We see many patients who suffer from sleep apnea here at Owego Dental in Owego, NY. Patients usually visit us after being told by their doctor that getting a sleep apnea dental appliance can help treat their apnea.
At Owego Dental, many of our patients have questions about these appliances. We are always happy to answer any treatment questions from patients so that they can have a clear understanding of their options.
Most people who have sleep apnea have airways that are too small or ones that collapse during sleep. Enlarged soft tissue can also cause sleep apnea. You may have heard of central sleep apnea, but that’s rare as most sleep apnea cases are due to airway issues.
A dental appliance is a lot like a retainer. You put it in your mouth while you sleep to keep your airway open. It positions the jaw in a way that maintains the patency of the airway and keeps it from closing throughout the night.
Our dentist creates custom made appliances for patients who come to see us. We don’t recommend using an over-the-counter appliance as it can make the apnea worse if it’s too large or doesn’t fit properly. You’ll want any appliances you put in your mouth to fit perfectly, or else it may prevent you from being able to sleep properly.
CPAP is one of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea. It can be argued that it’s also the most effective. It’s usually reserved for severe cases or for patients who haven’t gotten better with other treatments like dental appliances.
The problem with CPAP devices is that they’re uncomfortable, and sleeping while using them is hard for many patients. That’s why we don’t rely on them from the start.
Oral appliances are a great solution for patients who have mild sleep apnea. They can treat the condition. The appliances aren’t expensive and what’s great about them is that you can take them with you wherever you go since they’re so small and portable.