Oral appliance therapy offers many advantages for patients suffering from mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. By keeping the airway open, the appliance ensures that you have an adequate air intake. The most obvious advantage over other sleep apnea treatments is the convenience factor – being that the mouth guard-like appliance is small and portable, but oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea provides patients with over benefits, which include:
Comfort: Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP – the traditional method for treating sleep apnea, requires the use of a breathing mask and a machine. Some patients find the mask uncomfortable and can’t handle the feeling of forced air. Patients adjust to oral appliances fairly quickly. For most, it should only take a couple of weeks to become acclimated to the presence of the oral appliance.
Non-invasiveness: An oral appliance is far less intrusive than surgical procedures which are sometimes used to treat sleep apnea. However, it should be noted that for even greater results, an oral appliance can be used in conjunction with other treatments for sleep-related disorders.
Customization: The oral appliance is custom-made to fit the patient’s mouth, so it should be comfortable to wear while sleeping. Over-the-counter appliances are available, but they are not custom-made, so they are not typically recommended for effective treatment of sleep apnea.
By repositioning the tongue and soft palate and stabilizing the lower jaw, an oral appliance can help you to stop snoring, get enough oxygen, and sleep better. The benefits of a good night’s sleep are far-reaching and affect almost every area of life, from mental and emotional wellbeing to physical health. If you suffer from sleep apnea, and are looking for a better to treat the condition, contact Dr. Polancich today to see if you are a good candidate for an oral appliance.