Oral Appliance Sleep Apnea Therapy in Dunwoody, GA
So you've decided that CPAP isn't the right choice for you. For whatever reason, whether it's because you've tried the machine and disliked it or you're looking for an initial solution that's more modern and adaptable to your lifestyle, you're ready for an alternative. What's next? For many patients experiencing this common problem, Dr. Rodgers recommends oral appliance therapy with a customized mandibular advancement device.
Mandibular advancement devices (also known as MAD appliances) fit comfortably within your mouth while you sleep, creating the ideal jaw position throughout the night. MAD appliances work to keep the airway open during sleep to prevent obstruction by the tongue and other soft tissues in the oral cavity. In order to consistently provide the most effective results, these oral appliances are specially designed and tailor-made to fit the unique dentition of each patient.
Why Choose an Oral Appliance?
Problems like a dry mouth and throat that patients can experience with other sleep apnea treatments are solved with the MAD appliances. Since you will have the ability to close your mouth while sleeping, it doesn't impose on your natural movement. The acrylic structure of the mouthguard is gentle on soft tissues and easily conforms to your mouth's shape. After a few nights of using the appliance, wearing it will feel like second nature.
While success can't be guaranteed, oral appliance therapy has been clinically proven to be highly effective. Since patients are more likely to comply with oral appliance treatment due to ease of use and comfort factors, the chances for success are greatly improved.
Dr. Rodgers trusts MAD appliances as a sleep apnea treatment, as they've proven to be a true value for his patients' money. The quality of these long-lasting devices paired with the high likelihood of successful treatment means he feels confident in prescribing them to those with mild or moderate sleep apnea.
An Alternative for CPAP Intolerant Patients
Those who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea previously have probably tried a CPAP. Traditionally considered the gold standard for sleep apnea patients, this device consists of a mask covering the nose and mouth and a hose that connects to a machine. The machine pumps air to the mask, which works to keep the airways open during sleep.
Unfortunately, many patients have discovered that they’re CPAP intolerant. While the CPAP solution is effective when a patient can use it properly and consistently, it’s often considered too bulky or too noisy by patients who’ve been prescribed the machine. Many patients have reported feeling claustrophobic, and the mask must be fitted just so or else mask leakage could become a problem. It may surprise you to learn that a vast majority of people who use the CPAP report wearing it only 4 hours or less a night.
If a CPAP machine has left you wanting a simpler way to treat your sleep apnea, or if you’re looking for a more conservative alternative for first-time treatment, call our Dunwoody office. Dr. Rodgers will be glad to meet with you and discuss whether an oral appliance is the right solution for your situation. Compact, comfortable, and highly effective, these sleep apnea mouthguards have helped countless patients experience freer treatment and enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
What to Expect From Oral Appliance Therapy
Although patient reaction is usually significantly improved with oral appliance therapy when compared to traditional CPAP use, there are still some side effects that may occur with regular use. These are minor and should ease within just a week or so. They include:
- Teeth and/or gums that feel sore
- Jaw discomfort
- Either an increase or decrease in saliva production
- Awkwardness in your bite
Today, there are two excellent professional organizations who have the authority concerning sleep apnea treatment, diagnosis, and prevention: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). These groups are great resources for both doctors and patients. The AASM and AADSM strongly recommend that patients seek out oral appliance therapy from a dedicated professional like Dr. Rodgers. They promote the following guidelines:
- Patients who struggle with chronic, excessive snoring each night can have this habit reduced or even eliminated with the help of a customized oral appliance from a skilled dentist. Even if that patient has not been diagnosed with sleep apnea specifically, oral appliance therapy can often be a valuable tool for preventing the condition from developing over time.
- Patients should always seek out the use of a custom oral appliance from a skilled dentist and not a “one-size-fits-all” alternative. This will guarantee the highest rate of effectiveness and compliance.
- Patients who are intolerant to CPAP treatment, are unable to use their CPAP machine on a regular basis, or who travel often and can’t transport their CPAP machine are strongly recommended to undergo oral appliance therapy, and their physicians are strongly recommended to point them towards a dentist for assistance.
- Patients who are fitted for an oral appliance by their general physician or a sleep specialist should visit a dentist for necessary follow-up care. During this visit, Dr. Rodgers will ensure that the patient’s new appliance is comfortable, secure, and effective.
- After receiving a custom oral appliance, patients should undergo additional sleep testing to ensure its effectiveness with their chosen physician.
- Patients should create a plan of routine care with their chosen physician and dentist to promote consistent, successful results.
Dr. Rodgers and his dedicated team are proud to be able to offer customized, comfortable oral appliance therapy to exhausted patients. You deserve to enjoy a great night a sleep again! Contact our Dunwoody, GA practice today if you have any further questions we can help you with, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment. We also serve Roswell and surrounding areas.