Many patients are apprehensive to seek treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) because they do not want to be burdened by a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Fortunately, there is a more comfortable treatment option available. At Joseph D. Murray DDS & Associates in Atlanta, GA, we strive to offer our patients solutions that fit seamlessly into their daily lives. Dr. Murray, along with his associate, Dr. William Alexander, provides comfortable, customized oral appliances for sleep apnea. Similar to a mouthguard, your oral appliance will be designed to fit over your teeth, making it a much less intrusive treatment option.
How Does an Oral Appliance Work?
Oral appliances, also known as oral splints, are worn while you sleep. The appliance is placed over your teeth, slightly shifting your lower jaw forward. This opens the airway because the tissues that were previously causing a blockage are no longer in the way. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, oral appliances have been proven to minimize interrupted breathing. By improving your ability to sleep and minimizing symptoms such as daytime fatigue, an oral appliance could significantly improve your quality of life.
Oral appliances have been proven to minimize interrupted breathing, improving your quality of sleep.
Unique Treatment Benefits
The use of an oral splint to treat sleep apnea offers several advantages. Unlike other treatment options, oral appliances are:
- For many patients, oral appliance therapy can be an effective non-invasive alternative to surgery.
- Compared to a CPAP mask, oral splints are much smaller and do not require you to wear uncomfortable equipment while sleeping.
- Easy to Use
- You can simply use your oral appliance as you would a retainer or mouthguard. It is also much easier to transport if you travel frequently since you will not need any cumbersome equipment.
- Unlike CPAP, your oral splint does not create any noise while you are sleeping, allowing you and your partner to enjoy a peaceful night's rest.
In addition, your oral splint will be carefully fabricated to ensure a proper fit and optimal effectiveness. Our practice uses the latest technology during the planning process.
Creating Your Oral Appliance
During your first appointment, Dr. Murray or Dr. Alexander will conduct a comprehensive examination. If you have not been formally diagnosed, we can recommend a sleep specialist who can evaluate your condition. If you have already been diagnosed, you will need to bring a letter to our office from your physician which states you are intolerant of CPAP therapy. We can then proceed by taking 3-D scans and making a digital impression of your bite. All of the information we have gathered will be sent to a specialized lab where technicians will create your custom oral splint. Typically, this process may take up to several weeks.
Follow-Up Care Is Essential
Once you have received your oral splint, it is important that you attend follow-up appointments with your physician or sleep specialist to determine whether your appliance is working properly. We can help you make any necessary adjustments to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit. However, in some cases, it may be determined that oral appliance therapy is not the best long-term solution for you. Honest and ongoing communication with your doctors is essential to receiving the best sleep apnea treatment.
Effective Treatment Solutions
Contact us online or call us at (404) 726-5770 to schedule a consultation and learn more about our custom oral splints. Our team is dedicated to providing effective treatment solutions that improve your quality of life.