Oral Appliance Facts
In the past, oral appliances were primarily used as a secondary recourse for patients who rejected CPAP therapy. Today, the majority of therapies used to treat OSA come in the form of little devices called Oral Appliances. Each Oral Appliance is custom made to fit the specifications of the patient’s physical attributes. The Oral Appliances may be made from acrylic, some plastics, and sometimes include small metal components.
The patients who have used the CPAP therapy and Oral Appliance therapy agree that it is easier to fall asleep when using the retainer-like devices. The awkwardness and restricted movement is no longer the issue it was with the CPAP, therefore making settling in at bedtime a more comfortable experience.Oral appliances are custom-fitted dental devices designed to treat snoring and OSA by opening the throat airway and preventing the tongue from blocking the airway during sleep. Oral appliances work by manipulating the lower jaw slightly forward and lifting the base of the tongue forward and away from the back of the throat. This prevents airway blockages and also prevents oral snoring by reducing the vibrations of the soft palate and uvula.
After an initial adjustment period of just a few weeks, many patients will find that they do not want to sleep without it. Now with the comparison of breathing with an open airway, the body responds quickly and adjusts itself to experience a deep, more refreshing quality of sleep.
The good news is that most insurance companies will cover the cost of Oral Appliance Therapy including the cost for the replacement of worn out retainers. The bad news is that these Oral Appliances don’t last forever, and will mostly likely need to be used night after night, for the rest of the patient’s lifetime. However, when it comes right down to it, most patients would say that such a small sacrifice is negligible when a healthy, good night’s sleep is at stake.