Treat Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliance Therapy in Lincoln, Nebraska
Today, many patients suffering from sleep apnea still believe that traditional CPAP treatment is the only solution available to them. This simply isn’t the case any longer,– in fact, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that a customized oral appliance from a trained dental professional should be the first line of defense for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you’ve proven to be intolerant to CPAP treatment, please let Dr. Claire Haag and our Lincoln team know – we’d love to help you sleep through the night with the convenience and comfort of oral appliance therapy.
Is Oral Appliance Therapy Right For Me?
Oral appliance therapy is a strong alternative to CPAP if the patient fits any of the following guidelines:
- If the patient has tried CPAP and is shown to be intolerant/noncompliant.
- If the patient is experiencing a mild to moderate stage of sleep apnea.
- If the patient suffers from loud, chronic snoring but not sleep apnea.
- If the patient travels regularly and is in need of a more convenient and portable treatment option.
- If the patient has severe sleep apnea and requires combined oral appliance and CPAP therapy.
- If the patient has undergone surgery and is still unable to find relief from sleep apnea.
A Worthwhile Alternative to CPAP
Oral appliance therapy relies on the same initial step as CPR – the airway has to be cleared by moving the jaw in a more forward position. Your custom-made oral appliance from Dr. Claire will accomplish this, helping to prevent sleep apnea episodes throughout the night as patients rest easy. Your device will be comfortable, as well as convenient to remove, clean, and travel with. Patients who’ve struggled with CPAP treatment in the fast typically find that oral appliance therapy is a much-improved alternative!
Potential Side-Effects from Oral Appliance Therapy
While oral appliance therapy is usually less uncomfortable and easier to adjust to than CPAP treatment, patients may still experience some minor issues in the beginning of their treatment. These should end within a week or two of diligent use, and they include:
- A change in the way your bite feels when it fits together
- Teeth and/or gums that seem sore
- A change in your saliva production (either too much or too little)
- Jaw discomfort and/or tension
The AADSM and the AASM’S Guidelines
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) are both organizations that have defined the standards of sleep apnea care, from prevention to diagnostic intervention to treatment. As one of only two dentists in all of Nebraska who is a Diplomate of the AADSM, Dr. Claire strives to exceed patient expectations by utilizing these organizations’ guidance, and continuing education opportunities whenever possible.
According to the AASM and the AADSM, patients are strongly recommended to seek out oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea treatment under the following guidelines:
- Patients need to have a customized oral appliance created by a trusted and experienced dental professional instead of utilizing a non-custom appliance. This will improve comfort, effectiveness, and overall compliance with treatment.
- Patients who struggle with chronic snoring but aren’t currently experiencing sleep apnea can still enjoy benefits from oral appliance therapy. Diligent use can help prevent the future development of sleep apnea and result in much more restful sleep overall.
- If a patient is intolerant, constantly traveling, or unable to properly use their CPAP system for another reason, physicians are strongly urged to refer them to a trained dentist for the design and creation of a custom oral appliance therapy. By working together as a team, the doctor and physician can ensure the highest chances of successful treatment.
- Patients who have been fitted for an oral appliance need to visit their dentist for routine follow-up care. They will be able to ensure the device’s comfort, make any necessary adjustments, and offer additional guidance if needed.
- Once the patient has started using their customized oral appliance, it’s important for them to return to their primary physician or a sleep specialist for sleep testing. This will allow the doctor to determine the effectiveness of oral appliance therapy.
- In general, patients should create a plan for routine follow-up care with both their physician and their dentist. This will help maintain successful, long-lasting improvement in their condition.
At the Dental Sleep Apnea Center at Pioneer Greens Dentistry, Dr. Claire and the rest of our team take pride in being able to provide patients with real, lasting relief from their sleep apnea symptoms through oral appliance therapy and combined therapy. Are you interested in learning more? Are you ready to schedule a complimentary consultation? Better sleep awaits – contact our Lincoln, NE office today! We enjoy seeing patients from Denton, NE and surrounding areas.