Dental appliances used to treat Sleep Apnea

Dental appliances are designed to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. They prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in he back of th throat. This assists in maintaining an adequate airway during sleep. They may be used alone or in combination with a CPAP appliance. Some of he advantages of oral appliances are the comfort they provide and ease of use. They are also easier to use during travel. The majority of appliances are one of two types. This first is a tongue retaining appliance to hold the tongue in a forward position. The forward position maintains the integrity of the soft tissues in the back of the throat. A second type of appliance will reposition the mandible forward during sleep. This also will bring the tongue forward but will also stabilize the lower jaw and can prevent the mouth from opening.
Before diagnosing any type of appliance, an adequate sleep study must be performed and an actual diagnosis from a physician obtained. Any appliance therapy should be discussed with the patients physician.

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