overview of oral appliances

Oral Appliances are plastic devices 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 appliances move the lower jaw slightly forward, bringing the base of the tongue with it, opening the airway to allow improved breathing, reduced snoring and fewer apneas during sleep.

Oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other means of sleep apnea therapy such as continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). Determination of proper therapy can only be made by joint consultation of your dentist and sleep physician.

Currently there are at least 40 different designs of oral appliances available to specially trained dentists to treat snoring and sleep apnea.

At Louisville Dental Sleep Medicine we use four different mandibular repositioning appliances as primary treatment.