There are many treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), but Dr. Wilk specializes in oral appliance therapy. Oral appliances are a great alternative for those who are intolerant to CPAP machines and they can treat mild to severe sleep apnea.
Although a CPAP machine is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, some patients are bothered by the bulky machine and headgear. The CPAP can also be noisy, both for themself and their partner. That’s why oral appliance therapy can be a great option. These small retainers are an easy-to-use, effective solution for sleep apnea.
The most common appliance is the mandibular repositioning device (MAD) which moves your jaw forward to keep your airway open. By moving the jaw forward, tissues are less likely to collapse and block the airway.
This is another type of oral appliance that holds your tongue in place while you sleep. Placed on the lips or teeth, the device will gently pull your tongue forward and away from the back of your throat where it may cause airway restriction. This is a better option for people who wear dentures since it will not pull the jaw forward.
Oral appliances are custom-made to comfortably fit your mouth, which will maximize their effectiveness since it is not uncomfortable to wear. These FDA-approved appliances are also easily portable, and you can even drink and talk while wearing them. Unlike electrical CPAP machines, they do not require any ongoing costs or upkeep and are silent, providing you and your partner some much-needed relief. Most patients will get used to the feeling of their device within a few days or weeks and can expect results within that time.
Combined therapy involves using a CPAP machine while also wearing a custom oral appliance. Combined therapy from our Denver, CO specialty dentist and team enables a sleep apnea patient to benefit from oral appliance therapy, and it also allows them to turn their CPAP to a lower setting. This can lead to increased comfort and better compliance for consistently better sleep. For this to work, a patient wears a nasal mask as opposed to a full facemask with their CPAP, which many people say is much more comfortable. Dr. Wilk can easily design an appliance that can work with a patient’s CPAP, so they can benefit from the two most effective treatments available today.
If your sleep apnea is the result of other health conditions, such as TMJ, orofacial pain, or obesity, treating these disorders first may simultaneously resolve your sleep apnea. We can refer you to a number of excellent doctors who specialize in weight loss surgery or pain management.
It is estimated that 22 million people in the US suffer from sleep apnea, yet as many as 80% of cases of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as other ailments.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, which induces airway pressure and keeps the throat open while sleeping, and oral appliance therapy which keeps the airway open by changing the position of the jaw and tongue.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the airway in the throat becomes impeded while sleeping, leading to an inability to breathe normally. It can lead to multiple sleep disruptions (or apneas) throughout the night.
No. CPAPs are the most common treatment for sleep apnea but many people cannot wear them. One alternative is oral appliance therapy which keeps the airway open by changing the position of the jaw and tongue. A last option would be surgery.
The machine forces continuous airflow through your nose to prevent the airway from collapsing when muscles relax during sleep. This results in a continuous oxygen level throughout the night. Unfortunately, many wearers do not or cannot tolerate the machine for various reasons and seek alternative forms of treatment.
A custom-fit oral device available through Denver Sleep Apnea Center is a highly effective, non-invasive option for sufferers of sleep apnea and snoring. The device fits similar to a retainer and is comfortable, quiet, and easily portable for travel.
Surgery is performed to remove or reposition the tissues in the throat to stop blockage of the airway, or to implant a device to stimulate tissue in the tongue.
Oral Appliances support the jaw in such a way that prevents the tongue from falling back into the airway and causing obstruction of airflow during sleep.
For some patients, weight loss through exercise - as well as avoiding alcohol and smoking - can improve sleep apnea. However, some patients may still need to explore additional treatment technologies even with these lifestyle changes.
Obstructive sleep apnea does not go away on its own. In fact, it can worsen serious health conditions if left untreated.