There are hundreds of sleep apnea appliances on the market and there are some significant differences. Many are large and bulky on the tongue side, meaning they are pressing the tongue back towards the airway simply by putting the appliance in place. This is a huge advantage of the Micro2, which has no material on the tongue side.
Another advantage of the Micro2 is the wing design. Instead of being angulated at a 45 degree angle, it is 90-degrees, which prevents the jaw from slipping back when the patient opens their mouth a bit during the night. Opening of the mouth at night further closes the airway which contradicts the purpose of a sleep appliance.
The Micro2 is also computer milled as opposed to resin made which makes it stronger and easier to keep clean as well. For those dentists who have digital impression scanners, the records and bite can be saved digitally. This means, if the patient does lose one, it can be remade without starting over.
Additionally, the Micro2 is two pieces, so it allows some movement as opposed to locking the teeth in place. The weak link in many appliances is the part where the appliances can be adjusted and the metal is in this area. There are no metal parts in the Micro2.
Another factor to consider with any appliance is the bite. Many appliances simply move the jaw forward and hope to correct the sleep apnea. This can lead to further TMJ problems and even the inability to get the back teeth together over time. Taking a physiologic bite using computers to see the EMG (muscle readings) and placing the bite in the best physiologic position as opposed to simply moving the jaw forward can enhance long term results and is most often more comfortable for the patient.
If you have any questions regarding the sleep apnea dental appliances, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, FIAPA, 713-668-2289