Custom made oral appliances reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward during sleep to maintain an open airway. Dentists trained in dental sleep medicine know how to select, fabricate, fit and adjust these devices, which look like mouth guards, to help patients breathe freely during sleep. Follow-up visits and post-adjustment sleep studies help dentists determine if oral appliance therapy is effectively treating their patient’s sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy is indicated for mild to moderate OSA patients if they prefer it to Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP), the standard treatment therapy, cannot tolerate CPAP, or are unable to use positional therapy or weight loss to control their apnea. Oral appliances are also recommended for severe OSA patients if they cannot tolerate CPAP. Patients with severe OSA should always try CPAP before considering Oral Appliance Therapy.