Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), using a Mandibular Advancement Appliance or Mandibular Repositioning Device, can be an alternative to CPAP therapy. Atlanta Center for Dental Sleep Medicine can help you with your options and treatment. It's what we do.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) with Mandibular Advancement/Repositioning devices are a generally comfortable way to treat sleep apnea and help you stop snoring; however, we first must establish if you have a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Having the diagnosis from your physician is a good starting point to selecting Oral Appliance Therapy. Oral Appliance Therapy, in particular, Mandibular Advancement Appliances utilize a dental device that works with the structure of your throat and jaw to move your jaw forward and thus increasing your airway space. While CPAP is highly effective and the gold standard of treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, it is poorly accepted by most people for life-long care and management of this serious condition. Some reasons patients cite for rejecting a CPAP are for various reasons to include claustrophobia, barriers to intimacy, discomfort, nasal and eye dryness and a general dislike for the device. Nothing has been gained for the health of the patient if it is not worn correctly and continuously. In fact, significant losses are to be had in the form of serious health consequences if CPAP therapy is privately rejected and discontinued by the patient at will.
Some Indications for Oral Appliance Therapy are:
How does it work? The appliances we use are FDA approved small plastic devices that fit in the mouth in a similar manner as a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. One of the most common problems in sleep apnea and snoring is that the base of the tongue collapses against the airway, obstructing it and making breathing difficult. The appliances are custom made for your teeth and airway situation and consists of an easy to use Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) that attaches to your teeth and brings the jaw forward. Since your tongue is attached to your jaw, it also comes forward, opening up the back of the throat and repositioning the jaw during sleep. This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again.
To meet your needs specifically, there are literally dozens of appliance designs we select from. They can be considered fixed or adjustable. Below are some examples of what oral appliances look like. The specifics of brand, features and design is individually considered when selecting a particular appliance for a patient. Call us at The Atlanta Center for Dental Sleep Medicine to make an appointment today at 770.444.9393.