, relieve Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Working in a similar fashion as an athletic mouth guard or a dental retainer, the oral appliance keeps the soft tissues of the throat in place, eliminating obstruction to the airway while sleeping. Dr. Eric Koch of Family & Implant Dental Care, in Jasper, Texas, has special training in snoring, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Oral Appliance Therapy. His training allows him to select, design, construct, and fit the oral appliance to meet your specific needs.
Oral Appliance Therapy works in three different ways, using three types of appliances.
Dr. Koch will examine your entire oral areas - intra and extra oral structures - to determine which appliance will produce optimum results for you. The proper selection, design, fit, and alignment of the sleep apnea appliance are important. Once manufactured and fitted properly, you will want to follow up with a sleep study to ensure that your oral appliance works properly.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with obstructive sleep apnea, he will most likely recommend the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine as your first method of treatment. However, if you cannot get used to wearing a CPAP machine at night, Oral Appliance Therapy may be a successful, alternative treatment for your mild sleep apnea. Additionally, if you are a heavy snorer, doctors and dentists will most likely recommend Oral Appliance Therapy as your first method of treatment. Dr. Koch will discuss your oral appliance options and if Oral Appliance Therapy is right for you.
Sleep studies indicate Oral Appliance Therapy to be effective in treating snoring for 85-90 percent of those tested while wearing the oral appliance during sleep. Further study results indicate that oral appliances are effective in normalizing the apnea levels in 75 percent of the subjects tested with mild sleep apnea, 60 percent effective for patients with moderate sleep apnea, and 40 percent effective for patients with severe sleep. Dr. Koch will gladly discuss with you how an oral appliance may possibly help you achieve a good night's sleep.
Although Oral Appliance Therapy may not be a suitable treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea, proven results show it to be a beneficial alternative treatment for snoring and mild sleep apnea as opposed to surgery, drugs, and the CPAP machine, in many instances. In fact, results have been so successful in treating snoring and sleep apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy that educational institutions have developed postgraduate courses to help dentists learn more about it.
Specific advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy as compared to the CPAP machine are as follows:
Our goal at Family & Implant Dental Care, of Jasper, Texas, is your general health, dental health, and personal comfort. When Oral Appliance Therapy is right for you, we can start you on your way towards a good night's sleep.
Perhaps, but the side effects are temporary. During the first few weeks, Dr, Koch may need to make minor adjustment to the appliance because of jaw tension, sore gums, excessive salivation, bite changes, joint noises or pain, teeth movement, or loosening of dental restorations. Once the proper adjustments are made, you will be able to wear your oral appliance with no side effects.
Oral Appliance Therapy is an excellent alternative for those who experience heavy snoring or mild sleep apnea. Dr. Koch and his staff at Family & Implant Dental Care can determine which oral appliance is right for you. A restful, good night's sleep could just be an appointment away for you. Call to schedule your consultation today.