Oral Appliance Therapy
There are many different types of treatment for those suffering from sleep disorders. Some can be invasive and require time and effort before they begin to improve an individual’s sleep. Oral appliance therapy is a relatively straightforward treatment for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and oral appliance therapy can make a patient’s sleep better starting on the first night. Smiles of Tulsa uses oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea and help reduce symptoms of sleep related disorders.
How Do I Get an Oral Appliance?
Oral appliances are custom-made in our office. When a patient comes into our office and exhibits the symptoms of sleep apnea, our professionals will recommend the use of an oral appliance. If the patient agrees to try the therapy, our team will take measurements of the patient’s oral cavity, which will be sent to the dental lab. The dental lab will create a custom-fit oral appliance that will fit snugly within the oral cavity. The oral appliance works by pushing the patient’s bottom jaw slightly forward in order to allow the constant flow of air into their lungs.
Sleep apnea causes the throat muscles to malfunction and relax when they should not. The oral appliance should prevent this, as it draws the mouth open enough to allow proper breathing to take place. The oral appliance should be comfortable, although it will seem strange to wear at first. However, the oral appliance should prevent sleep apnea from waking the patient during the night. Minor adjustments can be made, and if the oral appliance therapy proves ineffective, we may have to try an alternative method of reducing symptoms. We also suggest reading more about what sleep apnea is.
What Are the Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is one of the most non-invasive treatments for sleep apnea. Alternatives include being referred to an orthodontist, who may advise the use of braces to change the bite of your teeth, which will require months of treatment, or the use of a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) machine. A CPAP machine exerts constant airflow into a patient’s mouth, to prevent the breathing from being stopped by sleep apnea.
While the CPAP is very effective in its decrease of symptoms, it is very intrusive, as it requires a loud machine and the constant wearing of a face mask during sleep. In comparison, a small appliance that fits in the mouth is a relatively easy and straightforward therapy. It is convenient, as the patient can take it while traveling, and it is easy to clean, simply with some toothpaste and a non-abrasive toothbrush. It is important to seek help from us if you are suffering from sleep apnea, as symptoms can be serious.
There is a treatment for everyone, and we want to help reduce the impact that sleep apnea causes on your life. Smiles of Tulsa offers oral appliance therapy as an effective way to control the symptoms of sleep apnea and prevent it from taking over your daily life. Sleep apnea can be treated and you may be able to use a sleep apnea home assessment. To book an appointment with us, call our office at (918) 891-3059.