What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is a type of treatment used to treat mild to moderate cases of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Shaped similarly to athletic mouthguards, oral appliances work by bringing your lower jaw and tongue into a forward position during sleep. With sleep apnea, soft tissues in the throat and back of the mouth fall into the airway, affecting breathing and increasing the risk for snoring. This action pulls your tongue and other soft tissues away from the back of the mouth, keeping the airway open. Sleep apnea oral appliances are custom-made to fit securely over the teeth. Often, they are used as an alternative to CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.
Alternative for CPAP Intolerance
A number of patients find they have difficulty adjusting to CPAP therapy, for a variety of reasons. Some find the mask to be uncomfortable, while others feel restricted by the machine and its tubing. Still other patients are put off by the noise and a general sense of confinement. In such situations, Dr. Melody Stampe offers oral appliances as a treatment alternative. Many local dentists and physicians refer patients who are CPAP intolerant to our practice for sleep apnea oral appliances. Board certified in Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine, Dr. Stampe is dedicated to helping patients suffering the effects of sleep apnea find a viable treatment solution through the benefits of oral appliances.
The Process of Oral Appliance Therapy
When beginning oral appliance therapy, we first take impressions of the upper and lower teeth. Dr. Stampe works closely with a special lab experienced in creating high-quality oral appliance mouthguards for snoring and sleep apnea. Once complete, we test the fit of your new appliance in the office. We may also perform home sleep studies and make adjustments to the device until your perfect fit is achieved. In this way, you can truly enjoy the benefits of completely customized oral appliance therapy.
Benefits of oral appliances:
- Reduce snoring
- Improve quality of sleep
- Comfortable fit
- Convenient and portable (pocket-sized)
- No restriction of movement
- Do not make noise
- Easy to clean