Overland Park Oral Appliance Therapy

In many cases of obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP isn’t the only treatment option. At Ward Periodontics, we work with your physician to determine the right treatment options for you. Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive method of treating mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common and potentially serious health condition in which your breathing stops and starts as you sleep, preventing your body and your major organs from getting enough oxygen. This condition is caused by your airway becoming partially or completely blocked when you sleep, due to the soft tissues of your throat collapsing and blocking your ability to breath. 

During episodes of apnea, your diaphragm and chest muscles work harder than normal to open your airway. You may start to breathe with loud gasps or jerk your body.

 

What is oral appliance therapy?

Oral appliance therapy is the fabrication and use of an FDA approved custom oral appliance similar to an orthodontic retainer or a sports mouth guard. 

Appliances work by keeping the airway open, allowing those who are suffering from sleep apnea to get more air while they are sleeping. While there are many different types of oral appliances for patients to choose from, they all work by keeping the lower jaw in a forward position and/or by keeping the tongue from blocking the airway, allowing you to breathe easier and more effectively.

Am I a candidate for oral appliance therapy?

  • The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral sleep appliances as a first line treatment option for individuals with mild or moderate sleep apnea or for those who are unable to use CPAP successfully. Oral appliances are also considered for those who are not candidates for surgery or for those who do not prefer to pursue airway surgery.
  • If you have not been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your first step will be to complete a consultation[link to localmed] and discuss your risk and concerns. If necessary, Dr. Ward will recommend an at-home sleep test [link to at home sleep testing page] to complete a diagnosis prior to making treatment recommendations. 

What are the benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy?

Some of the advantages of use of an oral appliance to manage sleep disordered breathing are: 

    • The appliance is compact, convenient, and travel-friendly 
    • After adjustments are made, the appliance is comfortable and easy to use, unlike traditional PAP therapies
    • The appliance is easy to maintain