What is sleep apnea dental appliance? In sleep apnea, the muscles in the throat may relax too much, which narrows the airway significantly. The tongue may also collapse, or fold back, thereby closing off the air passage and disturbing the normal flow of breathing. This is a severe condition, one that may affect vital organs like the brain and heart.
Sleep apnea dental appliance have been proven to provide positive results in sleep apnea patients by controlling the movement of the tongue or by repositioning the lower jaw to allow the airways to stay open. Sometimes, all a person may need is a sleep apnea dental appliance to help their sleep apnea symptoms, but most often, they are used in conjunction with a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine. To determine if a sleep apnea dental appliance is right for you, both your medical doctor and your dentist should evaluate your condition. However, it’s important that you choose a dentist that has experience in fitting these oral appliances. Not every dentist does, and a poorly fitted appliance may cause additional problems.
Types of sleep apnea dental appliance
With over forty different types of sleep apnea dental appliance available to help sleep apnea symptoms, you may feel overwhelmed at first. But your dentist will tell you that the principles used in these devices fall into two general categories, which should make your selection much easier. Basically, oral appliances are classified by how they work or by their specific design.
Tongue retaining appliances and mandibular repositioning appliances are the two most widely used sleep apnea dental appliance. You are going to have the basic idea of how they work because their names are descriptive. How a tongue retaining appliance works is a retainer holds the tongue in a forward position, which prevents the back of the tongue from collapsing during sleep. The next device places the lower jaw in a protruded position to maintain the airway open at all time. Success rate in treating sleep apnea patients with both of these oral appliances have been promising.
This step in getting a sleep apnea dental appliance cannot be stressed enough. The dentist you select must have specific knowledge in this area. Your nasal passages and airways will be completely examined with a diagnostic tool that uses sound waves. This will give the dentist a complete picture and will enable the sleep apnea dental appliance to be correctly fitted.