What is Oral Appliance Therapy?

Oral appliance therapy is an alternative treatment to CPAP. Unlike CPAP, oral appliances are small appliances that fit in your mouth similar to a nightguard or retainer. You wear it while you sleep. They all generally aim to stop you from snoring or blocking your airway at night. Some work beyond that by correcting the development issues that cause your condition in the first place.

To stop you from snoring or stop breathing at night, oral appliances work by pushing the lower jaw forward to prevent the soft tissue from collapsing to keep your airway open. This allows you to breathe freely throughout the night, completely snore-free. Many patients prefer oral appliance therapy because it’s convenient to travel with, easy to use and clean, and makes it much more comfortable to sleep at night compared to CPAP.

Types of Oral Appliances

Our dental office offers several different FDA approved oral appliances to treat both sleep apnea and snoring, including the following:

EMA Oral ApplianceEMA (Elastic Mandibular Advancement)

The EMA (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) custom appliance opens the bite and gently moves the mandible forward to open the airway. Your tongue is connected to the back of your mandible (lower jaw) and won’t restrict your breathing when moved forward. Wear this appliance while you sleep to treat obstructive sleep apnea. 

Herbst Oral ApplianceHerbst Sleep Appliance

The Herbst sleep oral appliance effectively treats snoring, bruxism (teeth grinding), and mild to moderate sleep apnea. This appliance is worn at night and works similarly to the EMA. It moved your lower jaw forward, allowing more room in your airway. With more space, your collapsing soft tissue won’t restrict airflow.

Moses Sleep ApplianceMoses Sleep Appliance

The Moses sleep appliance uses an open anterior design coupled with mandibular advancement to protrude the tongue and open the airway. It also elevates the tongue to the upper palette to promote nasal breathing. Patients can easily talk, close their lips, drink, or open their mouths wide while wearing this appliance. If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or snoring, this nighttime appliance could work for you.

Respire Sleep Appliance

Respire sleep appliances use a minimal amount of fabricated material to maximize tongue space while maintaining strength and results. The appliance also accommodates those with narrow arches and those who find other oral appliances uncomfortable. This appliance is worn whenever you are sleeping. It is used to treat mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea and can eliminate snoring altogether.

SUAD Sleep ApplianceSUAD Sleep Appliance

The SAUD appliance differs from other oral appliances because it allows for more lateral movement and protects teeth in patients who grind or clench their teeth at night. This sleep appliance is worn at night or during an afternoon nap and is for those who wish to reduce their snoring or treat obstructive sleep apnea.

SomnoDent Oral ApplianceSomnoDent

This custom-fitted oral appliance pushes the lower jaw forward and prevents your throat tissue and tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway. The SomnoDent treats mild to moderate sleep apnea. 91% of patients report improved sleep with this appliance. 

MicO2 Device Oral ApplianceMicrO2 Prosomnous Appliance

The Micr02 Prosomnous is the first CAD/CAM milled sleep apnea appliance on the market. It offers a lingual-free design, is small in size, and doesn’t require any mechanical adjustments. It’s ready to use as soon as it’s created. It gently repositions the lower jaw allowing for better airflow. Those with mild to moderate sleep apnea would benefit from the Micr02 Prosomnous.

TAP Airway Management Oral ApplianceTAP Airway Management

TAP custom appliances have over a 90% success rate in treating sleep apnea. They come in many different hardware choices that offer different levels of comfort. TAP is ideal for patients who are having trouble adhering to CPAP usage. Wear the TAP while you sleep, and it will gently pull your mandible forward to ensure your airway remains unobstructed throughout the night.

DNA Appliance

DNA Appliance

The DNA appliance not only reduces sleep apnea and snoring symptoms, but it treats them by correcting jaw arch and alignment issues to open up the airway. The appliance works by straightening and developing the arches and teeth into a healthy alignment. It’s also effective for treating TMJ disorders.

Unline other oral sleep appliances, you need to wear the DNA Appliance as long as possible but at least 16 hours per day. This appliance works to change the structure of your airways, so it takes more upfront commitment than the others. But in the end, you may not have to worry about obstructive sleep apnea ever again. 

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy

Some advantages to oral appliance therapy to manage your sleep apnea and/or snoring include:

  • Can use in conjunction with CPAP or certain surgical procedures
  • Easy to sleep in nearly any position when wearing an oral appliance
  • Simultaneously manage bruxism, clenching and TMJ disorders
  • Easy to travel
  • No need for any electricity
  • No noise

Is oral appliance therapy right for you? Contact Dr. Larry Pribyl at the Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment. Dr. Pribyl will recommend the best oral appliance for you in addition to other sleep apnea treatments if needed. Please call (816) 795-1000 to schedule an appointment today.