If you have sleep apnea – or know someone who does – you know the frustrations and risks associated with getting restful sleep and snoring. But dealing with a clunky Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine can be complicated and inconvenient. You have to deal with hoses, monitor air pressure and hope the mask doesn’t leak. Plus, it’s often hard to fall asleep. Isn’t there a better way?
Fortunately there is. In fact, there are more than 80 different oral devices to treat sleep apnea and snoring, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. These sleep apnea appliances are often smaller, simpler and easier to wear than CPAP machines, but just as effective at fighting sleep apnea.
The two main types are tongue-retaining appliances and mandibular repositioning appliances and both are effective at clearing the airway:
• Tongue-Retaining Appliances: Featuring a soft material that can be customized for any mouth, tongue-retaining appliances focus on keeping the tongue forward and out of the airway. It accomplishes this with a suction compartment that fits around the tongue and is about the same size as a mouthguard.
• Mandibular Repositioning Appliances: These devices can also be custom-made and treat sleep apnea by repositioning the lower jaw to clear the airway. They have a snug but comfortable fit and feature an adjustable mechanism to give each mouth a unique position. One of the most popular of these devices is the Modified Herbst™ Sleep Appliance, which is smaller than most devices and has a long lifespan. The Modified Herbst is also super-versatile, allowing jaw movement in all directions and letting you do things like take medications, use inhalers and even talk.
According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, 25 to 50 percent of sleep apnea patients can’t comply with or tolerate CPAP machines and depend on these types of oral devices.
Schedule a complimentary sleep apnea consultation with Lebowitz Dental today.