How it Works
How a dentist can help: the first visit
Dentists work closely with physicians to treat snoring and sleep apnea. At your first visit, your dentist will talk to you about the benefits of treatment. You also will receive information on the potential side effects and the cost of therapy. Then your dentist will conduct a complete clinical evaluation. This will include an examination of your teeth, jaw, tongue, and airway, and possibly a new x-ray of your mouth.
Making and fitting your oral appliance
Oral appliances are customized using digital or physical impressions and models of your teeth. These models are sent to a dental lab where the appliance is made. Once your oral appliance is ready, you will return to your dentist’s office for a fitting. Your dentist will adjust the appliance to maximize its comfort and effectiveness. After this fitting, your sleep doctor may schedule you for a sleep study to verify treatment success.
Follow-up visits with your dentist will be needed to ensure the optimal fit of the oral appliance. Effective oral appliances are always custom fit and adjusted over time to ensure maximum effectiveness. Your dentist also will schedule you for an annual assessment. These routine visits are an important part of your long-term treatment success.
Sleeping with your oral appliance
The care and maintenance of the oral appliance is similar to that of a bite-guard or dentures. It must be cleaned each morning after use. Your dentist may also recommend special jaw exercises in the morning after wearing the appliance as your jaw has been in a forward position all night. The oral appliance should be worn EVERY night for relief of symptoms.