If you’re not getting enough benefit from your CPAP machine, don’t like the hassle or are frankly trying to avoiding getting one of these cumbersome and complicated machines, there may be an alternative for you. If you have mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea, an oral appliance from Brighton Dental in San Diego could be a smart alternative to a CPAP.
You see, a CPAP machine isn’t the only way to treat some people’s sleep apnea. Your condition may respond to a change in sleeping position or to losing weight. A sleep apnea appliance may also be right for you.
This type of oral appliance is a small piece of plastic that you wear inside your mouth as you sleep – similar in many ways to a retainer or mouth guard. This device can keep your tongue where it should be and raise the soft tissue of the throat out of the way to prevent snoring and airway obstructions that are part of sleep apnea. You can even use a sleep apnea appliance along with a CPAP or other treatments recommended by your doctor.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding if a sleep apnea device could be right for you:
• This device can help you if you’re not a good candidate for behavior modification like weight loss or sleep position change.
• This device may be able to help you if you have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea but in these cases is usually used along with a CPAP machine for best results.
• If you refuse to use a CPAP or can’t get along with one of these machines, a sleep apnea appliance is another option you can try if your doctor approves its use.
• If you turn down surgical intervention for sleep apnea, you may get benefit from a sleep apnea device from Dr. Woods.
A Custom, Professional Fitting Is Essential
Some items on the over-the-counter market are marketed as sleep apnea devices. But we can’t recommend those. Research and our own experiences here at Brighton Dental have shown that a custom fitting and professional assistance is essential to the effectiveness of a sleep appliance.
The process begins with a diagnosis and recommendation from a certified sleep specialist or other medical doctor. Then a dental sleep specialist with specific training and familiarity with a wide range of devices can work with you.
Patience is required, because the process of arriving at the right device for you can take weeks or even, unfortunately, months. After an exam, a device type is chosen, there is a fitting and the device is adapted as necessary. Then follow-up care is essential over both the long and short term.
But the effort can be worth it, because sleep apnea devices are:
• small and easy to travel with
• non-invasive, and
Dr. Woods and our team can help you decide if you would benefit most from a tongue retaining device, mandibular repositioning appliance or another type of sleep apnea appliance. There’s a wide range of choices and brands, and each device is custom-designed based on your needs and then carefully adjusted by our team to make sure it fits exactly and performs its function as well as possible.
As with everything at Brighton Dental, we can help you without causing you pain, discomfort, embarrassment or hassles.
Learn more about this topic by reading our Sleep Apnea Appliances page.
And contact us to learn more about dealing with your sleep problems and obstructive airway conditions with dental devices. It’s a whole world of solutions you may not yet have considered. And we’re here for you.