Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Indications for Oral Appliance Therapy:

• Loud snoring
• Mild to moderate OSA
• Some cases of severe OSA
• C-PAP Frustration
• Failure of UPPP Surgery
• Alternative to surgery
• Travel

What is an Oral Appliance

An oral appliance for snoring & sleep apnea is a small custom made Medically Prescribed dental device, similar to a removable orthodontic retainer. It is worn, in the mouth, during sleep to improve the function of the upper airway by increasing its size and reducing its collapsibility. Some oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward during sleep while others have a direct effect on tongue position. Oral appliances for snoring and sleep apnea work by improving the passage of air flow, in the oral cavity and by preventing the tongue from collapsing against the back of the throat. Narrowing of the airway produces Snoring and collapse causes obstructive Sleep Apnea. Although oral appliances are not appropriate for everyone, a properly selected well-made, well-fitted appliance will reduce or eliminate snoring, and may significantly relieve symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

What can a small dental appliance do for you?

• Ensure a good night’s sleep for your bed partner and that you spend the night in the same room
• Help prevent heart disease, sudden cardiac death, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, memory loss and even erectile dysfunction
• Help prevent driving and work-related accidents caused by the excessive daytime sleepiness related to sleep apnea
• Provide an alternative for the 25 – 50% of people with sleep apnea who cannot tolerate or would rather not use a C-PAP device

Are oral appliances effective?

Oral appliance Therapy was first utilized in the 1930’s to help people breathe during sleep. By the 1980’s, dentists and physicians began to seriously study the effectiveness of oral appliances to treat snoring and sleep apnea and found them to be effective in many, but not all cases. Recent studies show properly designed, fitted and adjusted oral appliances to be extremely effective in treating snoring, mild to moderate sleep apnea and many cases of severe sleep apnea and C-PAP Intolerance.

Over the last decade, there has been a significant expansion of the evidence base to support the use of oral appliances, with robust studies demonstrating their efficacy. The practice parameters of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend their use for mild-to-moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or for patients with severe OSA who are unable to tolerate C-PAP or refuse treatment with C-PAP. Recently published research (Thorax, April 1997) establishes dental appliances as the first line of treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. Ten out of eleven patients successfully treated with both the C-PAP and a dental appliance preferred the dental appliance as their long term treatment option. Oral appliances have been shown to have a beneficial impact on a number of important clinical end points, including the polysomnographic indexes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, subjective and objective measures of sleepiness, BP, aspects of neuro-psychological functioning, and quality of life. Elucidation of the mechanism of action of oral appliances has provided insight into the factors that predict treatment response and may improve the selection of patients for this treatment modality. Although less efficacious than a C-PAP machine for improving the polysomnographic indexes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, oral appliances are generally preferred by patients. This has the potential to translate to better patient compliance and may provide an equivalent health outcome.

Are all Oral Appliances effective ?

No. There is a wide range of devices available, some of which are non custom-made or adjustable. Boil and self fit appliances, available from TV or the internet are uncomfortable, ineffective and can cause serious tooth movement and jaw problems. The unique medically prescribed custom made design of appliances prescribed by Indy Snore Crushers greatly enhances comfort, with clinical experience and research backing their effectiveness. Properly designed oral appliances are comfortable, effective and result in minimal side effects which are easily managed.

Seek a Trained Specialist in Dental Sleep Medicine

There are many different kinds of oral appliances and patients should work closely with a dental sleep medicine professional with experience and advanced training in dental sleep medicine, TMJ facial pain disorders and dental facial orthopedics. Indy Snore Crushers selects the most appropriate appliance for each individual patient, properly fits it and helps you adjust the appliance (titrate) to the most effective jaw position. Appliance adjustment is the art and science of dental sleep medicine and the most critical element of success. Dr. Gillum effectively treats his own moderately severe sleep apnea, with a Somnodent oral appliance. His knowledge and personal experience carefully guides each patient to a successful outcome. Dr. Gillum utilizes several durable FDA approved appliances that he has personally used to treat his own sleep apnea.  He will tell you exactly what to expect through each stage of your experience with oral appliance therapy.

Is there a guarantee of success?

No one can predict with 100% success that an oral appliance will work in every situation. With our sophisticated computer assisted pharynometry evaluation of your airway function combined with our clinical experience we are able to select patients with a high degree of predictability that will be successful with our treatment. Success usually depends on the severity of sleep apnea. Patients with moderately severe or severe sleep apnea, who cannot tolerate C-PAP, may not see as complete resolution of their apnea as someone with less severe apnea. The good news is these patients do generally feel better with a reduction of their snoring and improvement of health problems. With careful coaching these patients can become more active and find success with losing weight. This will almost universally result with lowering their level of apnea and improving the success of oral appliance therapy.

To find out if oral appliance therapy is right for you,
contact Indy Snore Crushers in Greenwood, IN today to see if you qualify or Oral Appliance Therapy