Oral Appliances are similar to an orthodontic appliance or sports mouth protector, but are worn during sleep and are specifically designed to provide adequate air intake and normal sleep in people who snore and have a medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
Custom sleep apnea appliances must be fitted by a dentists specifically trained in oral appliance therapy, dental occlusion and treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
A sleep study must first be performed in order to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea, to ensure other sleep disorders are not at play and to evaluate the effectiveness of oral appliance therapy. Treating just snoring with a custom oral appliance or snoring mouth guard can dangerously mask or worsen sleep apnea, even if snoring has stopped or significantly reduced.
After impressions of your teeth are taken, a custom oral appliance will be fabricated. This usually takes 2 or 3 weeks. Your dentist will fit your appliance and will review instructions of use. Your dentist will guide your treatment and adjust the oral appliance until the snoring, excessive sleepiness or any other sleep apnea related symptoms have been reduced or eliminated. The effectiveness of the oral appliance is then verified by measuring your apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) during a follow-up sleep study.
Oral appliances, also known as mandibular advancement devices, are custom fit devices that are worn only at night that fit much like a sports mouth guard. It supports the jaw in a forward position and is designed to help maintain an open airway.
Oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other means of therapy such as continuous positive air pressure (CPAP), positional therapy or surgery to reduce snoring and treat obstructive sleep apnea by preventing the airway from collapsing.
If you have ever witnessed an apneic event first hand, you know it can be frightening to see a friend or loved one struggling to breathe while sleeping, and then gasping for air as if they are suffocating. Apneic events in patients with obstructive sleep apnea are caused by the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat collapsing, causing "a cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or more”. An apneic’s bed partner may be relieved and try to fall asleep when the apneic briefly stops snoring, not realizing that those coveted moments of silence actually mean the person they are sleeping next to isn’t breathing.
There are over 100 custom oral appliances approved by the FDA. These appliances fall into two types of oral appliances for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
Mandibular advancement splints are by far the most numerous type on the market. They all function to reposition and maintain the lower jaw (mandible) forward in a protruded position during sleep. This serves to open the airway by indirectly pulling the tongue forward.
There are only a few tongue retaining devices available, but they have been well studied and shown to be effective in many patients. Tongue retainers function by directly holding the tongue in a forward position by means of a suction bulb that holds the tongue. When the tongue is in a forward position, the back of the tongue does not collapse during sleep and obstruct the airway in the throat.
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Dr. Addy and her staff have had a great impact on the quality of our lives.We originally came to Dr. Addy due to my husband's sleep apnea. He battled the c-pap machines and tried every type imaginable but, to no avail. They were cumbersome, terrible to travel with, noisy and often went unused...hence, not helping his health issues. He was fitted with the oral appliance therapy and never looked back. Seeing his success, he suggested (in the nicest way) that I might benefit from a meeting with Dr. Addy. (I truly believed I DID NOT snore!) After analysis, I realized I was very tired most of the time...was this a part of getting older? or was it something else? My meeting with Dr Addy was wonderful. Her kind and caring nature, wonderful explanations about the importance of sleep, nature of sleep dentistry, and her passion for her work, put me at ease. My sleep study revealed that I, too, would benefit from oral appliance therapy.I am happy to report, it is so great to get a good night's sleep--one feels so much better when rested- more energy and more alert! Two different needs, one perfect solution!We have worked with Dr. Addy and her staff for a while now and are delighted with the outcome. The office is organized and efficiently run. Very willing to help in any way. Dr. Addy is a compassionate and caring physician, the likes I have not seen in a long time.She is an asset to the profession and to our community.
Hello Dr. Addy, After being diagnosed with severe Sleep Apnea, I used (fought) the CPAP machine for a year and was never successful with it. I have used the Oral Appliance that you made for me for about six months and would like for you to know how much it has helped me. I am getting good uninterrupted sleep and feel much more rested. I really appreciate the work that you have done. Thank you.
Dear Dr. Addy, I want you to know how much your kind service and the appliance has changed my life. I use it every night. Once I even had is shipped to me while on vacation - overnight of course! Now my appliance is the last thing I check before I leave for a trip! Before you fitted me with the appliance my apnea was so bad that I rarely got a full night's sleep. I had a lot of tension in my jaw and related areas and I felt tired most of the time. Other alternatives, such as surgery, seemed painful and perhaps of limited value, if any at all. The appliance was easy to use and worked completely and instantly. I have had no significant side effects. Your caring attitude and genuine concern for your patients makes it all the better! Thank you Dr. Addy -- you've made a big difference in the quality of my sleep -- and my life!
A dental appliance from Dr. Addy has given me great relief from the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring. Dr. Addy is a very knowledgeable and caring professional. I can't thank her enough for making a difference in my quality of sleep. Thanks for everything.
Dear Dr. Addy, I am very happy to tell you that after a month of using the SUAD oral appliance, my diabetic blood sugar levels have lowered and my sleep is more restful. Also, of course, my snoring has been under excellent control--as long as I remember to change the rubber bands, which my wife is quick to remind me when she is awakened. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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