Sleep appliance, also called oral appliance therapy is used to treat patients suffering from sleep apnea at mild to moderate stages where CPAP treatment has failed. This oral removable device is similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard device where patients with sleep apnea use to make their airway normally open.
Patients with the above condition must visit tmj dentists who has a special training and experience in sleep apnea condition to custom fit the appliance since it is not advice to buy it over the counter, and therefore, counter purchase is illegal in the United States of America.
Merits of Sleep Appliance Therapy:
Sleep appliance therapy has several advantages, among them are the following:
- Portability is an important factor to consider in designing this appliance, and therefore, this deviceis small in size, hence convenient to travel with it
- It is a safer option to treat sleep apnea because the therapy is reversible and non-invasive
- These devices are considered to be comfortable to patients and therefore, it is conceivable to be worn daily during night times without any effects
- When starting the therapy, it is easy for the patients to adapt and get used to the device as soon as possible, hence, newly patients fitted with the device need not to worry about the device
Types of Sleep or Oral Appliances
There are majorly two types of sleep appliance. These are:
- Mandibular Repositioning Devices
- Tongue Retaining Devices
Mandibular Repositioning Devices
These oral or sleep appliances has the duty to reposition the lower jaw in a down or forward position to make airway open. Perhaps repositioning, it prevents the mouth from opening by stabilizing the lower jaw.
Tongue Retaining Devices
These oral or sleep appliances plays a role of holding the tongue in place so that the airway may remain open. This is achieved by keeping the tongue in position such that when the tongue is in forward position; the device prevents the back of the tongue from collapsing and causing obstruction to the airway when the patient is sleeping.
It is advisable that all patients diagnosed with sleep apnea should see a specialist or a cosmetic dentist houston for regular check-up and evaluation, training on how to use the device, have it fitted on the correct position, or have it adjusted if it is found to in wrong position.