Sleep apnea is a fairly common medical condition that affects millions of Americans every day and, in some cases, can have life-threatening side effects. To get the right kind of help for your apnea, it first helps to understand the causes of this sleep condition, what the different causes mean for treatment, and how you…
What Type of Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Is Right for Me?
An oral appliance is a device that is usually recommended for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring. Many people are often able to get a good night’s sleep and relief from using dental appliances. They are commonly prescribed for the treatment of moderate to mild OSA. A qualified doctor can help you decide if oral appliance therapy is right for you.
The right oral appliance
There are multiple types of oral appliances for the condition. Some common options include mandibular advancement splints, mandibular advancement devices, mandibular repositioning appliances and tongue retaining devices. A health care provider can refer a patient to a doctor who is highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. The doctor will be able to find out how bad a person’s condition is. If a person decides to try an oral appliance, the doctor will refer the patient to a dentist who is qualified to treat OSA. The dentist will then ensure that a patient gets the right type of oral appliance.
People do not have the same mouth and jaw shape. This is why a dental device should be made to fit a patient. The dentist will take an impression of a person’s teeth and send the dental impression or dental mold to the laboratory, which will make the appliance. After several weeks, a patient will have to return to the office of the dentist, where the oral appliance will be fitted in the mouth.
The oral appliance will have to be adjusted so that it can be able to move the jaw forward to a good position that will ensure it will be effective but still comfortable. A dentist will supervise the adjustment of the dental device over a couple of weeks. After fitting the appliance, follow-up visits with a dentist or qualified doctor will be required. Getting the right fitting device is beneficial in helping a patient’s sleep problem.
How to know if an appliance is working
If an oral appliance is working well, a person should not snore. A person wearing it because of sleep apnea may see improved fatigue, sleepiness and other symptoms of the condition. A recommended way of finding out if a device is working well is to have a repeat overnight sleep study with the device in place. If the study reveals that wearing it has been beneficial, a patient should continue using it every night.
Other treatment options may be recommended if an appliance is not helping. If sleep apnea or its symptoms return, a patient should see a dentist or doctor. The dentist may have to adjust the appliance. After some years, patients using oral appliances find that they should consider other treatments for sleep apnea, especially if the people have gained weight.
An oral appliance can help treat your sleep apnea especially if it is moderate or mild. However, it must be prescribed by a doctor and then fitted by a dentist. This will ensure that you will get the right type of oral appliance for your condition. If you want to find out if you need an oral appliance for sleep apnea, talk to your dentist or doctor.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Do I Have Sleep Apnea in Rockville, MD.
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