Minnesota Professional Oral Appliance Therapy
You should be able to sleep better, have more energy, and feel sharper throughout your day. Oral appliance therapy makes the difference!
And that is exactly what professional oral appliance treatment can do for you. We will monitor achieving a respiratory event index decrease. The Minnesota Head & Neck Pain Clinic is a leader in providing more effective and patient-preferred outcomes using oral appliance treatment.
Why should I be concerned about snoring and sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is the most common sleep disorder, affecting nearly 1 out of every 8 individuals. Snoring is the sound of partially obstructed breathing during sleep. While snoring can be harmless, it can also be the sign of a more serious medical condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs when the tongue and soft tissues fall back into the throat during sleep, completely blocking the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea has been associated with cardiovascular problems as well as daytime sleepiness.
What are my treatment options?
Once you have been correctly diagnosed, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be treated with a medical device known as a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), with oral appliances, through surgical options, or by a combination of these approaches.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy involves the selection, design, fitting and use of a specially designed oral appliance that, when worn during sleep, maintains an opened and unobstructed airway in the throat. Oral appliances that treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are worn in the mouth, similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth-guards. This treatment is often effective for individuals suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Oral appliances work by:
• Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
• Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
• Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue
Oral Appliance Therapy for TMJ
Your dentist or Orofacial Pain Specialist may recommend a jaw splint to improve your TMJ. A splint is a removable medical appliance that overlays multiple or all of the upper or lower teeth. Constructed in a dental lab, these oral appliances are often made of hard acrylic resin and molded from an impression taken of your teeth.
The use of oral appliance therapy for TMJ aligns with the use of conservative approaches. Minnesota Head & Neck Pain Clinic strives to help readers and patients be more informed and aware of their choices. In the midst of all our medical science and technology advances, the diagnosis of a painful sleep apnea still depends primarily on obtaining a detailed patient history and performing a traditional hands-on examination.
The National Institutes of Health brochure on TMJ advises that “if a splint is recommended, it should be for a short time and should not cause permanent changes in the bite (move jaw forward/back or cover only certain teeth).”
If an oral appliance or splint causes or increases pain, stop using it and see your medical provider who made or suggest you try it. Trained dentists and orofacial pain specialists understand what to monitor and/or possible change in the position of your bite/jaw.
What are the Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is widely regarded as an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into most people’s lifestyle. Patients enjoy the following oral appliance therapy advantages:
- Easy to wear and sleep with.
- Portable for daily use.
- Convenient to store.
- Comfortable when in place.
- Easy to care for between uses.
Each sleep patient’s actual results may vary according to their personal medical history and level of follow-through. When prescribing oral devices, we use monitoring tools to manage patient expectations and progress.
According to the Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine, “the most current prevalence estimates are that 26 percent of adults between 30 and 70 years of age have at least mild OSA, and 10 percent of adults have moderate or severe disease. Based on this data, it has been estimated that OSA now afflicts at least 25 million adults in the U.S.” Its Connecting and Collaborating to Advance Dental Sleep Medicine article talks about how dental sleep medicine doesn’t have a “one size fits all” approach to treatment. In our dedication to best serve our patients, we believe it is important to further develop validated protocols to predict oral appliance treatment response.
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent a disorder or better manage it.
How can I learn more about Oral Appliance Treatment Options?
Our pain and sleep specialists understand the new qualifications for dental sleep medicine and treatment; we assess each patient individually. The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) provides support and education for dentists and sleep specialists interested in treating OSA. We are closely involved and participate nationally at annual events. We anticipate that new oral appliance innovations will be introduced and remain current in the latest technologies and guidelines.
That’s the easy part! Visit our website regularly to read more, or Minnesota Head & Neck Pain Clinic at one of our convenient locations: St. Paul (651) 332-7474, Plymouth (763) 577-2484, Burnsville (952) 892-6222 or St. Cloud at (651) 332-7474 to schedule a consultation.