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Oral Appliance Therapy in Ballston Spa, NY Can Relieve Sleep Apnea

Sleeping man wearing CPAP maskThe American Academy of Sleep Medicine has said that oral appliance therapy is the first recommended treatment for patients suffering from mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is good news not only for untreated sleep apnea patients, but also for those who currently have problems with their CPAP machine. Oral appliance therapy has shown itself to be a more comfortable, yet effective option that more easily fits into people’s lives and sleep habits.

Woman in bed putting on a CPAP mask

Is Oral Appliance Therapy Right For You?

People should consider oral appliance therapy if:

  • They have been diagnosed with mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • They snore loudly and consistently every night
  • They have undergone surgery to correct their sleep apnea and have still not experience relief
  • Are not able to sleep or successfully treat their sleep apnea with CPAP therapy
  • They need a more portable sleep apnea treatment option
  • They could benefit from combined therapy (a combination of CPAP and oral appliance therapy)

Woman sleeping deeply

Hope for CPAP Intolerant Patients

Many sleep apnea patients are CPAP intolerant for a number of reasons. Either they can’t comfortably fall asleep with the machine on, or it doesn’t help alleviate their symptoms. In any case, oral appliance can provide the final answer the need to rest fitfully. Oral appliance therapy works by slightly shifting the jaw forward to open up the airway, which is the exact same principle CPR is built on. Each oral appliance is custom-made for every patient, and this makes them much more comfortable and effective at the same time. Also, because they are much easier to use, patient compliance is much higher than with CPAP therapy. This means, in addition to providing a viable solution, oral appliance therapy is much more likely to be a long term solution sleep apnea patients will stick with.

Man wearing a nasal sleep apnea mask

Using Your New Oral Appliance

Even though oral appliance therapy is typically much more comfortable than a CPAP machine, a patient will still require a bit of an adjustment period when first using it. These effects will quickly abate over time, and eventually, a person will not even really notice that they are wearing one—it’ll just become part of their normal routine. After getting an oral appliance you may experience:

  • Tension in the jaw as it adjusts to its new resting position
  • Slight soreness in the teeth and gum
  • An increase OR decrease of saliva in the mouth
  • A difference in how your teeth come together when you bite.

Sleeping man wearing a full sleep apnea CPAP mask

A Word From the AASM and the AADSM

There are two professional organizations that are tasked with setting the standard for sleep medicine in the US, and those are the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine AADSM). In order to make sure patients are receiving the proper level of care, they are responsible for certifying doctors and practices, as well as offering guidance and continuing education to patients and doctors alike. Integrative Sleep Center is actually the first practice in the state of Florida to be officially certified by the AADSM, which is why were are the premiere place for sleep apnea treatment for patients in Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs, Cohoes, Watervliet, Schenectady, Gloversville, and Glens Falls.

In accordance with the AASM and the AADSM, patients should seek out oral appliance therapy in the following situations:

  • Patients who consistently and loudly snore at night can effectively reduce or stop it with oral appliance therapy utilized by a trained and certified sleep dentist. Even if they do not have sleep apnea, this treatment can help increase the quality of a person’s sleep and help prevent the development of sleep apnea in the future.
  • If a patient is using a generic, store-bought oral appliance to treat their sleep apnea or snoring, they could still benefit from getting a fully customized appliance from a trained sleep dentist. These will often be much more effective and comfortable at the same time.
  • Patients who cannot sleep with their CPAP, cannot use it frequently, or those who travel often could benefit from oral appliance therapy applied by a qualified sleep dentist.
  • After a patient has received oral appliance therapy, they should maintain regular visits to both their dentist and their sleep physician to make sure the treat it having the desired effect. Adjustments can be made the treatment plan if possible, and constant communication between doctor and patient is essential.

When these organizations speak of a qualified and certified sleep dentist, they are talking about a doctor like Dr. Fred Dreher. He has undergone years of training and education to be able to skillfully use oral appliances to help people get the rest that they need. He is confident that he can use it to treat your sleep problems as well, and he can’t to see the positive effect it will have on your life. If you’d like to learn more about how oral appliance therapy could help you finally get the sleep that you need, simply contact our office today for a free consultation. We are based in Ballston Spa, and we also routinely see patients from Saratoga Springs, Cohoes, Watervliet, Schenectady, Gloversville, and Glens Falls as well.

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