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The Benefits of a Dental Appliance for Sleep Apnea

man snoring in bedIf you have sleep apnea, chances are pretty good that you’ve tried using a CPAP machine. While some patients can successfully use this treatment, others abandon it because it can be cumbersome and uncomfortable. For patients who can’t tolerate CPAP, dental appliances for sleep apnea can often be an effective, more comfortable alternative.

In this blog, sleep specialist Dr. Marc Levin of eos dental sleep explains the benefits of dental appliances for treating sleep apnea.

What is a dental appliance for sleep apnea?

A dental appliance for sleep apnea is a mouth guard-like device that’s worn only when you sleep. It’s custom-made and fit by your doctor by using a plastic-like mold that forms to the unique shape of your mouth and teeth.

What is it used for?

This type of dental appliance is used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Since sleep apnea is caused by an obstructed airway, a dental appliance is effective because it helps keep your airway open.

The following are the main types of dental appliances for sleep apnea:

  • Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) – advances the tongue and soft tissue of the throat while coaxing the lower jaw gently forward to open up the airway
  • Tongue Retaining Device – uses suction to keep the tongue from collapsing backward during sleep and obstructing the airway

These devices are often used when a patient can’t tolerate a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. CPAP delivers a steady stream of air through a mask that’s worn over your nose and mouth, and many patients have trouble wearing it comfortably. While it can be very effective, it needs to be used every night, and some patients stop using it completely due to discomfort.

What are the benefits?

The following are some common benefits of dental appliances:

  • Non-invasive – It requires no surgery or invasive procedure.
  • Better compliance - Many people who can’t tolerate a CPAP machine are able to use a dental appliance.
  • Effective - They’re effective in reducing symptoms associated with snoring and sleep apnea.
  • Very portable – Unlike the machine, tubes, and mask associated with CPAP, oral appliances for sleep apnea are small enough to fit into your pocket.
  • Easy to clean – There’s no tubing to worry about cleaning.
  • Quiet – Some CPAP machines can be noisy, but this isn’t an issue with oral appliances.
  • Comfortable – Most patients find oral appliances to be quite comfortable and easy to wear.
  • Less noticeable – Your bed partner won’t be able to see your appliance unless you have your mouth open.

Where can you find a dental appliance for sleep apnea?

At eos dental sleep, the top priority is helping patients get the restorative sleep they need. Dr. Levin and his staff don’t take a “one size fits all” approach to sleep apnea treatment since they realize that not everyone can use CPAP. They specialize in personalized care and in creating the type of dental appliance that suits your needs while being comfortable and easy to wear.

If you’re snoring or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, make an appointment today with eos dental sleep In Philadelphia, PA. We’re committed to helping you improve your sleep and quality of life.