One of our goals is to provide the most conservative treatment possible in every situation. Oral appliances offer simple, non-invasive care for a variety of conditions. Regardless of the application, every appliance we prescribe is custom-crafted for you with excellent fit and function. Appliances designed on models of your teeth can be used to fit on either upper or lower teeth, or on both at the same time. Whether we're treating nighttime sleep grinding, diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea, bite problems or jaw joint disorders, appliance therapy may aid our treatment. Dr. Pham employs a variety of innovative designs depending on treatment goals and your preferences.
Types of oral appliances
Oral appliances come in various forms. Fortunately, this diversity helps individuals choose the one that suits them and meets their needs in the best possible way without excess intrusion in their everyday lives.
Some individuals may suffer from consistently low breathing throughout their sleep. If they suffer from pauses in sleep, these pauses may be as long as 60 seconds each (one minute), with a frequency of as many as 20 or more such pauses within a minute. Most individuals who suffer from sleep apnea are not even aware that they have a problem. Sleep apnea is either diagnosed by someone close enough to witness the problem as it occurs, or who is disturbed by strong and loud snoring of the individual.
Dental devices are oral appliances that work through controlling jaw and tongue movements that cause blockage of the airways. When fitted by a dentist or a skilled dental professional, these control movements inside the mouth that could cause physical obstructions to the passageways, in turn leading to interrupted breathing and obstructive sleep apnea.
Mandibular: Mandibular devices are one of the common devices used to treat sleep apnea. It works by pushing the lower jaw down and forward slightly which helps keep the airway open.
Tongue: This is useful for individuals whose tongues restrict their airways. The tongue retraining device holds the tongue down to prevent it from blocking the airway.
Usually, oral appliances are not recommended for severe apneas. However, depending on how the patient responds, CPAP can be continued with the aid of these. Usually, dental devices or oral appliances are suggested for mild to moderate forms of apneas.
Some pointers to usage -
> Unlike conventional CPAP devices, oral appliances may provide a higher degree of freedom of movement to some patients.
> For some, it could help in sleeping sideways, though not lying flat on the back.
> Improvement in a frequency of sleeping pauses and snoring.
> Overall improvement in the quality of sleep due to continued adherence to the treatment.