If you are one of 90 million American adults who snore, or one of 18 million Americans affected by sleep apnea, you might be surprised when your doctor sends you to the dentist to address your nighttime breathing issues.
Dentists work closely with physicians to treat both snoring and sleep apnea, often using oral appliance therapy. If your doctor decides that you will benefit from oral appliance therapy, you’ll receive a prescription for a custom-made device. The appliance will fit like a sports mouth-guard or an orthodontic retainer, and you’ll wear it only during sleep
Over 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance, but most of them fall into one of two categories:
Tongue retaining appliances – These prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues – thus keeping the airways open.
Mandibular repositioning appliances – These support the jaw in a position that helps maintain open airways.
If you are in the San Diego or Southern California area, come to Town Center Dentistry to discuss your options. We will conduct an evaluation to help determine the most appropriate oral appliance for you. This will include examinations of your teeth, jaw, tongue, and airways. We may also perform X-rays of your mouth if necessary.
Once we have chosen the best oral appliance for you, we will customize your selection using physical impressions as well as models of your teeth. These will go to a lab, where your oral appliance will be made specifically for you and the contours of your mouth. After the lab has completed the appliance, you will return to our office for a fitting, during which we will make necessary adjustments until you are satisfied with the fit and feel. We will also provide you with instructions on the care and maintenance of your oral appliance.
In order to verify the success of your treatment, your doctor may require that you participate in a sleep study. Be sure to schedule follow-up visits with both your doctor and your dental professional at Town Center Dentistry.
Oral appliance therapy is not the right solution for everyone. But those who use it successfully appreciate their appliance for its comfort, ease-of-use, and portability.
If you are in the San Diego area and your doctor has prescribed you with oral appliance therapy, our dental professionals at Town Center Dentistry are here for you. We’ll help you find the appliance that fits you most comfortably and works with optimum effectiveness so you can get back to sleeping the way you were meant to.