Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea
If you have sleep apnea, it’s important to understand which of the two types affect you: central sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Depending on the type of sleep apnea affecting you your Sleep Disorder Specialist will suggest a treatment that may include:
- Oral appliances
- A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine that delivers air through a face mask or nasal tubes.
In less severe cases of sleep apnea, a dental appliance may help improve your air flow during sleep. This is a more comfortable solution for those patients suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea because there are fewer issues with dry mouth and dry sinuses than with a traditional CPAP mask. The oral appliance is also smaller and easier to store and travel with.
Here’s how it works. A custom-made oral appliance is created for you to wear when you sleep. This appliance is designed to adjust the position of your tongue and lower jaw, allowing for greater and easier air flow into the lungs while you sleep.
In some cases, oral appliances are a good option for patients who have trouble with their CPAP mask. Sometimes these patients use a dental appliance with their CPAP device because the dental appliance reduces the air pressure delivered by the CPAP mask.
In both cases, you’ll find that air flow gives you a more restful sleep. At Pickwick Dental we work closely with experienced dental laboratories and medical professionals specializing in sleep disorders to find the best treatment option for our patients.
Oral and Snoring Appliances Are Two Very Different Devices
Sometimes, patients mistakenly believe that oral appliances and snore guards are one and the same. While they may look alike, they are indeed very different:
An oral appliance
- Is a medical device designed to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea
- Requires a doctor’s prescription
- Should be closely observed by a sleep specialist and treating dentist to ensure it is working
- In most cases, oral appliances that are approved to treat obstructive sleep apnea may also lessen snoring.
Snoring appliance (also called a snore guard)
- Is not a treatment for sleep apnea
- Is not a medical device and therefore, a prescription from your doctor and close medical observation aren’t necessary
Improve Your Life with a Better Night’s Sleep!
Snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea are medical conditions that often require communication between multiple specialists like your doctor and dentist. Our Mississauga dental team is happy to discuss any of the sleep disorder conditions described above with you. Please reach out to us with your questions and concerns about snoring and sleep apnea.