Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea
Not all therapies are created equal when it comes to the treatment of sleep apnea, but oral appliance therapy can be the best treatment option for patients with sleep apnea who cannot tolerate a CPAP mask. In fact, according to ongoing research over the past decade, oral appliance therapy may be equally effective in treating minor to moderate sleep apnea in patients who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea as well as for patients with more severe obstructive sleep apnea who are unable to tolerate the CPAP mask.
What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is the use of a custom-fit mouthpiece that adjusts the structure of your mouth when you sleep to maintain an airway. Oral appliances are custom fit to the patient using dental impressions. There are two types of mouthpieces: a tongue retaining device, which holds the tongue in a forward position by means of suction; and a mandibular advancement device (MAD), which advances the tongue and soft tissues of the throat to open up the airway, while also repositioning the lower jaw.
How Does the Oral Appliance Work?
The appliance is quite similar to a retainer. When worn at night while you are sleeping, it prevents the tongue and soft tissue from collapsing in the back of the throat so that your airway is not blocked. It can help eliminate snoring and ensure you maintain adequate oxygen levels throughout the night. Oral appliance therapy can be used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with surgical treatment. Dr. Marc Levin is specially trained in oral appliance therapy and experienced with prescribing various types of oral appliances. He will be able to determine which appliance is best suited for your specific needs.
Am I a Good Candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy?
If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, or if you have severe obstructive sleep apnea but cannot tolerate a CPAP mask, oral appliance therapy may be the most effective treatment available.
If you are interested in learning more about oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea in Philadelphia, schedule an appointment today.