Obstructive sleep apnea is a common nighttime condition that affects millions of Americans. Unfortunately, because the symptoms happen mostly at night, those who have it may not even realize it! At Kellerman Dental, serving the Troy, Illinois, area, our dentists can evaluate you to determine if you have this condition and then make appropriate recommendations for treatment to improve your daily quality of life. One of these recommendations may be oral appliance therapy.
What is oral appliance therapy, and how does it work for obstructive sleep apnea?
Most doctors who diagnose a patient with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, will often recommend a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. This device provides pressurized air to the nose and mouth during sleep. It helps keep the airways open by preventing them from collapsing, which in turn helps to reduce snoring and blockages that cause the common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.
However, many patients find CPAP machines too uncomfortable or loud to use. For those patients, an alternative treatment is available in the form of oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is a customized oral device that fits comfortably over the teeth and holds the lower jaw in a more forward position. This keeps the airways open, allowing for better breathing during sleep without needing a CPAP machine.
Who can benefit from an oral appliance for sleep apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is often recommended as an alternative to CPAP machines when those devices prove too difficult for patients to use. In addition, oral appliance therapy is also often the first line of treatment for mild to moderate cases of OSA, as it is less intrusive than a CPAP and generally more comfortable for the patient. Oral appliance therapy may also be used in combination with other treatments for OSA, such as lifestyle changes or CPAP machines, to help reduce symptoms even further if recommended by our team at Kellerman Dental.
What are the primary benefits of oral appliance therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive, comfortable treatment option for many of our patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. It is also portable and easy to use, making it an ideal solution for those who have difficulty using CPAP machines or adjusting to more common lifestyle changes recommended by Drs. Kevin Kellerman, Caroline Connolly, Jessica Wen, Jesse Snyder, and Brenton Ruopp. Additionally, oral appliance therapy can help reduce snoring and improve the quality of your sleep each night, even if you do not have an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis but deal with chronic snoring.
Is there a dentist near me that offers oral appliance therapy?
If you have a definitive diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea but want to avoid the use of the dreaded CPAP machine, our dentists will recommend learning more about oral appliance therapy as an alternative.
Call our office at (618) 228-3100 to request an appointment at our facility, located conveniently in Suite 101 at 16 Junction Drive West.
We are open to new patients and families and can educate you further on your options for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea!