How Oral Appliance Therapy Works
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway collapses. Treating the condition depends on finding ways to keep the airway open. Most oral appliances do this by repositioning the jaw.
The jaw is the main bony support for the throat. The only other bone that supports it is the hyoid bone, which is not connected to any other bone. All the other supports for the airway are soft tissue, including muscles that relax during sleep.
Most oral appliances move the jaw forward. They are what we call a mandibular advancement device (MAD). This opens the airway and makes sure it stays open, even when your muscles relax.
The DNA appliance is a little different. It works by reshaping your bony structure to make your airway larger. This can effectively cure sleep apnea in some cases.
Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is popular because it offers many benefits oral appliances are:
- Covered by insurance
- Easy to use
- Easy to travel with
Oral appliance therapy has been shown to be as effective as CPAP for most people. Because of its proven effectiveness, insurance companies will cover the cost. In fact, they consider it a frontline treatment for many people. That means you don’t always have to try CPAP before you get an oral appliance.
Oral appliances are comfortable: there are no straps, nose plugs, masks, or hoses to worry about. They’re easy to use: just pop the appliance in. They’re also convenient and easy to transport: put it in a case and put it in your pocket. You can take them on the airplane and even wear them in-flight if you’re worried about snoring or having apnea on the plane.
Oral appliances are also low-maintenance. A soak is all the cleaning they need. You don’t have to go through major disassembly, and there are no parts that need regular replacement.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Most people with sleep apnea are good candidates for oral appliance therapy. Many people can use it as a frontline treatment without trying CPAP first. To do this and have your insurance company pay for the appliance, you usually have to have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral appliances can treat severe obstructive sleep apnea. However, your doctor and insurance company will likely want you to try CPAP first.
If you have only central sleep apnea, you are not a good candidate for oral appliance therapy. However, this is relatively rare.
Get Oral Appliance Therapy in Columbus, OH
If you are considering treating your sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy, Dr. Mike can help. Please call (614) 683-4640 today for a free consultation at Firouzian Sleep Wellness in Columbus, OH.