Dental Appliances to Help with Snoring and Sleep Apnoea
Mandibular advancement devices work by preventing the lower jaw from falling backwards during sleep. When the lower jaw is positioned forwards, the tongue is held forwards, and the collapse of the soft palate is prevented and the upper airway space is maintained.
The use of these appliances is simple, non-invasive, reversible and cost-effective and may be the basis of definitive lifelong treatment.
Are dental sleeping appliances successful?
Success depends on many factors, but in this practice success rates of over 90% have been reported in the treatment of simple snoring.
Are sleep apnoea and snoring worth treating?
Yes. The quality of sleep will be improved for you and for your partner. Many patients report increased energy levels and a decrease in day-time tiredness.
Untreated OSA is linked to many potentially serious medical conditions and can lead to stroke, heart disease and even nocturnal mortality in severe cases.
Can dental appliances help in all sleep disorder cases?
The effectiveness of dental appliances depends on several factors, the severity of the sleep disorder, weight, skeletal factors, airway anatomy and your tolerance of the appliance. Your medical history, as well as cigarette and alcohol consumption, is also relevant.
The appliances are generally prescribed for simple snoring and mild OSA. However, they can also be used to treat moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea an alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery.
What is the procedure?
Dental appliances are only provided after detailed examination and screening. A specialist medical examination may be needed, involving overnight monitoring to evaluate your sleep cycle, possible breathing problems, the degree of snoring and the severity of any sleep apnoea.
How easily do people adapt to mandibular advancement devices?
Most patients adapt to the dental appliance in a few weeks. Long-term problems are rare, but jaw joint problems and unwanted movement of teeth have been reported. For this reason, it is important that there is no evidence of gum disease and/or untreated dental disease.
Are there any patients for whom dental appliance therapy may not be appropriate?
These appliances are not appropriate for patients with poorly controlled epilepsy. Patients must have enough teeth in both the upper and lower jaws to hold the appliance in place. At least 8 healthy teeth in each jaw are needed.
What are the fees likely to be?
There are a number of devices of differing design, made by different laboratories. The fees vary from £1,500.00 to £2,500.00.