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Oral Appliance Therapy – Covington, GA

Non-Invasive Sleep Apnea Solutions

Previously, patients only had two options to relieve their sleep apnea symptoms and treat their condition. The first and most popular one was through CPAP therapy. The other was through invasive surgery. If you’d rather not have a loud and bulky CPAP machine next to you while you sleep or you don’t want to have surgery done on or around your head, you have a third option to consider, and far more people are using it than you may realize. That option is sleep apnea oral appliance therapy in Covington, GA.

With the help of an oral appliance, all patients need to do to get relief from sleep apnea symptoms is wear a custom-made mouthguard. Designed by a qualified sleep dentist, this custom-made mouthguard is worn every night. The way it works is simple: the appliance shifts the position of the jaw slightly forward, which prevents the tongue from blocking the airway. Keeping the tongue in this neutral position prevents any obstructions (and therefore any apneas) from occurring. You’ll also notice a major reduction in snoring.

When you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, treatment is necessary to ensure a good night’s sleep. To learn more about an oral appliance can help you and your family moving forward, keep reading below!

Should I Use an Oral Appliance?

Model smile with sleep apnea oral appliance

You would likely benefit from an oral appliance if:

  • You are suffering from a mild to moderate case of sleep apnea.
  • Surgical treatment was performed but did not in fact remove the symptoms.
  • You are intolerant to CPAP therapy despite needing treatment.
  • You experience severe snoring and need to reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea.
  • You need a treatment that is actually portable and not bulky.
  • A doctor confirms you could benefit from combined therapy.

How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?

Man sleeping soundly with sleep apnea oral appliance

Did you know that oral appliance therapy is actually based on the same principles as CPR? If the airway is obstructed, one of the easiest ways to clear it is to move the jaw forward, much like an oral appliance is designed to do. After making this small shift, the oral tissue in the mouth and throat no longer collapse on top of the airway. This allows you to breathe normally throughout the night. Keep in mind that other oral appliances are designed to keep the tongue in a neutral position.

It’s true that wearing an oral appliance is much easier and more comfortable than relying on a CPAP machine. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to take time adjusting to your new appliance. For example, you may experience the following as you get used to your new appliance:

  • Changes in your jaw’s resting position
  • Jaw soreness
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Tenderness in your soft tissue
  • Changes in the amount of saliva produced
  • Changes in the way the bite feels; as if it has changed or shifted

The good news is all of these side effects will go away with time. However, if they do not, make sure to contact a dentist so you can have the appliance adjusted.

What Kinds of Oral Appliances Are There?

Hand holding a sleep apnea oral appliance

Our sleep apnea dental office uses a wide variety of oral appliances to resolve sleep apnea. All of them are custom-made and designed with the highest-quality materials in mind. The difference is each of these appliances come with their own distinct specialty. We’ll determine which one is best for you after a brief exam at our sleep apnea dental office. We’ll always make sure that the fit is comfortable and helps you sleep well throughout the night. To learn more about our options, follow the link below!

Learn More About Our Oral Appliance Options

Info from the AASM, AADSM, and the ASBA

Man in continuing education class giving thumbs up

In order to regulate and help set the standards of care for patients suffering from sleep apnea, we have the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), and the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA). By offering continuing education, certifications and training for both doctors and dentists, they can help them become more familiar and adept at treating those suffering from sleep apnea.

Dr. Stephen Dean is a member of the AADSM and therefore has direct access to resources and physicians carrying decades of experience researching sleep apnea treatments and improving them for patients.

If you are considering oral appliance therapy, you should keep these recommendations from these three organizations in mind:

  • Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, you should still seek out treatment if you suffer from loud, chronic snoring. Snoring can easily develop into more serious sleeping conditions like sleep apnea. Prevention is as easy as getting an oral appliance and is extremely effective.
  • You should only use oral appliances that are crafted by certified sleep dentists like Dr. Stephen Dean. A store-bought solution can provide temporary relief, however, they cannot provide you with the same results as an appliance made by a professional. They also tend to be more uncomfortable, which negatively affects compliance.
  • If you currently have a CPAP machine but struggle to use it because you travel frequently, it’s important to ask your doctor if an oral appliance would be more appropriate. They are much smaller and easier to travel with, so you can get proper rest on the go.
  • Always visit your sleep dentist regularly after receiving your oral appliance. These give the dentist a chance to reexamine how well your appliance fits and its effectiveness.
  • An additional sleep study will be needed while you’re using the oral appliance. This ensures that the appliance is providing effective relief from your sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Always stay in contact with your sleep doctor and sleep dentist in order to confirm that your condition is being properly managed.

Literally thousands of those suffering from OSA have had their lives changed for the better thanks to oral appliance therapy. To get the rest you need, without the use of a CPAP or surgery, consider contacting Covington Sleep Center today for your next consultation.