Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Although continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first line of treatment, many patients prefer oral appliance therapy to CPAP. An oral appliance is a small plastic device that fits in the mouth like a sports guard. Oral appliances prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep and promoting adequate air intake.
A board-certified sleep medicine physician must first provide a diagnosis and recommend the best treatment option. When an oral appliance is the treatment of choice, a custom-made oral appliance is then fabricated. Ongoing care, including short and long-term, follow up is essential in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Follow-ups serve to assess the treatment of your sleep disorder, the condition of the appliance, your physical response to your appliance and to ensure that it’s effective and comfortable.