FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
How does the appliance work to help manage sleep apnea /snoring?
An oral appliance is a device worn over the upper and lower teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. Worn during sleep, oral appliances prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. The appliance moves the lower jaw slightly forward bringing the base of the tongue with it, opening the airway to allow improved breathing, reduced snoring and fewer apneic incidences during sleep.
What percentage of people finds the appliance to be effective?
Two questions in one.
How long do these appliances last?
We are telling our patients 3-5 years, although we expect many will last much longer. Patients with heavy bruxing (tooth-grinding) activity may wear them out somewhat faster.
How much does treatment with an appliance cost?
The fee for the initial consultation is $150. The comprehensive clinical evaluation is $521. This includes two diagnostic X-Rays, impressions, and intra-oral photos. We use appliances that are custom-made for each patient's situation and are adjustable, allowing us to achieve the best jaw position for maximum effect with optimal comfort. The fee for the appliance is $2600. Each patient needs two follow up appointments within a 90 day time frame. After that time the patient will be referred back to their referring doctor for a follow up sleep study to prove the oral appliance is working for the patient. We will then see the patient again six months later. Thereafter annual follow ups are scheduled. These office visit charges are usually $110.
How long does it take to get an appliance?
Since the appliance is custom made it will take 5 to 6 weeks after the comprehensive clinical evaluation for the appliance to be made.
How long does it take to adapt to the appliance? Will it hurt my teeth?
95% of patients will adapt to the appliance within 2-7 days. It takes a few days to get used to having a device in your mouth during sleep. We tell our patients to expect some initial tooth and/or muscle soreness, not lasting past an hour after awakening. First follow-up visits are within 3-4 weeks, sooner if needed, to immediately address any discomfort issues. The appliances are easily adjustable for your comfort.
Does my insurance cover appliance treatment?
Most medical insurance contracts have coverage for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with an oral appliance. Medical insurance does not have coverage for treatment of snoring only. Since coverage varies with each insurance carrier please call us to discuss your specific insurance plan.
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John M. McCrillis, DMD