Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that affects 10% of American men and 6% of American women over the age of 40 every year. Moreover, beyond the specification of age, it is approximated that one in every five women and one if every three men share the disorder.
How To Fix It
There are a number of dental devices Spanish Trail Dentistry recommends using to treat sleep apnea.
In order to open up airways, most of these devices work to separate the jaws and push them forward. This slight repositioning allows a greater flow of oxygen into the body. As a result, sleep apnea patients experience less snoring, feel more energetic in the daytime and have much more comfortable, restful nights.
Sleep apnea devices fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable, and they offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). See below for a full list of different dental devices that can be offered as treatment.
***Note – sleep apnea appliances work best when patients are not significantly overweight.
Types Of Sleep Apnea Appliances
TAP® 3 (Thornton Adjustable Positioner)
The TAP® 3 is a two-part, custom-made sleep apnea device that fits over the teeth like a sports mouthguard. The TAP® 3 pushes the jaw forward to prevent the tongue and soft tissues from blocking the airway. The appliance can accommodate for the three main types of malocclusion, and allows the lips to fully close. The lower jaw positioner can also be adjusted in accordance with the wearer’s comfort level.
The OASYS appliance is designed to move the base of the tongue forward by gently repositioning the jawbone. This shift opens up the oropharynx – strengthening the upper airway. An extension of the upper shield on the device projects towards the nose, creating a larger nasal opening and less resistance to normal airflow. Overall, the OASYS is comfortable to wear, adjustable and extremely patient friendly.
The KlearwayTM Appliance is typically used to treat people with obstructive sleep disorders and loud snoring problems. By using the Klearway,TM the patient’s dentist can project their jaw forwards in increments of .25mm at a time. This ensures maximum comfort for the sleeper. The appliance is made from VariflexTM heat softening acrylic, which makes it easier to insert. Running warm water over the KlearwayTM makes it flexible, but once placed in the desired position, the acrylic hardens again – keeping it secure.
Herbst Telescopic Appliance
The Herbst appliance is made of acrylic, and contains adjustable metal wiring. It is held inside the mouth by means of several clasps and friction grips. One of the advantages of this appliance is that the wearer is able to move about vertically and laterally without dislodging it. The Herbst is usually used to treat mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, and can also alleviate loud snoring problems.
Beginning Your Treatment
If you have any questions or concerns about sleep apnea or treatment via dental appliances, please don’t hesitate to contact our Pensacola, FL office. The caring team at Spanish Trail Dentistry is happy to be there for you and all of your dental needs!