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Is there anyone else out there that uses a dental device for their mild to moderate sleep apnea


#1

Hi,
I’m new here and was wondering if there is anyone else here that uses a dental device for sleep apnea not to be confused with snoring device.


#2

I was recently fitted with a mouth guard for nighttime teeth grinding (not necessarily for apnea). I’ve been using it about two months now. I wear it with my mask and chinstrap.


#3

I don’t but my best friend does. I’ve got one but it hasn’t been treated

What do you want to know?


#4

I recently went to a new dentist. He also has sleep apnea and he showed me the one he uses for himself. He explained how it works and, of course, suggested I get one. I am considering it, but it is expensive ($2500). It works by holding the jaw forward which opens the throat air passage. In the beginning it is adjusted gradually so your jaw can get used to being held forward. If you get one from a dentist it is fitted exactly to your mouth and teeth. If you are considering getting one, find a dentist who has done them already.
I don’t know if Medicare or any other insurance will cover the cost. But it certainly would be easier to use than being attached to a mask and tube all night long.


#5

Just wondered if anyone else here was using one.


#6

Carolh ,
I just started using one. I trust my Dentist . Insurance covers some of price of them.


#7

There are plenty of data suggesting the oral appliances are successful for people. Nice that there are choices for treatment! People will use their preference, and that is great!


#8

Thanks. I will find out about my insurance offers coverage for one. I would love to have an alternative to a CPAP machine.


#9

Miki, I know you just started using it, but have you found that it has made a difference in your ability to sleep? Maybe you need more time before you know for sure. I’m also wondering how it will affect my teeth, and my jaw.


#10

I have been using oral appliances (and PAP devices) for apnea for about 20 years. Depending on your situation oral appliances can work as well as a PAP, but not as universally as a PAP machine. They range from $1000 to $3000 for medical grade appliances. The older designs moved my teeth around. The newer ones are better about that. It also has to do with what the titration is: meaning if the device has to move your jaw way forward to work, it’s more likely to stress your jaw. or move teeth. One thing to keep in mind. If you are able to breathe via your nose, oral appliances work. If you are not able to do so, you will likely struggle to breathe. An oral appliance repositions your tongue but does not assist the upper airway in the nose. There are strategies to help with nasal breathing like decongestants, anti-inflammatory diets, and nasal strips. I’ll point out a key concept. It is very important to breathe via your nose as it releases chemicals that dilate the airway and cardiovascular system. Mouth breathing is generally worse for apnea. So in that sense, oral appliances help with nose breathing by keeping your mouth closed at night.


#11

I use a retainer. My mouth feels foul when I wake up; I think due to the dryness.


#12

@jmatheny See this recent thread: Mild Sleep Apnea


#13

I’m not trying to offend you but do you use Dental write? Thats what I use.


#14

I use a dental device in conjunction with back exercises to treat my sleep apnea. I have written up how I do this on my website:
http://paul.klink.id.au/Health/SleepApnea/


#15

Thanks for sharing your personal website.


#16

Actually, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S.A. treating their OSA with oral sleep apnea appliances. The larger manufacturers of the appliances sell between 30,000 to 40,000 a year in the USA alone. A.B. Luisi, Jr., D.M.D.


#17

Hi Miki.

The important thing here is that your apnea is diagnosed by a medical professional via a sleep test. Dentists are not permitted to diagnose sleep apnea. The most that responsible sleep dentists can do is to refer their patients to medical professionals recommending that a sleep study be done.

If the results of the sleep study indicate sleep apnea, you may, of course, go to the dentist of your choice for treatment immediately. Hopefully though, you will have listened to your medical professional’s advise first, which is as follows; sleep study results are shared. It is determined whether you apnea is mild, moderate or severe. You are advised that a dental appliance may be considered if your apnea is mild, but that CPAP is the first, most effective and least invasive treatment for sleep apnea. You will be told that even mild apnea is sufficient to cause many major chronic health problems and that there is no guarantee that the appliance will reduce your apneas to less than 5 per hour, which is considered to be normal. And, you are told that even if the appliance does bring your apneas down to normal, there is no guarantee that it will do so in the future, because sleep apnea changes over a patient’s lifetime, often worsening over time. It’s your call and your choice to make.

There are many patients who choose to use a dental appliance instead of XPAP. I use a dental device with my CPAP to reduce my apneas to very near zero each night. My own dentist (TMJ specialist) permanently changed my bite, drawing my lower jaw forward into a relaxed, neutral position by issuing me crozats (upper and lower appliances) to be worn full-time during the day, replaced by a nighttime device resembling a twinblock to keep the new position stable at night. I wore the daytime devices for 2 full years, even while eating. After the 2 year period, I was left with just the nighttime device which I will wear at night for the rest of my life. The total cost of this treatment has been close to $5,000 over a 6-year period, none of which has been covered by my medical insurance.

Through this treatment, I have avoided pain, which is often caused when the lower jaw is moved forward and back every 24-hour period. A patient never knows whether he/she will be prone to TMJ Disorder before a regular dental appliance for sleep apnea is applied. I find it very interesting that a screening question asked of patients by TMJ dentists is “Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea?”. A “yes” answer is apparently one of the signs that a patient may already have TMJ Disorder.

There is more than just pain at risk by using the regular, elite, whatever dental appliances prescribed for sleep apnea. I could go into great detail here, but I won’t. You’re talking permanent damage to the bite, teeth and gums. That’s why CPAP has been determined to be the least invasive of all the treatments used for OSA. I believe the risks outweigh the benefits, but not everyone would agree with me.

If you have sleep apnea, then I wish you the best in your journey, because a journey it is.