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Classic Smiles Team
|Oral Appliance Therapy
Here at Classic Smiles, we are specialists in Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). Oral appliance therapy is a treatment for sleep apnea and snoring. The treatment involves wearing a removable dental device when you sleep. The device resembles the mouthguard sports people use.
The collapse of the airway during sleep causes both sleep apnea and snoring. The airway collapses due to the wrong positioning of your tongue and jaw. OAT devices correct those two problems.
Generally, there are two types of OAT devices. The first type, which is very common, is mandibular advancement devices. They position your lower jaw correctly by slightly moving it forward and downward as you sleep. The other type is tongue retaining devices, which hold your tongue in a position that will keep your airway open. Our dental sleep experts will decide which device is perfect for you, depending on the cause and severity of your apnea.
There are hundreds of OAT devices available in the market. However, these off-the-shelf devices are not effective in treating sleep apnea. They will probably not fit perfectly in your mouth. An OAT device that is not a perfect fit will feel uncomfortable and move your teeth, which can have consequences as adverse as tooth loss.
Oral Appliance Therapy Treatment Plan
We have qualified and experienced sleep dentist specialists. During your first visit, our dentist will first determine whether OAT will be effective in treating your sleep apnea. Therefore, we first diagnose the severity of your sleep apnea using a sleep study.
After determining that OAT is the best treatment approach for you, we will discuss with you the benefits of the treatment, what to expect during the treatment and the cost of the treatment. Fortunately, many medical insurance policies cover oral appliance therapy.
We provide custom OAT devices. To do that, we examine your jaw, tongue, teeth, and airway. This evaluation will require CT scan images of your mouth. The purpose of these images is to help create perfect physical and digital models of your teeth. We send your models to a lab where our specialists make your appliance.
Once it is ready, we schedule a second visit for fitting. Our dentist will show you how to wear the device. Slight adjustments, such as smoothening the edges, may be required to maximize comfort. We also test the effectiveness of the device by conducting another sleep study. After making sure the device is both comfortable and effective, you can start using the device immediately.
Our sleep dentist will also schedule follow-up visits. During these visits, we confirm the device is still helping you and that it still fits comfortably. Note that these routine follow-up visits are crucial to the long-term success of the treatment.
Advantages of OAT devices
Our previous patients prefer oral appliance therapy devices because they are easy to wear. Also, they are easy to carry – they are small enough to fit in a bag or purse. The alternative is a CPAP device which is bulky. Most importantly, OAT devices take just a few weeks to get used to.
Are you interested in Oral Appliance Therapy? Alternatively, would you like to learn more? Call Classic Smiles at (407) 378-0139 now!