For a long time, there were only two options when it came to sleep apnea treatment. The first, and still the most often prescribed, is CPAP therapy. The other is corrective surgery. For those who don’t want to wear a loud, uncomfortable machine to bed every night or go through invasive oral surgery, The Columbus Sleep Center is able to offer a viable third option that is being used by more and more doctors around the country: oral appliance therapy.
With oral appliance therapy, all a patient has to do to get relief from their sleep apnea is wear a custom-made mouthguard to bed each night. It’s just that simple! The appliance gently shifts the jaw forward and keeps the tongue in a neutral position, and this prevents the airway from becoming blocked during the night. And, it is also effective at stopping snoring.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and still need treatment or simply want a CPAP alternative, this page will tell you everything you need to know about oral appliance therapy and how it can help you finally get the sleep you deserve.
Oral appliance therapy might be a good option for you if:
Oral appliance therapy utilizes the same basic principle as CPR: if the airway is blocked, a simple way to clear it is to shift the jaw forward. This is actually what our oral appliances do. This small movement prevents the soft tissues in the mouth and throat from relaxing into the airway, allowing a patient to breathe normally while they sleep. Other types of oral appliances also keep the tongue in a neutral position as well.
While most patients find oral appliance therapy to be much more comfortable compared to using a CPAP machine, there will still be a bit of an adjustment period when a person begins treatment. A patient may initially experience:
All of these will subside in time, but if they don’t, a patient can simply contact The Columbus Sleep Center to have their appliance adjusted.
Every oral appliance we provide is made for a specific patient. This is in order to ensure its comfort and effectiveness, as each patient’s teeth, mouth, and symptoms are different. Our oral appliances are manufactured by some of the most popular and trusted brands used today, and they are all made with only the most flexible and durable materials. When a patient comes to see us, we will discuss their different oral appliance options so they and Dr. Buck can select the one that is best for them.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM), and the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) are all longstanding professional organizations that set the standards for sleep apnea care here in the United States. They also provide continuing education, certifications, and training for both general doctors and dentists alike who want to become more familiar and skilled at helping people overcome sleep apnea.
Our own Dr. Eric Buck is currently a member of the AADSM, which has helped him stay on top of the latest breakthroughs in the field of sleep apnea treatment. He attends courses provided by them and other organizations every year in order to improve his knowledge and quality of care.
Each of these organizations has basic recommendations a patient should keep in mind if they are considering/using oral appliance therapy:
At The Columbus Sleep Center, we’re able to change people’s lives for the better every day thanks to oral appliance therapy. If you would be interested in using oral appliance therapy to treat your sleep apnea, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.