4 Keys to Success with Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea

Because sleep apnea is a serious medical condition, it has to be treated. But not all treatments for sleep apnea are effective. Although CPAP represents a nearly perfect cure for sleep apnea if it’s used, many people simply don’t use it. And that makes it a bad treatment for many people.

Oral appliances are better. They have a much higher compliance rate and may help people to get better results. But success with an oral appliance is not guaranteed. If you want to get good results with an oral appliance, it’s important to take the right approach. And now a new published review shows the factors that can make the difference for sleep apnea treatment with an oral appliance.

A man sleeping soundly thanks to his oral appliance

The Right Therapy for the Right Candidate

This is the most crucial point for any successful treatment: you have to find the right treatment for you. Although oral appliance therapy is a great option, it’s not the best option for everyone. You need to make sure you’re working with a sleep treatment professional who is open to all treatment options as appropriate. Some doctors either don’t know about the effectiveness of oral appliances or aren’t willing to consider them. You need to make sure that the doctor or dentist you’re working with is open to all reasonable treatment options.

And  you need to make sure that you’re being properly evaluated before you’re assigned a treatment. We perform careful evaluations of all our patients to make sure that they are getting the right treatment. That’s why our success rate for treatment with oral appliances is more than 90%.

Custom Crafted

When you’re just looking at the appliances, you might be fooled into thinking that an over-the-counter appliance is the same as the one you might get from your dentist. What you can’t see is the difference in fit and function between the two appliance.

Recent research has proven that non-custom appliances are ineffective for sleep apnea treatment. Relying on these types of appliances is essentially the same as not getting any treatment at all. The only effective sleep apnea appliance is one that is custom-crafted for you.

Comfort Matters

Part of the reason why people don’t use CPAP is that it’s uncomfortable. Facial irritation, feelings of claustrophobia, and dry throat are only a few of the discomforts that make people give up CPAP.

Oral appliances can be much more comfortable, but they aren’t always. You need to make sure that you’re getting a custom-crafted oral appliance that’s designed partly for your comfort. If your oral appliance isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to wear it, and if you don’t wear it, you won’t benefit from the treatment.

So it’s important to be engaged during the designing and fitting process so you can make sure your appliance fits you as it should. You should also make sure you understand how to address your appliance so you can make sure it stays comfortable.

Monitoring and Follow-Up

With any sleep apnea treatment, it’s important to make sure that it’s really working. You may feel relief from your sleep apnea symptoms, but the symptoms aren’t always the best indicator of treatment effectiveness. After all, if you had serious sleep apnea, even a partial reduction of the condition may make you feel much better, but our goal is to achieve the best results for you. This means that we have to periodically monitor the success of the treatment. This may even be mandated by your insurance company, if they’ve paid for the treatment.

Multidisciplinary Team

Sleep apnea is a complicated disorder, one that affects every system in your body. If you’re going to get successful sleep apnea treatment, you need to know that all members of your treatment team are able to work together effectively .

At the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center, we have extensive experience working with many types of health professionals around Omaha. Whether you’re getting a referral from your nephrologist or seeking sleep apnea treatment in support of weight loss efforts, you need to find someone who can work with your doctor in a cooperative, professional manner. We can do that the way few other practices in the nation are prepared to.

Are You Looking for Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment?

If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea in or around Omaha, we can help you find the treatment that best suits you, whether that’s an oral appliance, CPAP, or other treatment options.

And if you’re getting treatment with an oral appliance, we will work closely with you to make sure your treatment works.

To learn more about what sets us apart, please call (402) 493-4175 today for an appointment with a sleep dentist at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.