Oral Appliance Therapy or OAT
What are oral appliances?
Oral appliances are a non-invasive treatment option for severe snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is sometimes recommended for patients who are unable to use a CPAP mask or do not use it regularly (non-compliant). Sleep apnea dental appliances are worn in the mouth while a patient is sleeping and prevents the tongue or soft tissues in the mouth from collapsing and blocking the airway.
What types of oral appliances are there?
There are various types of oral appliances available. Check with an ear, nose and throat specialist, such as New York ENT to determine the most effective oral appliance for your needs. Most of the commonly used appliances can be broken into two groups:
- Mandibular advancement devices – prevent airway blockage by repositioning the tongue inside the mouth during sleep
- Tongue-retaining appliances – reposition the lower jaw in order to prevent airway collapse
Why are oral appliances used?
Oral appliances can treat the following conditions:
- Low oxygen levels during sleep
- Mild sleep apnea
- Severe snoring
- Airway obstruction during sleep
How do oral appliances work?
“Oral appliances are usually custom-fit for each patient, and can prevent airway obstruction by repositioning the tongue or jaw during sleep. When the airway is enlarged, more oxygen can flow freely into the body, keeping important body functions working properly.
Additionally, these sleep apnea appliances prevent patients who suffer from severe snoring or OSA and bed partners from experiencing awakening during the night due to snoring or grunts associated with OSA.”
What are the advantages of using oral appliances?
Using an oral appliance for sleep apnea or snoring has the following benefits:
- May be easier to use than CPAP (compliance rates are higher)
- Increases quality of sleep
- Improves daytime concentration
- Relieves snoring
- Corrects mild sleep apnea symptoms
If you are suffering from OSA or snoring and believe you may benefit from oral appliance therapy, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience treating a variety of sleep disorders. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.