Oral Appliance Therapy—Dunwoody, GA
A Sleep Apnea Solution That Fits in Your Pocket
For decades, there were only two reliable ways to treat sleep apnea—CPAP therapy and corrective surgery. Many people find that CPAP therapy actually causes more problems than it solves because it involves using a loud and bulky machine, and pretty much everyone would like to avoid surgery whenever they can! Thankfully, Dr. Jeff Rodgers is able to offer a viable third option: oral appliance therapy. With this approach, all a patient has to do is wear a small mouthguard to bed to stop snoring, stop experiencing sleep apnea, and finally feel great in the morning again.
How Does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?
Sleep apnea and snoring are caused by the muscles and tissues in the throat collapsing together and blocking the airway. CPAP therapy prevents this from happening by having a patient wear a mask connected to an air pump that keeps the throat open using a steady stream of oxygen. While this method is extremely effective, it’s not exactly the most comfortable experience, which is why most people prescribed to use a CPAP stop within the first year.
For oral appliance therapy, on the other hand, a patient just has to wear a custom-made mouthguard to bed. Each one is specially designed to fit comfortably over the teeth, and they slightly shift the lower jaw forward. This naturally keeps the airway from closing, allowing a patient to breathe normally and get the deep, quality sleep they need.
The Advantages/Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy
Compared to CPAP therapy, oral appliance therapy offers a long list of advantages, such as:
- More Comfort: CPAP machines are loud, bulky, and often cause chronic sore throats and headaches. Oral appliances, on the other hand, are small, silent, and custom-made for each patient.
- Easily Portable: Taking a CPAP machine on the road or on a plane can be a big hassle, but with an oral appliance, you can easily pack it in the smallest bag or even your pocket.
- Can Stop Teeth Grinding: Sleep apnea and nocturnal teeth grinding (“bruxism”) are often connected, and oral appliances can be designed to protect the teeth while also preserving the airway, stopping multiple problems at once.
Who is a Good Candidate for Oral Appliance Therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is typically recommended for:
- Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea
- Patients who dislike their CPAP or are CPAP intolerant
- Patients who could benefit from combined therapy (using a CPAP machine and oral appliance at the same time)
- Patients who have sleep apnea and grind their teeth at night
It should be noted, that for cases of severe sleep apnea, the only way to treat it may be with CPAP therapy.
How We Design Our Custom Oral Appliances
After a patient has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and approved to get an oral appliance by their sleep physician (we can guide you through this entire process if necessary), Dr. Rodgers will begin designing your oral appliance by taking an impression of your teeth. This will allow him to shape the appliance so it sits comfortably in your mouth and provides an effective treatment. The impression will be sent to a lab where the appliance will be made using a high quality plastic. You’ll pick it up a week or so later, and Dr. Rodgers will show you how to put it on, adjust it, and maintain it.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’ve already been diagnosed with sleep apnea, Dr. Rodgers can work with your sleep physician to get you an oral appliance. Or, if you haven’t been diagnosed and suspect that you might have sleep apnea, Dr. Rodgers can give you a thorough airway screening to determine your risk for the disorder. If he believes that you may have it, he can organize for you to get a sleep test.
Our oral appliances help hundreds of sleep apnea patients sleep soundly every night, and one could do the exact same for you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.