Sleep apnea is a condition that can significantly lower your quality of life and can contribute to health problems if left undiagnosed and untreated. Luckily, there are effective treatment options available for those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. While the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the most well-known sleep apnea treatment, dental devices (also known as orthotic devices) that keep the airway clear can also be highly effective.
Boston dentist Dr. Ryan Clancy offers custom dental devices to help patients combat sleep apnea. He also offers full face orthodontic treatment for patients he feels would benefit from a physiological approach in order to guide jaw growth and expand the airway.
Benefits of a Dental Device for Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are many benefits to using a dental device over a CPAP machine, as long as you are a good candidate. These include:
- More comfortable
- Easier to use and get used to
- Much smaller and easier to travel with
CPAP machines are loud, large, and can be hard to get used to. While some people are able to eventually use one fairly comfortably, others find it too difficult and may stop using it. Our dental devices for sleep apnea are custom-built to be as comfortable as possible, and they do not make any noise, which is easier on both you and your partner. In addition, a dental device can be easily packed in a carry-on for business or vacation travel.
How Do Sleep Apnea Oral Devices Work?
A dental device for sleep apnea works by holding your jaw in position so that your airway remains clear while you are sleeping. Obstructive sleep apnea is typically caused by airway blockage during sleep, which happens when the tongue and tissues in the back of the throat relax and collapse into the airway. By holding your jaw forward, airway blockage is prevented.
Dr. Clancy uses the MicrO2 device, which is completely custom-built to fit comfortably in your mouth and address your unique situation. A dental device that has not been customized for the perfect fit can become uncomfortable, so we work together with you and Prosomnus, the makers of the MicrO2 device, to create the most comfortable device possible that is still effective.
Not everyone is a good candidate for a dental device to treat their sleep apnea. Whether or not you are a candidate will depend on the severity and complexity of your case. If you are not a good candidate for the MicrO2 device, you may be a candidate for full face orthodontics. You will need to have an in-person consultation with Dr. Clancy to find out if an oral device or full face orthodontics may be appropriate for you.