There are over 150 FDA-approved oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea and snoring. A diagnosis along with a sleep study helps determine what kind of appliance will work best for you. It is also important to note the many factors that go into fabricating the right appliance for you, such as existing veneers, crowns, periodontal disease, oral health and future dental work that may be needed.
Five reasons to see a specialist for a custom fit oral appliance for sleep apnea and snoring rather than a ready-made one from a store or online:
1.) Custom designed—A trained professional will take a digital scan or physical impression of your teeth and send it to a specialized lab technician, compared to a boil and bite style which alleges to fit the average person.
2.) Comfort—The lab can create the smallest type of appliance with a variety of adjusting mechanisms to make it comfortable to sleep in every night.
3.) Efficacy—The lower jaw needs to be cradled at a certain horizontal and vertical position for the appliance to work without causing muscle or jaw pain.
4.) Compliance—Many people stop wearing their ready-made appliance due to its bulkiness, poor fit and discomfort.
5.) Jaw and tooth movement—Risks associated with wearing a mandibular device include tooth movement, jaw pain, muscle pain, and bite changes. A custom-made appliance is designed to minimize the possibility of these risks; however, it is important to follow up with your specialist annually to avert these problems.
Ready-made appliances offer the potential advantages of being easily available at a relatively low cost. A custom appliance will be more costly but will provide you with optimal quality sleep, resulting in more focus, better energy and improved overall health. In this case, you truly do get what you pay for.
Dr. Marianna Kovitch is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine Dr. Kovitch completed her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia after earning her Bachelor of Science degree with honors in Chemistry and recognition in research publication in biochemistry from Georgia State University. Dr. Kovitch has been an active board member of the Academy of General Dentistry since 2013 and has been a contributor to the development of dentistry excellence in Georgia.
Marianna Kovitch, DMD, DABDSM • Atlanta Smiles • GoodNightSleepGA.com • 404.262.7733