Sleep AppliancesOrem, UT
Sleep appliances are practical treatment options for sleep issues like snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. A custom-made oral sleep appliance can improve sleep quality, restore alertness, rejuvenate your health, and reduce daytime fatigue or sleepiness. These appliances vary in type and function. Some devices' sole purpose is to push the jaw forward and prevent the throat from blocking the airways during sleep. Other devices have a longer treatment time, addressing the root cause of the obstruction and potentially creating a permanent solution to the problem. The most important element of the issue however is that you become aware of all of the options and begin treatment immediately. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening situation and needs to be addressed even if it is not with one of our solutions.
During an appointment, we will evaluate your condition to determine the most effective treatment for your needs. Call us at 801-252-4813 to schedule an appointment today.
What Sleep Appliances Can Do for You
Sleep appliances are worn during sleep and fit inside the mouth like a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. It holds the jaw in a forward position to keep the upper airway open. Multiple studies have shown that sleep appliances are effective treatments for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
If the dentist and the patient have agreed that getting a sleep appliance is the most effective treatment choice, the dentist will provide a prescription for a custom-made oral device. The dentist will recommend the best oral appliance. During the appointment, we will go over possible options.
While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a standard treatment option, other options can be more effective long term and easier to use. Anyone with recurrent symptoms of sleep apnea that does not use their CPAP will need to talk to their dentist about alternative treatments. Those treatments can include the use of sleep devices, especially in cases of mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.
Types of Sleep Devices
These devices are provided and fitted by the dentist and worn at night. The types are:
Biomimetic Oral Appliance Therapy (DNA/mRNA)
This patented technology allows us to stimulate growth of your airway by gently stretching the growth centers of the mouth which are connected to airway constrictions people possess who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or snoring. Traditional mandibular advancement devices and CPAP require using them for a lifetime. In some cases, using the DNA/mRNA technology our doctors have helped people resolve their OSA completely so that they didn’t need to wear oral devices or CPAP again. We love to give people the freedom to live life without being tied to a device.
Mandibular advancement devices
Next to the DNA/mRNA option, this is the most popular mouth device for sleep-related disorders. Mandibular advancement devices, also known as MAD, look similar to the mouthguards used in sports. The MAD fits over the upper and lower jaw, and the mechanism allows it to ease the lower jaw and the tongue forward. This opens the mouth and airway, prevents the tongue from collapsing and allows the patient to breathe easily and peacefully all through the night.
Mandibular advancement devices do not only alleviate the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea, but they also help to strengthen the tongue and mouth muscles. The stronger the muscles become, the lesser the incidences of sleep apnea.
Benefits of Seeking Professional Treatment
There are several varieties of oral appliances. Choosing the right and most effective ones can be a hassle. There are many options on the internet – some even for mail order. The mouthguard can be heated in boiling water and molded to fit the patient’s bite. They can be relatively cheap, but they are usually not effective and may cause expensive problems to the TMJ and occlusion.
The best option is to find a board-certified dentist who has advanced training to give you the best possible chance of a successful outcome. The dentist will personalize the oral device for the patient, not a one-size-fits-all, which is hardly effective. The appliance is created using plaster molds or impressions of the patient’s teeth. These models are of high quality and are usually adjustable. The nasal airway is often an overlooked airway that contributes to snoring and sleep apnea and can make the difference between success and failure of treating sleep apnea with an oral device. We work with a team of nasal experts in case you can breathe well through your nose.
The treatment process for sleep appliances
The journey to having your sleep apnea treated with an oral device begins with creating accurate digital models of your mouth and airway which takes 20 minutes. A specialized and proprietary recording technique of the most comfortable jaw position and optimal breathing is obtained. These are sent to FDA approved and certified labs and are available for you in about 3 weeks.
After the oral appliance arrives from the manufacturer, the dentist will make any adjustments or modifications, like smoothing rough edges to prevent discomfort. The patient will learn how to use the device in the dental office. Once the fitting is complete and comfortable, the device will be ready for us.
In the following two to six months, your jaw may be advanced if you continue to have snoring or sleep apnea. This is determined by additional home sleep testing in order to safely find the healthiest breathing position. If the DNA/mRNA option is selected, you will be seen every 4-6 weeks for adjustments to accommodate your growing airway. We do everything we can to ensure you are comfortable and getting the most our of your oral device.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if a sleep appliance is effective?
After you have received your device we have you complete a home sleep test while wearing your device to check if you still have sleep apnea or snoring. Adjustment and additional recommendations often bring success in even the toughest cases. Be prepared to be amazed at how comprehensive our doctors are in helping your breath and sleep better. We have a team of airway experts who may be called to participate in helping sleep and breath your best.
How long does it take to get used to the appliance?
Most patients get used to the appliance within two to four weeks. It may take a couple of days to get used to the feeling of having the device in the mouth while sleeping. We can answer any questions during the consultation and throughout the process.
What happens if the teeth or gums feel sore?
Gum or teeth soreness typically resolves in a week or two. If soreness or discomfort persists, a visit to the dentist may be necessary for adjustments. In most cases, the soreness will be manageable to minor.
How long do the sleep appliances last?
Sleep appliances typically last for about two to five years. Warranties for breakage range between one to three years, depending on the provider and type of appliance. We will help go over options and the treatment process for this during a consultation.
What preparation is necessary for the treatment?
Like any appointment, the dentist will need to review the patient’s medical history before a diagnosis. Patients may also fill questionnaires and undergo evaluation of their air passages. The first step involves a consultation with our team during an appointment.
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