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 that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
- 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 is an alternative to CPAP therapy, which is cumbersome, uncomfortable, and ineffective when patients do not follow strict usage guidelines. Several types of oral appliances can be tailored to your specific needs.
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. However, oral appliances realign the lower jaw to prevent soft tissues and the tongue from blocking the airway.
What are the Benefits of Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea?
- More comfortable to wear than a CPAP facemask
- Convenient for travelers
- It doesn’t require electricity to function
- Less expensive than CPAP
- Often covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid
- Portable and easy to clean
- Oral appliances are quiet (unlike CPAP) and less intrusive for sleeping partners
Who is a Candidate for an Oral Appliance?
Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea respond well to oral appliances. If your sleep apnea is severe, an oral device may not be effective. If you have tried CPAP without good results, an oral appliance may help.
Types of Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea
There are several appliance options for treating sleep apnea. Each one works slightly differently, but all work to keep your air pathways open when you are sleeping.
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, the number of dental visits needed to fit it properly, and follow-up care. Typically, the cost is between $1,500 and $3,000. Your health insurance may cover the cost of a sleep apnea appliance. 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?
Your doctor can refer you to Bragg Dental if they have determined you have sleep apnea and that an oral appliance may be the solution. During your first appointment with Dr. Bragg, she will evaluate your mouth, teeth, and jaw to determine which type of oral appliance is best for you.
If you suspect you have obstructive sleep apnea, you schedule an appointment with one of our trusted partners at sleep centers devoted to treating sleep disorders. They can evaluate your condition a determine whether an oral appliance is the right treatment option.
Northside Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine
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 should cover all or part of your oral appliance. If you use the device to control snoring without OSA, most insurances do not cover anything. Bragg Dental’s staff 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 about two years. Some last less than two years if patients grind or clench their teeth. You will need to be refitted and a new appliance made once the current one has become worn.
How Quickly Can I Get an Oral Appliance?
The first step is a referral to our office and a consultation with Dr. Bragg. An impression is made of your teeth, which is used as a guide to creating your custom appliance. Bragg Dental focuses on a custom fit and precision design that will be effective and comfortable. It can take anywhere from two to six appointments for complete customization and precise fit. It takes time depending on several factors, including how many appointments are needed and how far apart they are scheduled. This may take a few weeks to a few months.
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