oral appliance therapy
What is an Oral Appliance (OA)?

Recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine for mild to moderate sleep apnea and severe sleep apnea when unable to use a CPAP.​

Oral devices are often called Mandibular Advancing Devices (MAD), or simply Oral Appliances (OA). These devices move the base of the tongue, the mandible (lower jaw bone), the muscles and soft tissues of the throat forward during sleep opening the airway. A small plastic splint fits over the top teeth and another over the bottom teeth. The two are connected by a small mechanism that, when in place, pushes the bottom jaw forward opening the airway.

Similar to orthodontic appliances or sports mouth guards, anti-snoring and apnea devices are worn in the mouth during sleep to treat snoring and sleep apnea. These oral appliances work by holding your lower jaw open and slightly forward during sleep. This prevents the tongue from falling back into the airway and contacting the back of the throat causing an obstruction. The airway remains open, promoting adequate air intake, and reduces air velocity and soft tissue vibration and collapse.

In order to work with an optimal treatment outcome, oral appliances must be custom fitted by a qualified dentist like Dr. Danoff who will ensure that the appliance molds to the patient's mouth and provides maximum benefit. Once the appliance is fitted titration and adjustments begin. This process can take anywhere from 1 week to several months, depending on each patients situation.

Today many different oral appliance options are available for the treatment of snoring and/or sleep apnea. These devices may be used alone or in conjunction with other means of treating snoring and/or sleep apnea, including weight management, surgery, or CPAP.

Advantages of using an Oral Appliance (OA)
It is very effective for most people with sleep apnea
Excellent results with treating sleep apnea
It is well tolerated, and patients prefer the oral device more than any other sleep apnea treatment
It is simple to use and easy to care for
The patient can easily adjust the appliance
Substantial research supporting its effectiveness
Very small appliance, simple to travel with
The patient is not attached to a machine or tubing
The appliance is fabricated quickly for the patient
It is for mild to moderate sleep apnea and those unable to tolerate a CPAP
Indications for use of an Oral Appliance (OA)
Primary snoring/Mild OSA
Moderate / Severe OSA who are intolerant or refuse CPAP (as set forth by the American Sleep Disorders Association)
Poor tolerance of CPAP
Poor surgical risks
Non-successful UPPP surgery
Use of appliance during travel
Are there any side effects from using Oral Appliance Therapy?

Patients using oral appliance therapy may experience the following side effects:

Excessive salivation or dryness
Morning soreness in the teeth or jaw muscles
Tooth movements (mostly minor)

Most of these side effects improve within a few weeks of regular use and some adjustments of the appliance. Patients with arthritis and chronic jaw joint dysfunction may have difficulty tolerating an OAT.

Which appliance is best for me?

As a specially trained dentist in the treatment of OSA and oral appliance therapy, our doctors consider many factors before choosing which appliance may best suited for each individual.

Frequent travelers
Preferred sleep positions
Oral cavity restrictions (anatomical structures)

An oral appliance brings the benefit of moving the jaw and tongue forward to keep the airway open while sleeping. The lower jaw and the tongue move forward away from the airway allowing the patient to breath normally during sleep.

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