Normally, most people would not think to turn to their dentist for treatment of a serious medical condition such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is a potentially fatal disease where during the night, you experience brief stoppages in breathing. Often, these periods last 10 to 20 seconds or longer and may occur dozens to hundreds of times a night.
The most common treatment for Sleep Apnea involves using a machine called a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). A mask is worn which pushes air to forcibly keep your airway open and allow you to breathe unobstructed.
Many people aren’t able to tolerate CPAP for various reasons. As a result, oral appliances are now recommended by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. They also recommend oral appliance therapy for severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea when patients refuse to use CPAP or are CPAP intolerant. Depending on the nature of your condition, there are several types of oral appliances which can effectively treat your sleep apnea:
- The Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) is a mandibular advancement device that fits over the top and bottom teeth. The TAP has a mechanism that allows unlimited advancement of the lower jaw. It is the only appliance that allows adjustments to be made while you are sleeping.
- Herbst Telescopic Appliances are effective on chronic snoring and mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. Patients are able to move their jaws from side-to-side and open-and-close without compromising the appliance.
- The SAUD Appliance is similar, but made to withstand the pressures exerted by patients that grind their teeth at night (bruxism).
- SomnoMed MAS is a custom made appliance that fits over top and bottom teeth. It allows normal mouth opening and closing, and the adjustability feature provides an effective and comfortable level of treatment.
- Tongue Retaining Device (TRD) is an appliance option that does not depend on the teeth for retention and forward movement of the jaw. Instead, the tongue is held forward by negative pressure created by the appliance.
Dr. Donald Wilcox is your Scottsdale, Arizona sleep apnea dentist. Dr. Wilcox has extensive experience treating patients with snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea using oral appliance therapy. His in-depth training in neuromuscular dentistry ensures effective and comfortable treatment using the most appropriate oral appliance for your individual needs.
Please contact our Scottsdale sleep apnea dentist today to discuss your treatment options for snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Desert Smiles serves patients in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and Glendale, Arizona areas.