What To Expect During Oral Appliance Therapy

Dentist Blog

Sleep apnea is an illness that causes people to get a poor night's sleep. People with this condition sometimes stop breathing while they sleep due to their airways collapsing. Sleep apnea can be dangerous if it's not treated. Fortunately, your dentist can help you get the treatment you need. Oral appliance therapy is an inexpensive sleep apnea treatment that is easy for patients to maintain. Here are some things that oral appliance therapy patients can expect during treatment:

1. A sleep study will be necessary

Many people start their search for sleep apnea treatment in their dentist's office when they complain of chronic tiredness and snoring. While these symptoms are indicators of sleep apnea, on their own, they are not enough for a positive diagnosis. Your dentist will send you to a sleep specialist to undergo a sleep study. During a sleep study, you will be monitored overnight. Based on your breathing patterns and oxygen levels, a specialist can decide if you have sleep apnea, at which point you will be referred back to your dentist.

2. Needing adjustments to your oral appliance is normal

Your oral appliance will be custom-made using a mold of your mouth for reference. However, sleep apnea oral appliances usually require some fine-tuning. Your dentist will have you try on your oral appliance in their office so they can make adjustments to the fit. You will need to return for additional adjustments if you discover any other fit issues on your own at home.

3. Your new oral appliance may feel strange or uncomfortable at first

Even after your dentist has helped you achieve a good fit, your new oral appliance may feel strange at first. Many people are not used to sleeping while wearing a mouthguard, so you may struggle to get comfortable during the first few nights of your oral appliance therapy. Be persistent, and continue to wear your oral appliance. You should find that you gradually become accustomed to wearing a mouthguard at night.

4. You should check in with your dentist about your treatment periodically

Once your oral appliance has been adjusted properly and you have begun treatment, you should continue checking in with your dentist about your treatment at regular intervals. Your regular dental appointments are a great time to have these conversations. Let your dentist know if you're experiencing any new sleep apnea symptoms. You should also alert your dentist if your oral appliance begins to wear out because you may need a replacement.


18 August 2021

Fluoride: Why I Drink Tap Water

When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.