To determine if your symptoms (snoring, day time sleepiness, etc.) are signs that you have OSA, a sleep study needs to be conducted. Most of the time, sleep studies can be conducted at home. A simple sleep-monitoring device is sent home, to be worn for one to two nights. A Board Certified Sleep Physician interprets the data from the device.
How are Snoring and OSA Diagnosed?
Oral Appliance Therapy
An oral appliance fits just like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer, and is only worn while you sleep. Oral appliances open your upper airway by supporting your jaw in a forward position. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
The process for Oral Appliance Therapy is as follows:
1. A consult is scheduled with the Dentist
2. A series of tests will be conducted, including testing the patient’s airway by:
- Rhinometer- a testing of the nasal canal to determine if there are any nasal obstructions
- Pharyngometer- a testing of the oral airway to determine where the airway collapse is taking place
3. A sleep study will be conducted – most of the time we can provide an at home sleep study
4. A Board Certified Sleep Physician will analyze your sleep study data and, if applicable, write you a prescription for a custom-made oral appliance
5. Return to our office for a fitting and fabrication of the appliance
Oral Appliance Therapy vs. CPAP
An oral appliance offers 70% the efficacy of a positive pressure device (CPAP). An oral appliance contributes to having more energy during the day, more restful sleep, as well as warding off many diseases. Most patients prefer an oral appliance over CPAP because it is easy to wear, easy to care for, portable, and doesn’t make the noise that a CPAP machine does.
Making and Fitting Your Oral Appliance
Once a diagnosis is confirmed and the physician prescribes treatment for a sleep appliance, you will return to our clinic for digital impressions and models of your teeth to be made and sent out to a dental lab. Once the appliance is created, you’ll return to ensure the appliance fits correctly. At this appointment, we will adjust the appliance to maximize its comfort and effectiveness as well as give you instructions on home care and maintenance.