Managing sleep apnea symptoms is key to improving your overall health and wellness. Many of our patients tell us that they’re not satisfied with their CPAP machine. That’s why we offer a number of alternatives for treating sleep apnea to help manage your symptoms, allowing you to get a great night’s sleep every night.
At Regina M. Dailey DMD, our Ann Arbor dentist works with your physician to ensure your treatment and management strategies are as effective and cohesive as possible. While there are a number of ways to treat sleep apnea, not every solution works for every patient.
During your consultation, we’ll discuss your options and help you find the ideal treatment for your lifestyle. When it comes to recommending treatment, our goal is to ensure you can sleep comfortably without interruption.
Treatments Options to Fit Your Lifestyle
Thanks to greater awareness about sleep apnea, there are now a number of treatment options available for our patients. Non-surgical options such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and oral appliances remain the most popular solutions for patients.
CPAP Isn’t for Everybody
A CPAP machine keeps the airway open while you sleep by blowing a continuous stream of warm air into a mask that attaches to your face. It’s a very effective treatment for sleep apnea, but many patients stop using their CPAP machine because they find restrictive and inconvenient.
CPAP limits patient movement by forcing you to sleep on your back. That’s why patients who move around a lot when sleeping or those who don’t usually sleep on their back have an especially hard time adapting to CPAP.
Others find that the noisy CPAP machine is distracting to both patients and their bed partners. What’s more, if you want to get up during the night, you have to completely unhook your CPAP machine and then reattach it when you get back to bed. All of these factors contribute to CPAP’s high noncompliance rate.
Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances
In recent years, oral appliances like mandibular advancement devices and tongue retaining devices have become more popular options for individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea who find themselves unable to use CPAP consistently.
Mandibular Advancement Devices
A mandibular advancement device (MAD) effectively treats sleep apnea and minimizes snoring. The device works by moving the mandible, or lower jaw, forward to keep the airway open while you sleep. Ultimately, this retainer-like device helps facilitate nighttime breathing without requiring a mask or a noisy machine. That way, you’ll be able to breathe freely and get a good night’s sleep.
At Dr. Dailey’s Ann Arbor office, she’s helped countless patients regain a full night’s rest with mandibular advancement devices. She understands that every patient has unique needs and she accommodates them by offering a number of different appliances.
Sleep apnea oral appliances available at Regina M. Dailey DMD include:
Oral Appliances from Somnomed
Available in several different designs, Somnomed offers a metal-reinforced oral appliance perfect for patients who suffer from sleep apnea who also grind their teeth at night. Safe for patients with extensive restorations, Somnomed is FDA cleared and boasts an 88% patient compliance rate.
TAP III (Thornton Adjustable Positioner)
Unlike other sleep apnea oral appliances, TAP III is a two-piece system that snaps onto each arch. This system uses a hook mechanism to push the mandible forward, keeping soft tissue from collapsing back into the airway. Like other oral appliance options, TAP III has a high rate of compliance and is customized to each individual’s smile.
Tongue Retaining Device
The tongue retaining device (TRD) works by pulling your tongue forward and holding it in position during sleep. Doing this keeps it away from the back of the throat and prevents it from making it hard to breathe. This device is used for patients who have an enlarged tongue that prevents airflow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Sleep Apnea Go Away Without Treatment?
Unfortunately, sleep apnea won’t go away on its own and requires some form of treatment. It’s possible to reduce the symptoms by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s crucial that you get in touch with a professional such as Dr. Dailey to find the best treatment for you.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat My Sleep Apnea?
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a variety of serious health conditions. Sleep apnea has been linked to:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Irregular heartbeats
- Dry mouth
- Inability to concentrate