Oral Appliance Therapy Portland, OR
At Hunter Dental Care, we utilize oral appliance therapy to treat those with sleep apnea symptoms. Do you ever wake up feeling tired or groggy after getting a full 7-8 hours of sleep? It can be frustrating and exhausting never to be able to get a full night's sleep. Fortunately, oral appliance therapy is a quick and cost-effective solution that can give you a full night's rest.
What Sleep Apnea IsSleep apnea affects millions of Americans who don't even know they have it. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where parts of the mouth and throat fall back into the airway (esophagus) and restrict airflow to the point that it becomes difficult or impossible to draw breath. When we sleep, our muscles are relaxed, and structures like the tongue and jaw are no exception. The goal of oral appliance therapy is to hold the jaw in a fixed, forward position so that the airway is kept open and free of obstruction while you sleep.
If you have been told that you snore, there is a good chance that you have sleep apnea. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:
The above conditions can usually be treated using some form of oral appliance therapy.
Oral Appliances: A Practical Alternative to CPAPOur practice specializes in fitting patients with a custom fabricated oral appliance to manage sleep apnea. The appliance works by holding your lower jaw in a precise open and forward position. As the jaw moves forward, the tongue also moves forward. This helps open the upper airway preventing airway collapse of tongue and soft tissues in your throat that are responsible for nighttime choking and suffocating episodes. The appliance we make will be custom made for your teeth, so it will be easy to wear and fit comfortably. Oral appliance therapy is an excellent solution to treat sleep apnea and snoring. Also, it is an excellent alternative to CPAP therapy for patient who find it difficult to tolerate.
In 2015, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued updated practice parameters recommending the use of custom fabricated oral appliances made by specialty trained dentists for patients with snoring and sleep apnea who prefer the mouthpiece over CPAP, or who have tried CPAP and are unable to continue daily use. CPAP devices mainly function to create a positive pressure within your airways by gently pumping an oxygen-enriched mixture of air through a facemask that is worn while you sleep. These devices are widely considered to be 100% effective when used 100% of the time.
However, CPAP machines present a unique challenge to many patients. It's often uncomfortable and sometimes difficult to sleep wearing the large bulky devices, not to mention the restrictive cost of CPAP solutions. The long-term compliance rates for CPAP devices tend to trail off toward the 60%-10% ranges when looking at long term application. They have the ability to save lives, but because patient compliance is so low, they are not for everyone. The long-term compliance of oral appliances, on the other hand, is as high as 86%. Oral appliances can be a great alternative for people with mild to moderate Sleep Apnea or who are intolerant to using their CPAP device.
Eccovision TechnologyWhen obstructive sleep apnea occurs in the nasal and pharyngeal passageways it can be much more difficult to diagnose, leaving other practices guessing at symptoms and solutions. At Hunter Dental Care, we use Eccovision technology to help us pinpoint these hard-to-diagnose issues with breathing so that we can treat them in ways that will resolve the problem. This assessment tool uses acoustic reflection to map the small, intricate airways that can cause problems while you sleep.
Sleep Apnea StatisticsThe following points detail the U.S. Department of Health's survey on findings related to the use of oral appliances for the treatment and management of sleep apnea and snoring.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found oral appliances eliminated or reduced sleep apnea 127 cases with 3,027 patients. www.hhs.gov