How Dental Appliances Work
Dental Appliances are placed in the mouth and are worn much like an orthodontic appliance or sports mouth protector. They are worn during sleep to prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat so that the airway stays open during sleep. The appliances promote adequate air intake and help to provide normal sleep in people who snore and have a medical condition known as sleep apnea. Oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other means of therapy such as continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). Determination of proper therapy can only be made by joint consultation of a dentist trained in sleep medicine and sleep physician.
Types of Oral Appliances
Currently, over 40 different types of dental appliance are available to specially trained dentists to treat sleep disordered breathing. We use several mandibular repositioning devices depending on your specific needs. In addition, we have experience with Tongue Retaining Devices.
Mandibular Repositioning Appliances
Mandibular repositioning appliances maintain the lower jaw (mandible) in a protruded position during sleep. This serves to open the airway by indirectly pulling the tongue forward since the tongue is attached to the lower jaw, by stimulating activity of the muscles in the tongue and making it more rigid, and by holding the lower jaw and other structures in a stable position to prevent opening of the mouth.
For appliances that Merrell Clinic uses in our offices please CLICK HERE
To learn more about our treatment process CLICK HERE