Oral Appliance Therapy
We at are always ready to provide oral appliance therapy for patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). An oral appliance is a treatment option that is fitted into your teeth to bring the jaw forward and lower so that the upper airway is open. The device has a close resemblance to a mouthguard but works more like a retainer since it holds the jaw in place to allow you to breathe better. We can also fit it to hold your tongue, so the airway remains clear. Our dentist will talk to you about what is best for your case and how it will help.
We recommend this type of treatment to people with medium OSA since it doesn't work as well for patients with advanced levels of the condition. One of the benefits of this type of treatment compared to others is that it is easy to use and portable, so you don't need to travel around with a large machine. The therapy has proven successful for most patients, and many have shown much improvement over time.
Getting Oral Appliance Therapy Fitted
Once you and our dentist agree that oral appliance therapy is the best option for you, it needs to get custom made. This means that you cannot use someone else's appliance since it will not work as expected. Our dentist will get a plaster mold for your teeth, which is done in-office. The mold is then used to then construct the best appliance for you. The molds are used to get a clear image of your bite, which is necessary for making the custom appliance for you.
Our dentist will give you a date to come in for your first fitting. It is essential to come in for fitting since the appliance may not always fit and work as required. It may need some adjustments which our dentist will note and fix. Wearing it may be a bit uncomfortable at first since your jaw needs to get used to it. However, always inform our dentist if there is any pain so the edges may be smoothened out. After the adjustments, you can take it home with you.
Becoming Used to It and Side Effects
We make sure that we show you how to wear your oral appliance before going home. You will likely feel some discomfort in the first couple of times you use it. The feeling should reduce with time since your jaw will adjust to the fit. However, be keen on any pains either in your jaws or gums. Pain is usually a bad sign, and you should call our office immediately to avoid any further issues.
Once you start using the oral appliance, you should start sleeping better within a couple of weeks. Your quality of sleep will improve as will your life so long as you remember always to wear the appliance. If you have any questions about your oral appliance therapy, you can always call Harper Dental at (479) 431-0280 anytime, and we will address your queries.