Oral Appliance Therapy
Dentist in Katy
Oral appliance therapy is a treatment therapy utilized by patients suffering from snoring problems or chronic obstructive sleep apnea (COSA). Unlike continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, the oral appliances are portable and easy to use dental technology devices that can be used when sleeping, making it a preferred treatment option by individuals with chronic obstructive sleep apnea. Our dentists at Wilson Dentistry believe sleeping is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle.
We provide different types of oral appliances to tackle your sleep apnea and snoring concerns. Snoring and sleep apnea are two major problems that many of our patients suffer from during the night. These conditions may seem minor, but when they happen frequently, they can make it difficult to sleep well, and can affect many of your day-to-day activities. Oral appliance therapy may be the solution you need. At Wilson Dentistry, we can provide you with all of the information you need to decide if oral appliance therapy is right for you.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is one of the best treatments available for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Our office can custom fit this appliance to your specific needs. It will allow you a more restful and restorative night’s sleep, which can do wonders for your overall health. This device is something you will only wear during the night and will fit like an orthodontic retainer. When it is fitted well, it will support the jaw, moving it to a forward position to help maintain the open airway. In the process, it can help prevent snoring and all of the health issues associated with sleep apnea.
Why Should I Get Oral Appliance Therapy?
This therapy is an effective and non-invasive treatment that will conveniently fit into your lifestyle. The appliance is comfortable and easy to use. You only need to wear the appliance while you are asleep in order to experience results. This type of therapy is ideal for travel, and does not require the care and effort other devices such as a CPAP would require.
What Is Chronic Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Chronic obstructive sleep apnea (COSA) is a sleeping disorder characterized by a cessation in breathing that occurs approximately five to 30 times in a single night. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the muscles on the back of the throat completely relax, causing the throat passage to narrow or collapse briefly.
Differentiating Between Severity of Sleep Apnea
The severity of sleep apnea is determined by the number of times an individual will encounter cessation of breath in one night. Individuals that experience a pause in breathing between five to 14 times in a night have a mild form of sleep apnea. Those suffering from a period of breathlessness 15 to 30 times in a night are classified as moderate severity. Lastly, if there is a cessation of breathing more than 30 times a night, the severity is severe.
Types of Oral Appliance Therapy
If you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, there are many oral appliance devices that you can use besides receiving positive airway pressure therapy. The oral appliances resemble mouthguards that are used in sports.
There are mandibular advancement devices (MAD), otherwise known as mandibular repositioning devices, used to reposition the lower jaw slightly forward and downward to increase the size of the airway passage and thereby prevent obstructions. Mandibular advancement devices are made of acrylic material and are placed between your jaws. Other devices similar to mandibular repositioning appliances are not placed inside the jaw but instead around the head or neck to reposition the jaw. Secondly, there are tongue restraining mouthpieces. These are constructed similarly to mandibular repositioning devices, except for having a central opening where the tongue is held forward using suction to prevent it from collapsing backward into the airway.
Benefits of Oral Therapy Devices
There are many benefits to using oral therapy devices, as they can prevent the long-term complications that arise due to sleep apnea. Furthermore, patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea do not need to use CPAP therapy, which usually causes dryness and itchiness in the nose. The size of these devices makes them easier to travel with.
How Do I Get Oral Appliance Therapy?
To obtain an oral therapy device, you may either try over-the-counter devices that are readily available or book yourself a consultation with our experts. During this consultation, our team will acquire all of the necessary information needed to design a custom-made dental device for you.
Our office can work closely with your physician to help treat sleep apnea and snoring. When you first visit us, we can talk about the benefits of this treatment, and then we can complete an evaluation. This is easy to do, and includes a dental examination of your jaw, tongue, airway, and teeth. Depending on our exam, we may also decide to take an x-ray of your mouth.
Our office works to customize the oral appliance we design for you with the help of physical or digital impressions, and then a model of your teeth. We will then send the model out to a dental lab to create the appliance. Once the appliance is ready and back in our office, we can schedule a time for you to come in for the fitting. We can make any necessary adjustments at that time to help ensure it is effective and comfortable.
We do ask our patients to come back for regular follow-up visits. This gives us a chance to check on the oral appliance to make sure it still fits comfortably and works properly. We may need to do an adjustment over time to ensure the oral appliance stays effective.
For those who are dealing with sleep apnea and other sleeping conditions, oral appliance therapy may be the right solution. At Wilson Dentistry, we can help fit you for this device and enable you to get the best sleep possible. When you are ready to sleep well and feel better in the morning, call (346) 340-5440.