A customized oral appliance offers an array of advantages for individuals who suffer from sleep apnea. The small devices often resemble orthodontic retainers and nightguards, and are designed to fit the unique structures of your mouth. One of the chief benefits of oral appliance therapy is that it can often serve as an alternative to bulky CPAP machines, helping you reduce the risks of sleep apnea while enjoying a more comfortable night’s sleep. Our experienced dentist, Michael Fulbright, DDS, offers some of the latest types of oral appliances – including the FDA-cleared ProSomnus MicrO2® Oral Device – for patients looking for advanced treatment solutions for sleep apnea.
What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea?
An oral appliance can serve to reposition the soft tissue of the mouth and the lower jawbone, helping to prevent oral structures from blocking air passages once they become relaxed during sleep. Oral appliances have been shown to reduce and even eliminate snoring and diminish the possibility of breathing pauses. Some of the other potential benefits associated with oral appliances include:
- They are custom-designed for the most precise and comfortable fit possible
- Unlike CPAP therapy, oral appliances do not involve twisting tubes and wires, bulky mechanics, or loud machines
- They do not require the inconvenience of carrying around heavy equipment (such as CPAP machines) while traveling and vacationing
- They can make the sleep apnea treatment protocol more tolerable for many patients, helping to increase compliance and reduce health risks
Am I a candidate for an oral appliance?
Ideal candidates for an oral appliance for sleep apnea are typically those who have been diagnosed with Primary Snoring or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, or mild-to-severe levels of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). If you have been newly diagnosed and are looking for treatment options, or if you have been undergoing other types of therapy for sleep apnea – such as CPAP therapy – and are looking for alternatives, a customized oral appliance may be a good option. Oral appliances can also be utilized in a “co-therapy” approach for patients who may benefit from a combination of PAP therapy and oral appliance treatment to optimize effectiveness.
If you are considering your sleep apnea treatment options, the best way to find out if you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy is to have an in-person consultation. Dr. Fulbright can answer your questions and help you determine whether this treatment is right for your needs.
Oral Appliance Options
Our practice offers a variety of advanced types of oral appliances that can help patients suffering from mild-to-severe sleep apnea. The type of appliance that is best for you will ultimately depend on your unique needs; however, it is important to remember that our oral appliances are customized for each patient to provide outcomes that can not only help you reduce the risks of sleep apnea, but also result in a more comfortable, well-rested, uninterrupted night’s sleep.
ProSomnus MicrO2® Oral Device
One of the latest types of oral appliances has proven to be remarkably effective among patients at our practice. The ProSomnus MicrO2® Sleep and Snore Device has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and offers sleep apnea patients a number of benefits. The small device closely resembles a nightguard or sportguard, and is completely clear — there are no metal or moving parts in the appliance. It is designed to provide a comfortable fit while maintaining an open airway. The feedback on this particular oral appliance here at our practice has been stellar, and many of our patients appreciate its ease-of-use.
Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
A Mandibular Advancement Device, commonly referred to as MAD, can be an option for some patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. It can also be used in conjunction with a CPAP machine for those suffering from severe sleep apnea. MAD appliances essentially push the hyoid bone and the mandible down and forward while sleeping, which can ultimately reduce the likelihood of airway blockage by the tongue. Many people find that this device is easier to use and easier to transport than a standard CPAP machine.
OPTISLEEP is a state-of-the-art oral appliance that can benefit individuals who snore, as well as those who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate levels of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Patients who have severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea and need an alternative to CPAP therapy or a surgical solution may also find OPTISLEEP to be an effective option. This slim, customized two-piece appliance is designed for durability, flexibility, and comfort, allowing patients to open and close their mouths without movement limitations. OPTISLEEP can ultimately reduce snoring and the effects of sleep apnea by working to maintain an open upper airway and moving the lower jaw slightly forward, helping to prevent airway blockage by the tongue or the tissues at the back of the throat.
The Vivos System® – Vivos® DNA/mRNA Oral Appliance Therapy
Our practice collaborates with Vivos® Therapeutics, Inc., a company that has developed breakthrough treatments for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing conditions. The Vivos® DNA/mRNA appliance is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and utilizes an innovative technique for addressing breathing difficulties while sleeping. This custom-designed oral appliance is made with the principles of Craniofacial Epigenetics and Pneumopedics® in mind. This approach enables the appliance to address the root cause of sleep apnea by essentially remodeling the airway and allowing for a more normal flow of air during sleep. The Vivos® System combines the oral appliance with a collaborative therapeutic protocol that involves a team effort by the dentist, the medical professionals who diagnosed the condition, and Vivos® technicians. Instead of just treating the symptoms of sleep apnea, Vivos® DNA/mRNA Appliance Therapy is designed to help patients affected by mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea reduce or even completely eliminate the possibility that they will need lifetime CPAP therapy or other treatments to resolve their concerns.
What are the benefits of Vivos® DNA/mRNA Appliance Therapy?
The Vivos® System offers a variety of benefits for patients who are ideal candidates for this treatment, including:
- The therapy does not require invasive surgery
- The appliance is customized for each patient and should be completely painless
- The airway is “remodeled” in order to provide long-term improved airflow through breathing passages while sleeping
- Snoring can be reduced or possibly even eliminated
- Many patients can enjoy a healthier night’s sleep and improved energy during the day
- For some patients, the therapy can be utilized for conditions such as TMJ Disorder and teeth grinding/clenching (bruxism)
Once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a physician and then meet with our dentist to talk about possible solutions, we can determine whether you are a good candidate for Vivos® DNA/mRNA Appliance Therapy. If this is the right option for your needs, we can begin developing the treatment plan in collaboration with your doctor and the team at Vivos®.
This multidisciplinary therapeutic approach, along with the development of your customized Vivos® DNA appliance, is designed to give patients the best possible chance of providing long-term relief from obstructive sleep apnea. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about this treatment, or assist you with scheduling a consultation to explore your options.
If you would like to learn more about our oral appliance options, or if you are ready to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Fulbright to discuss your needs and goals, please contact us today.