Managing sleep apnea symptoms is key to improving your overall health and wellness. There are a variety of different treatment options Dr. Dailey can recommend to help manage your symptoms, allowing you to get back to a great night’s sleep.
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 treatment consultation, we’ll discuss your options and help you find the best treatment for your lifestyle. When it comes to recommending treatment, our goal is to ensure you can sleep comfortably without interruption.
Thanks to greater awareness about sleep apnea, there are now a number of treatment options available for patients with sleep apnea. However, non-surgical treatments like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices and oral appliances remain the most popular solutions for patients.
What is CPAP?
CPAP devices consist of using a face mask to simulate airflow throughout the night and help you breathe better. Long considered the gold standard of sleep apnea treatment, CPAP is often the first treatment solution recommended to patients. However, there are certain limitations to these devices. As CPAP relies on a machine to work, this treatment limits patient movement while sleeping. Patients who move a lot when sleeping or don’t usually sleep on their back have an especially hard time adapting to the use of a CPAP mask. For others, the noise CPAP makes while on is distracting to both patients and their bed partners. A combination of these issues leads to a high non-compliance rate among CPAP users.
Treating Sleep Apnea with Oral Appliances
While CPAP may be the golden standard, non-compliance with the treatment can exacerbate your case of sleep apnea. 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 (MADs) can help treat your sleep apnea and minimize your snoring. The device moves the mandible, or lower jaw, forward enough to prevent soft tissue from collapsing into the airway. Ultimately, this retainer-like device helps facilitate nighttime breathing without requiring a mask or machine. You will be able to breathe freely and get a good night’s sleep.
At Dr. Dailey’s Ann Arbor office, she has been able to help countless patients regain a full night’s rest with mandibular advancement devices. She understands that every patient has unique needs and accommodates them by offering a number of different appliances. Sleep apnea oral appliances available at Regina M. Dailey DMD include:
Available in several different designs, Somnomed offers a metal reinforced oral appliance perfect for patients who suffer from sleep apnea and also grind their teeth at night. Safe for patients with extensive restorations, Somnomed is FDA cleared and boasts an 88% patient compliance rate.
This mandibular repositioning device was the first CAD/CAM custom-made models available for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. This oral appliance is unique in that it relieves stress on the temporomandibular joint by using connecting rods rather than metal without touching the gums. ResMed has a high long-term compliance rate among patients.
TAP III (Thornton Adjustable Positioner)
Unlike other sleep apnea oral appliances, TAP III is a two-piece system that snaps onto each arch. To push the mandible forward, this system uses a hook mechanism, 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 retraining 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 by far the simplest of the three and is used for patients who have enlarged tongues that prevent airflow.