About - Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is a common method used to treat obstructive sleep apnea — a sleep disorder caused by the tongue or jaw or some other oral obstruction blocking the airway during sleep. The oral appliance is worn only during sleep and is custom-fit to sit comfortably in the mouth. The appliance is built to help keep the jaw in the forward position and the tongue from falling back, allowing the airway to remain open during sleep.
Why Oral Appliance Therapy is a Number One Choice:
- Easy to wear
- Easy to care for
In order to create your oral appliance, Dr. Vancil will conduct a clinical evaluation and take digital or physical impressions of your teeth. These impressions or models are then used to create your appliance in a dental lab. On your next visit, your oral appliance will be fitted and adjusted in your mouth to make sure it is comfortable and effective. Dr. Vancil will teach you how to clean and care for your appliance. Follow-up visits will be scheduled to check the condition of your appliance and ensure its effectiveness.
Types of Oral Appliances
There are more than 100 different types of oral appliances that are FDA approved for treating sleep apnea. At our office, we offer a range of options so you can pick the appliance that best meets your needs.
Medical Dental Sleep Appliance (MDSA)
The Medical Dental Sleep Appliance is a device that holds the jaw and tongue forward during sleep to open the airway and prevent the throat from collapsing. It has been an effectively proven method for treating snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.
SomnoDent Oral Device
The SomnoDent is an oral sleep appliance with an upper and lower splint (two separate parts) that cover the teeth and advance the lower jaw forward throughout treatment. The forward movement of the jaw allows the airway to open better, making it easier to breathe and get a deeper night's rest.
The Herbst Appliance is another oral appliance used to treat bruxism, chronic snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It is different from other appliances in that it allows patients to move their jaw and teeth more freely and comfortably without disengaging the appliance.
Elastic Mandibular Advancement (EMA)
The Elastic Mandibular Advancement device is one of the more comfortable oral appliances used. The thin and comfortable material that makes up this device on the upper and lower teeth is attached together with elastic bands. These bands allow for easy motion and can easily be adjusted for better comfort and fit.
TAP® is made of two custom inter-occlusal parts that fit over the mandible and the maxilla. The upper portion of the device hooks into the lower portion, enabling the mandible to be pulled forward. Using a dial mechanism, the appliance is titratable allowing adjustment to determine the degree to which the jaw is held forward. By holding the mandible forward, the TAP maintain a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing.
SUAD allows more lateral movement than most of the appliances and is specially made for our patients who enjoy grinding their teeth (you know who you are). The thermoflex material usually requires heating in warm/hot water to soften it enough to place it every night
ResMed’s Narval™ CC is computer engineered to offer patients greater comfort than ever before to help them adhere to therapy. A mandibular repositioning device (MRD) that’s designed specifically for the treatment of adult obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Narval CC uses an optimized articulation method that maintains the mandible in an advanced position, along the occlusal plane to providing superior patient comfort while enabling effective treatment. At ResMed, a leader in CPAP manufacturing, we believe that compliance is directly related to comfort. The Narval is lighter, hypoallergenic, and has an expanding tongue space which enables freedom of vertical mandibular movement (so patients can still speak and drink liquids while in function).
If you’re needing to treat a simple snoring issue, the Silent Sleep may be the best treatment option for you! This non-custom appliance is worn during sleep and sits comfortably in the patient’s mouth. Because this device is not custom-made there is no need for impressions and models, making the product less expensive than its competitors. On the other hand, the Silent Sleep cannot be adjusted by the patient, meaning more dental visits may be required.
Oral appliances are removable devices used at nighttime to prevent the collapse of the tongue and the soft palate onto the back of the throat. These are attached to the upper and lower teeth, and then mechanically move the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep. The objective of these devices is to improve the patency of the upper airway during sleep by increasing its dimensions and reducing its collapsibility. Several anatomic changes occur as a result of the mechanical advancement of the mandible and tongue. The Lateral x-ray below shows a patient with a narrow airway (left), the same patient wearing an oral appliance improving the airway patency (right).
If you have any questions or concerns about oral appliance therapy or would like to schedule a consultation, please call our office!