Dental devices come in all shapes and sizes and serve different purposes. While hearing the phrase “dental device” might initially call to mind orthodontic appliances or dentures, another type of dental device is an oral appliance that’s used to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at how this type of device works and explain four reasons why choosing a dental device for snoring may be a great option for patients who suffer from chronic snoring or sleep apnea.
How does a dental device for snoring work?
A dental device for snoring is similar in appearance to a mouth guard you might wear during sports. It’s a flexible, custom-made appliance that is designed based on bite impressions that are taken by a dental sleep specialist. While there are a few different styles of snoring dental devices available, the most commonly used types are mandibular advancement and tongue-retaining devices.
A dental device for snoring works by repositioning the jaw and/or tongue in order to increase the size of the airway and help prevent any partial or complete obstructions from occurring during sleep. Since the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat are two leading causes of a blocked airway during sleep, a dental device for snoring effectively repositions and stabilizes these elements in the mouth, making it less likely that either will interfere with breathing or cause intense vibrations that produce the snoring sound. Simply put, it’s a small device that can make a big difference not only in how you breathe during sleep, but the quality of your sleep as well.
Why should I choose a dental device for snoring?
There are several advantages of choosing oral appliance therapy. Here are four reasons to choose a dental device for snoring:
- Non-Invasive Snoring Treatment – A dental device for snoring involves no invasive procedure or complex surgery to achieve symptom relief.
- Effective CPAP Alternative – Oral appliance therapy is a great alternative to CPAP for patients who are not compliant with the mask or are simply CPAP intolerant. It allows you to break free from the mask and all of the common complaints associated with it.
- Adjustment Period is Short – Most patients get used to the device within a night or two of wearing it.
- Easy to Wear & Convenient to Travel With – The device is only used when you sleep and its small and sleek design means that it’s hardly detectable when you’re wearing it. Additionally, it’s easy to travel with and doesn’t involve lugging around any bulky equipment.
For all of these reasons, it may come as no surprise that approximately 80% of patients who use a dental device for snoring report wearing the appliance on a nightly basis, compared to the less than 50% of patients prescribed CPAP who report using the device as directed.
Am I a candidate for a dental device for snoring?
Patients who snore on a regular basis or have been diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea are all potentially good candidates for a dental device for snoring. The appliance is usually most effective for patients whose snoring is specifically caused by tongue obstruction or a narrow airway. It’s important to note that using a dental device for snoring doesn’t limit your other treatment options, including lifestyle modifications and even minimally invasive or surgical procedures.
The best way to determine whether this treatment option is worth pursuing is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Carmine Morreale. Dr. Morreale completed his Dental Sleep Medicine Residency at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where he has taught since 1986 in the Department of Prosthetic Dentistry.
Looking for a dental device for snoring and sleep apnea in Boston?
If you live in the Boston area and are looking to get more information or schedule your consultation for oral appliance therapy, Boston Center for Oral Health is here to help. You can get started by filling out the schedule appointment form right on this page or by contacting our office. We look forward to helping you achieve the restful and restorative night’s sleep that you’ve been missing.
If you’re still not convinced that snoring is impacting your quality of sleep and your quality of life, take our short Snore Quiz to see how severe your problem is and whether you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea.