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235 Wythe Creek Road Poquoson, VA 23662

What Is A Dental Sleep Appliance?

A dental sleep appliance may be the solution you need to treat your sleep apnea. Also called oral appliance therapy, a dental sleep appliance fits much like a sports mouthguard. Dr. Harper offers a range of dental sleep appliances, working with patients individually to determine the best solution for their needs.

Dental sleep appliances are appropriate for most patients who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea or anyone who snores. Dr. Harper will work with your physician in the case of a sleep disorder to ensure that treatment is improving your health as well as your symptoms. Getting started involves a visit with Dr. Harper to evaluate your oral health, discuss your sleep concerns and take impressions if needed to create your custom sleep appliance.

How does a sleep appliance work?

Although it fits comfortably like a mouthguard, your new dental sleep appliance is specially designed to serve an important function: opening the airway for natural breathing. These appliances will reposition the lower jaw to allow the airway to remain open. In some cases, they also control the position of the tongue to prevent it from blocking the airway. With the appliance in place, you are able to breathe normally while sleeping, which should reduce or resolve snoring and gasping for air.

An oral appliance will fit snugly and comfortably over the teeth and most patients find them to be easy to use nightly. They are small, compact, and easy to take with you for a night away or vacation. This is a significant benefit when comparing it to the bulky CPAP.

Consistent use is also a key element in the reduction of symptoms and improved health. After wearing your new appliance nightly for a few days, you should begin to feel more rested when you get up in the morning. Better rest means improved concentration, better mood, and overall less stress on your physical health. Your new energy can be used to boost your daily activity level and feel more productive while also being active.

If you have sleep apnea or concerns that you have a sleep disorder, schedule a consultation with Dr. Harper. He has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea and is one of few dentists nationwide who has achieved the status of Diplomate in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr. Harper works with local sleep physicians to coordinate care for patients and ensure the best possible treatment and outcome.