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 – The EMA (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) custom appliance opens the bite and gently moves the mandible forward to open the airway.
  • Herbst Sleep Appliance – The Herbst sleep oral appliance is effective for treating snoring, bruxism, and mild to moderate sleep apnea.
  • Moses Sleep Appliance – The Moses sleep appliance uses an open anterior design coupled with mandibular advancement to protrude the tongue and open the airway. Patients can easily talk, close their lips, drink, or open their mouth wide while wearing this appliance.
  • 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 who have narrow arches and find other oral appliances uncomfortable.
  • SAUD 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.
  • SomnoDent – This custom-fitted oral appliance pushes the lower jaw forward and prevents your throat tissue and tongue from collapsing and blocking the airway.
  • MicrO2 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.
  • TAP Airway Management – TAP custom appliances have over a 90% success rate treating sleep apnea conditions. They come in many different hardware choices that offer different levels of comfort.
  • 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.

We will choose the best device for you depending on what type of symptoms you experience, the severity of your condition, and if any other underlying conditions occur.

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.