Snoring and sleep apnea are areas where dental sleep appliances or oral appliances have been able to help patients with the noise of snoring and with their overall health. Many patients are unable sleep with CPAP machines and are looking for alternatives to CPAP.
The media is constantly featuring articles and television ads with new products to sell to the consumers for these problems. For some reason, the use of oral appliances, rarely seems to get mentioned. Drugs, CPAP and surgical intervention techniques are most often mentioned. There is even a company working on a type of cannabis to supposedly help sleep. All these are aimed at helping patients get a good night’s sleep which is essential to overall health and well-being.
Oral sleep appliances, which are often overlooked can help get patients off CPAP machines and off drugs, when properly designed and proper types of appliances are used. These are non-invasive and successful for many patients. It is essential that dentists utilize home monitors to ensure the sleep apnea is corrected. It is also important for all patients to followup with their sleep physicians and utilize a final PSG with them if this is their recommendation.
There are probably over 100 different appliances on the market and not “one size fits all”. There have also been some nice advancements in the technology that has helped their effectiveness. As recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, be sure to see a dentist trained and with special interest in TMJ and sleep dentistry.