How are Snoring and OSA Diagnosed?
To determine if your symptoms (snoring, day-time sleepiness, etc.) are signs that you have OSA, we recommend running a sleep study. Many times, sleep studies can be conducted at home. A simple sleep-monitoring device is sent home, worn for one to two nights. A Board Certified Sleep Physician then interprets the data from the device.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Worn while you sleep, an oral appliance fits just like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer. Oral appliances open your upper airway by supporting your jaw in a forward position. Research supports that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
The process for Oral Appliance Therapy is as follows:
- Consult with the dentist.
- A series of tests will be conducted, including testing the patient’s airway by:
Rhinometer — A testing of the nasal canal to determine if there are any nasal obstructions.
Pharyngometer — A testing of the oral airway to determine where the airway collapse is taking place.
- A sleep study will be conducted – most of the time we can provide an at home sleep study.
- A Board Certified Sleep Physician will analyze your sleep study data and, if applicable, write you a prescription for a custom-made oral appliance.
- Return to our office for a fitting and fabrication of the appliance.
Oral Appliance Therapy vs. CPAP
An oral appliance offers 70% the efficacy of a positive pressure device (CPAP). An oral appliance helps with having more energy during the day, more restful sleep, and wards off many diseases. Most patients prefer an oral appliance over CPAP as it is easy to wear, easier to care for, portable, and doesn’t make the noise that a CPAP machine makes.
Making and Fitting Your Oral Appliance
Once a diagnosis is confirmed and the physician prescribes treatment for a sleep appliance, we will have you come back to our clinic for digital impressions and models of your teeth to be made and sent out to a dental lab. After the appliance is created, you’ll return to test the appliance and make sure it fits correctly. At this appointment, we will adjust the appliance to maximize its comfort and effectiveness as well as give you instructions on home care and maintenance.