Life with an Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea

Like the CPAP, oral appliance therapy (OAT) for sleep apnea is not a cure, it is a treatment.  You wear the dental device nightly. The dentist monitors your progress, over a period of time.

First, your dental team follows and guides your progress throughout the treatment. You go to the office several times to ensure acceptance, comfort, and effectiveness of the therapy. Then, the dentist gives instructions on the proper adjustment of the appliance. The patient discusses are areas of discomfort. The objective is to resolve the snoring and daytime tiredness through gently and gradually repositioning the lower jaw. Your personal feedback and several simple in-home dental sleep studies also provide guidance. Finally, once active therapy is completed, you are re-evaluated on a six month or one-year basis. This depends on your individual case.

Helpful Tips About Your Oral Appliance:

  • Keep the appliance in a safe place where a dog cannot mistake it for a chew toy.
  • The appliance can become distorted if left in extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
  • Two times each week, soak the appliance for 15 minutes in an ultrasonic cleaning container designed for orthodontic appliances, using the cleanser tablets.
  • Examine your appliance frequently and call the office if you observe any broken areas.
  • If you are unable to close your teeth completely in the morning immediately after removing the appliance, know that this is normal and due to a temporary jaw joint change.
  • After 20 minutes, jaw exercises are helpful to re-establish joint position and good tooth contact.
  • It is critical to keep up with prescribed evaluation visits, allowing your dentist to monitor any possible changes in your bite.

Here is some feedback snoring isn’t sexy dentists have gotten on how life with an oral appliance has improved their patients’ lives:

“I feel great!  I can travel again without my cumbersome CPAP and the oral appliance fits in my pocket I’m not overstating when I say ‘the oral appliance has changed my life’. This treatment is definitely one I recommend.”

– Don,  oral appliance user and CPAP intolerant patient

“The oral appliance has helped me sleep better and I’m so grateful for the care the dental office has given me.  My energy level has doubled.”

– CJ, oral appliance user and CPAP intolerant patient

Your dental office can provide you with the support you need to get the most out of your sleep apnea treatment. If you need more information on sleep apnea or OAT, please visit


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