Effective sleep apnea treatment that fits Indianapolis lifestyles
Oral appliance therapy is a non-surgical sleep apnea treatment. Indianapolis dentist, Dr. Matthew Church helps patients get the quality sleep they need for better overall health (and improved relationships with housemates), using this method.
What is oral appliance therapy?
An oral appliance prevents the airway from collapsing while you sleep, to reduce or eliminate snoring and episodes of obstructive sleep apnea.
The device fits into the mouth, something like an orthodontic retainer. The size and fit are customized for comfortable wear. A “mandibular repositioning” appliance supports the jaw in a forward position, keeping the mouth slightly open. A “tongue retaining” appliance holds the tongue, so it won’t drop into the back of the throat.
Once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a physician, Dr. Church can determine if oral appliance therapy is a good choice for you. This method is very effective in treating slight to moderate OSA. Those with severe OSA may need to consider CPAP or possibly surgery, but can benefit from oral appliance therapy, meanwhile or in addition to those options.
Living with a dental appliance
Most patients find compliance to be a breeze, because oral appliance therapy is so convenient. Living with a dental appliance calls for these straight-forward steps:
- Wear it. Just snap the appliance into place after you brush your teeth, before you go to sleep. You can speak with it in, and drink water during the night. It also prevents bruxing – excessive clenching or grinding that can damage teeth and strain the jaw joint.
- Keep it clean. In the morning, remove the device. Rinse it in lukewarm water (hot water may warp the plastic), and brush all surfaces gently. Purchase a soft toothbrush and use it just for this purpose. Residual toothpaste on your regular brush will scratch the appliance, leaving grooves that harbor microscopic bacteria. Rinse the appliance again and allow it to air dry, or dry it with a soft, clean towel before placing it in its storage container.
- Take it along. Because the appliance is small, portable, and discreet, it is easy to carry with you. You will have it handy in any situation where snoring might be an embarrassment – on an airplane, after a big family dinner, or during an overnight visit.
- Call Dr. Church for adjustments. Patients typically adapt quickly to wearing a professionally fitted oral appliance. However, if you experience jaw pain, mouth sores, or other oral discomfort, please call Dr. Church promptly. He will re-check fit and make adjustments if necessary.
Sleep apnea treatment in Indianapolis doesn’t have to mean CPAP or surgery. Patients at Washington Street Dentistry are enjoying the benefits of restful, deep sleep with oral appliance therapy. Call (317) 333-6788 for a consultation with Dr. Church.