Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). An oral appliance fits over your teeth like an orthodontic retainer while you sleep and supports your jaw gently forward to keep your airway open. By doing this, it prevents the collapse of the airway, helping alleviate snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. This custom-fit oral appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.
After evaluation and a sleep study, if your doctor determines you are a candidate for oral appliance therapy, you will return to us for a custom-fit, FDA-cleared oral appliance. We will work with your medical insurance, including Medicare, to determine and maximize your coverage. We will ensure proper fit and maximum effectiveness, and provide ongoing treatment to make sure your appliance remains comfortable and effective for you.
OAT can help improve OSA-associated issues such as high blood pressure, fatigue and fatigue-related accidents, and cardiovascular mortality. It can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with CPAP.
Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy is an effective, FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for sleep apnea and snoring that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
- Effective treatment for sleep apnea and snoring
- Covered by most medical insurance including Medicare
- Easy to wear
- Easy to care for
Treating your snoring or obstructive sleep apnea can make you feel like a new person. You will find that your quality of life can improve dramatically when you remain committed to your treatment and use it nightly. OAT can help you sleep better, have more energy, and feel sharper throughout the day. You may find that your bed partner begins to sleep better, too.
Treating sleep apnea promotes a healthier heart, body, and mind. You can improve your sleep and your health.
Is a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance Right for You?
What is a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance?
A sleep apnea oral appliance is a custom-crafted mouthpiece worn at night to improve breathing for sleep apnea patients. It can be an alternative to CPAP therapy or surgery if your physician recommends you as a candidate for this treatment
How Do Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances Work?
Any sleep apnea therapy aims to keep the airways open for safe breathing and to keep oxygen intake at the correct levels. CPAP uses pressurized air to keep the airway open. The oral appliances gently position the lower jaw forward, bringing the tongue/tissue forward, to prevent soft tissues and the tongue from blocking the airway.
Who is a Candidate for an Oral Appliance?
Your sleep physician will determine the best course of treatment for your snoring or sleep apnea. We will work with their recommendations for those that are candidates for OAT. Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or if someone snores typically respond well to oral appliance therapy. If your sleep apnea is severe, a CPAP is typically the most efficacious form of treatment. Those patients that are CPAP intolerant might be recommended for OAT if CPAP is attempted but not successful.
Types of Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea
The EVO™ is designed to work well if you have dental restorations or plan to get them. It is also comfortable, effective, and discreet.
Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances FAQ
How Much do Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances Cost?
The cost of an oral appliance for sleep apnea depends on the type of device Many medical insurance plans (including Medicare) provide coverage for sleep apnea treatment with oral appliance therapy. Dr Bragg has been credentialed to be able to file with medical insurances. Because Oral Appliance Therapy is addressing a medical issue, it is filed under your medical, not dental, insurance. Bragg Dental also offers a variety of payment plans to fit any budget. Please get in touch with our office to find out more.
How Do I Get a Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance?
Store-bought appliances are ineffective and uncomfortable and not explicitly fitted to your teeth, jawbone structure, and the position of your tongue and soft tissues and may cause irreversible damage to the teeth, jaw and worsen your sleep apnea. Oral Appliance Therapy should be done under the care of a dentist trained in Dental Sleep Medicine for a custom fit that is comfortable, secure, and effective.
Can I Buy an Oral Appliance at the Store?
You can, but these are generally ineffective and uncomfortable. Store-bought appliances are not explicitly fitted to your teeth, jawbone structure, and the position of your tongue and soft tissues. Some versions can be boiled in water to soften them and then molded to your teeth, but they are thicker and cumbersome. Depending on the severity of your sleep apnea, they may not be effective at all. For a custom fit that is snug, secure, and effective, always have a dentist fit you for a custom oral appliance. They are lightweight, comfortable, sleek, and easy to clean while being highly effective.
Does Insurance cover oral Appliance Therapy?
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your health insurance may cover all or part of your oral appliance. If you use the device to control snoring without OSA, you may not have medical coverage. Bragg Dental’s team can help you determine how much your insurance will cover and submit claims for reimbursement for all our patients.
How Long Do Oral Appliances Last?
Most oral appliances for sleep apnea work for 3-5 years. You will be seen yearly to evaluate the appliance and it’s effectiveness. You will need to be refitted and a new appliance made if the current one has become ineffective, damaged, or worn.
How Do I Get an Oral Appliance?
The first step is a referral to our office and a consultation with Dr. Bragg. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or snoring, we will obtain your results and order from your sleep physician. If you have not been diagnosed, we will give you a referral for a sleep study (typically done at home) and obtain those results once complete.
We will do an exam to determine if you are a candidate for OAT. A digital scan of your teeth is taken which is used as a guide to creating your custom appliance. We will then work with our medical insurance team to determine your medical benefits. Once this is determined, we will review these benefits with you to let you know what they cover and what, if any, costs you will be responsible for. We will then send your scans to the lab for oral appliance fabrication. Within 2-3 weeks we will receive your oral appliance back from the lab and ensure proper fit and positioning.
If you believe you have obstructive sleep apnea, talk to your doctor. If they believe an oral appliance for sleep apnea might help, ask them to refer you to our office. They can call us at Bragg Dental Phone Number 770-889-8420.
What Our Patients Are Saying
“I wanted to tell everyone how great the new dental device is for helping with sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea and they told me the only thing I could use was a CPAP machine. I tried every type of nose piece that was made for CPAP machines. After six months of trying to make the CPAP work, I gave up. I was getting much less sleep while using the CPAP. I talked to Dr. Bragg about it and she mentioned this mouthpiece. I did the sleep study and I told the technician that I was not a candidate for a CPAP machine and that I was looking for an alternative. The technician discussed it with my insurance and got me qualified. When you first get the mouthpieces, you need to allow three months to get the perfect fit and size. Patience is the key. I do have to wear a T-shirt with tennis balls attached to the back so I do not sleep on my back. The mouthpiece along with the t-shirt makes me sleep like a baby. I highly recommend these mouthpieces. They were a lifesaver for me.”
– Ginger, 6/4/2020