Sleep Apnea 101
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
It’s vital to your health to treat your sleep apnea. Otherwise, you could be looking at a variety of problems ranging from disturbing a partner with your snoring and not getting a full night of restful sleep to health problems and even a shortened lifespan. But treating sleep apnea usually involves a CPAP machine or other breathing device, which can be cumbersome and uncomfortable to use.
Fortunately, there’s an alternative: oral appliance therapy.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is an alternative to a CPAP machine. It’s an appliance that is worn in the mouth that is customized specifically for you. This makes it a much more comfortable alternative to using a cumbersome CPAP machine. Our custom oral appliance is similar to a retainer in that you wear it over your teeth during the night.
What Are the Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral Appliance Therapy is much more comfortable than a CPAP machine. It’s designed to fit in your mouth and feels a bit like wearing a retainer. If you’ve ever had braces, then you would already be familiar with the sensation and would know how easy it is to sleep with one in. It’s also much smaller than a CPAP machine, which makes it a lot easier to take with you. A OAT helps you to get nights of better sleep by not making any noise that could keep you or your partner awake.
Why Is Oral Appliance Therapy Better Than a CPAP Machine?
A CPAP machine is commonly used to treat sleep apnea, but there are many downsides. Many people with sleep apnea find a CPAP machine to be uncomfortable to wear because it often involves a face mask. On top of that, a CPAP machine is large and cumbersome to take with you any time you have to travel. Additionally, CPAP machines can be loud, which can prevent you from sleeping deeply.
By contrast, oral appliance therapy is quiet, a convenient size for traveling, and is much more comfortable.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
Oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea works by bringing the lower jaw forward slightly. This helps to keep your airway open all night and prevents your tongue from collapsing into the airway and blocking it. Because of this, your custom oral appliance, or OAT, can treat any type of sleep apnea.
How Do You Get an Oral Appliance Therapy device?
The first step to getting your own OAT is to schedule a sleep test or to bring us your most recent sleep test results. In the initial consultation, we’ll measure your lower jaw’s mobility and then digitally scan your teeth. This is so we can create a OAT that fits your teeth perfectly.
How Long Does It Take to Make an Oral Appliance Therapy device?
It can take between 3 to 5 weeks for us to make your oral appliance therapy device. This is because your OAT will be tailored exactly to the measurements taken during the consultation so that it conforms precisely to your teeth. A perfectly-fitting custom oral appliance will sit more comfortably in your mouth while it works to prevent the symptoms of sleep apnea from occurring.
How Much Does an Oral Appliance Therapy Device Cost?
Most of the time, your OAT will be covered by your insurance. This means that how much you pay will vary depending on your deductible and your copay. There are also options for paying in installments as necessary if you aren’t covered by insurance.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Improve Your Sleep?
Sleep apnea interrupts your sleep by blocking your airway. This could be because the tongue collapses back into the airway or because the muscles at the back of your throat relax and block the airway. When your airway is blocked and you can’t breathe, your body automatically wakes up so that you can start breathing again. When this happens multiple times in the night, you don’t get enough good, quality sleep.
Using an oral appliance therapy device will keep your jaw in a position that will keep your airways open and unblocked so that you can breathe easily at night.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Contact usto get measured for oral appliance therapy.