Sleep apnea is a condition that thousands of people suffer from across the world. At Hardy Oak Family Dentistry in San Antonio and Stone Oak, TX, we see sleep apnea patients who want to get fitted for dental appliances. Due to sleep apnea, patients wake up multiple times throughout the night but don’t always remember it.
These awakenings are due to a cessation in breathing. If you stop breathing several times at night, you’re going to keep waking up. Not getting enough sleep is problematic because it affects the heart and leads to excessive fatigue and sleepiness during the day. The reason all of this happens is because the jaw and other soft tissue in the mouth roll back and occlude the airway during sleep.
At Hardy Oak Family Dentistry, we’ve seen patients benefit greatly from using these appliances. They’re small and are custom-made for each person. They work by holding the jaw and tongue in a fixed position, thereby keeping the airway open.
They’re portable, and you can take them with you wherever you go. CPAP devices can be a little harder to carry. Dental appliances are also great for mild to moderate cases that might not need a CPAP. Additionally, they can be used in combination with a CPAP machine.
These appliances are usually covered by insurance. If you want to know more about cost and whether or not your insurance covers them, give us a call, and we’ll be able to help you out.
The main problem with these appliances is that they’re not effective enough for severe cases. Those who have severe sleep apnea will still need a CPAP machine. Another issue is that they need to be custom-fitted to work properly, which requires visiting the dentist.
Wearing your dental appliances might be a little uncomfortable, especially at first, but it’s better tolerated when compared to a CPAP machine.
Dental appliances for sleep apnea are gaining popularity. Patients are usually more compliant with them than they are with a CPAP machine. The important thing is to not let your sleep apnea go on without treatment.