If you suffer from sleep apnea, one person that may be able to help you is your dentist. Many people who suffer from sleep apnea have found a great deal of relief using Oral Appliance Therapy as a form of treatment. Here, you will learn a little about OAT to help you decide if this treatment could be effective for you.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)?
OAT is a treatment that uses a specially made mouthpiece that your dentist forms for you. These mouthpieces are a lot like those that athletes use to protect their teeth during play. The mouthpiece is worn while you sleep and helps to keep your uvula and tongue positioned properly and stabilizes your jaw to decrease the symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
Who could benefit from OAT?
In many cases, sleep apnea patients suffering from mild to moderate symptoms and have not had a great deal of success wearing a CPAP device benefit greatly from OAT. If you suffer from severe sleep apnea and can tolerate the CPAP device, you would likely do best to continue the CPAP treatment rather than trying the OAT method.
What are the true benefits of OAT?
There are many benefits, but the three most commonly experienced include:
- Fast results for many patients
- It is a non-invasive form of treatment - no surgery is required
- Inexpensive form of treatment
How soon do you experience results?
How long it takes for you to experience the positive results will depend on your personal situation. Some patients do very well from the first night that the mouthpiece is in place, while others may wait several days or even weeks to begin enjoying the results. The one thing that keeps patients from quick results is not being able to adapt to the mouthpiece quickly, but if you can get past the feel of the mouthpiece, you should quickly experience positive results.
How do you begin treatment?
Once you have a diagnosis from your primary care doctor or sleep specialist, you can begin developing a treatment plan. If Oral Appliance Therapy is something that your doctor thinks will work for you, you will then go to a dentist to have a mold made of your mouth that will be used to create a custom mouthpiece that will fit your mouth perfectly.
Talk with your doctor and dentists like Dr Kit about Oral Appliance Therapy to learn if this method of sleep apnea treatment could be effective for you.