Oral appliance therapy is proven by research to work when an experienced, highly trained Sleep Medicine dentist makes the appliance.
Oral appliance therapy has evolved as an alternative to the CPAP machine. Anyone diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea can benefit from trying this alternative. Dr. Harper works with you to coordinate appropriate care. Sleep apnea treatments can vary. Treatments are based on the results of a sleep test study, and the recommendation or prescription of your physician.
Dr. Harper will work with you on an individual basis to choose the right oral appliance for your needs. There are several important factors to take into consideration. For example, we will examine the structure of your jaw and the severity of your sleep disorder. We will also work with you to fully maximize your dental and medical benefits.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy For Sleep Apnea Work?
The aim of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea is to accomplish two things:
- Open the airway to allow for proper airflow
- Maintain an open airflow by repositioning the tongue and/or jaw
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
- A more convenient and comfortable solution when compared to the CPAP machine. An oral appliance for sleep apnea is similar to a custom fit mouthguard. It prevents the tongue from collapsing during sleep, thus allowing patients to achieve proper air flow to the lungs.
- You can take your oral appliance anywhere. It’s small and compact so you will not have to worry about traveling with a traditional CPAP machine.
- Oral appliances are cost effective. In some cases, an oral appliance is covered by insurance. Speak with our team about your options during your next appointment.
- Oral appliances are less intrusive than other forms of sleep apnea treatment. You can comfortably and discreetly put on your oral appliance without sacrificing your quality of sleep.
In general, an oral appliance should open the airway, relax the jaw muscles, and allow you to breathe comfortably throughout the night. There are many devices available, but we only choose to use the most effective for your needs.
Coastal Virginia Sleep Solutions works with a range of vendors and will change our oral appliance options as the science and technology evolve. We will only offer our patients what we consider to be the “best of the best”.
A few examples below demonstrate the custom fit of a sleep appliance and resemblance to a sports mouthguard. Most patients find their sleep appliance to be comfortable, easy to take along when traveling, and that they are able to drink fluids and speak clearly when it’s in place.
TAP Adjustable Appliance
EMA Sleep Appliance
Oral Appliance Therapy FAQs
Which is better: the CPAP machine or an oral appliance?
Oral appliance devices are an excellent alternative to using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device in patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea problems. Although, in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea, the CPAP machine is still the treatment of choice.
How long does an oral appliance for sleep apnea last?
An oral sleep appliance can last between one to two years. You can elongate its effectiveness by taking excellent care of the device and properly maintain it. They do not last forever and may need adjusting and routine replacement for the most effective results.
What sleep position is best for patients with sleep apnea?
Studies show that the lateral sleeping position, or sleeping on your side, is the most effective sleeping position for people that snore and suffer from sleep apnea. This position puts less pressure on your airway, and keeps the airway from constantly collapsing.
Schedule a Worry-free Sleep Appliance Consultation
Dr. William Harper at Coastal Virginia Sleep Solutions offers free sleep apnea consultations for your convenience. We strive to provide affordable sleep solutions in Poquoson Virginia, in the Hampton Roads area. Our team is focused on a collaborative approach with sleep medicine physicians to provide custom solutions. Give us a call at (757) 600-0861 today.