Sleep Apnea Treatment
So you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Now what? You do have some choices at Dental Prosthodontics of Rochester as far as treatment goes depending on your level of severity and sleeplessness.
The most studied and successful of the obstructive sleep apnea treatments is arguably the most well known and that is continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP, and it's variations. CPAP is a solution that sends nonstop pressure into your throat while you are sleeping to keep your airways open. CPAP involves a machine that contains three different parts. The first and most obvious part is the mask that fits over your mouth and nose, or just nose, and stays in place with straps. Second, you have the motor which is the part that blows air while you sleep. Lastly, you have something called the cannula, which is a large tube that connects the mask to the motor. CPAP machines are fairly small and relatively quiet, with few side effects, so you can take them on the go and not disturb anyone.
Other Sleep Appliance Options
CPAP is probably the most extravagant of the treatments for obstructive sleep apnea, but what if your case is less severe? For those suffering with less extreme versions of sleep apnea, oral appliances are another fine choice. These too are devices that are worn at night and prescribed by an orthodontist or dentist. The most well known of these is a mandibular advancement device or MAD for short. This particular treatment is arguably the easiest solution. Similar to a sports guard, it's worn over your lower and upper teeth with metal hinges that allow your lower jaw to move forward and snaps into place with ease. Speaking of sports guards, the similarly used mouth/night guards are another solution. And just like mandibular advancement devices, they help to reposition your jaw, but to a lesser extent. Still used, but not as often as MADS, is a tongue retaining device. This final option is a soft splint made of plastic that fits over the tongue and holds it in place, keeping the airways clear.
As you can see, there are several options for treatment when seeking relief from sleep apnea depending on the severity of your symptoms. For people with slight to less than severe sleep apnea, dental devices should be something they look into. For those who really need a ton of help falling and staying asleep, CPAP machines may be the better alternative. No matter what solution you end up with, the best way to approach it is to stop by our office or give us a call (585) 673-7702 and work with us to find what works best for you. We'll take a look at the physical state of your airway, your medical health and history, as well as your personal preferences to find a solution everyone is happy with.