How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Since sleep apnea is caused by a collapsing or improperly working airway muscles, patients need instruments to keep them open throughout the night. Oral appliances keep the jaws positioned in a way that helps you breathe easier. These devices will restore your night’s sleep, especially in patients experiencing OSA, or mild CSA. Some of the typical sleep apnea appliances used include:
• TAP®3 (Adjustable)
• Herbst Telescopic Appliance
How Does a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Work?
Oral appliances help sleep apnea patients by positioning the jaw in a way that increases the size of the airway, which helps prevent sleep apnea and snoring. Other benefits include:
- Convenience – Oral appliances are easy to transport and don’t impact a partner’s sleep.
- Compliance – Because oral appliances are more comfortable than other sleep apnea therapies, it is easy to stick to the treatment.
- Immediacy – The benefits of an oral appliance often take place during the first night they are worn.
How Do I Know if an Oral Appliance is Right for Me?
Patients who suffer from sleep apnea often undergo a sleep study from a physician who specializes in sleep disorders. In some cases, these physicians will prescribe a CPAP machine, and for others, they will recommend an oral device. Although a physician typically determines which form of therapy is best, a dental professional is qualified to carry out and monitor the treatment plan.
What if I Don’t Qualify for a Sleep Apnea Appliance?
When apnea conditions are severe, a CPAP machine can help you breathe properly throughout the night. This device maintains a consistent amount of airflow through the throat and nose, keeping tissues out of the way. The CPAP mask and constant air pressure allow you to inhale and exhale normally.
While physicians often recommend CPAP therapy, many patients aren’t suitable candidates for the treatment due to dry nasal passages and claustrophobia, among many other issues. For these candidates, dental appliance therapy can alleviate their concerns. If you have already tried a CPAP machine and did not achieve the desired results, your dentist can review your sleep study and give you an oral appliance that will meet your needs.
Improve Your Health & Your Quality of Life
The right sleep apnea treatment can eliminate morning headaches, sleepy afternoons, and snoring at night. More importantly, it can help those who stop breathing while they sleep – a serious condition that can be dangerous. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, your physician or your dentist can help you get the right treatment and a good night’s sleep.