How Does OAT Work?
The oral appliance (similar to an orthodontic retainer) is worn by the patient while they sleep. The appliance moves the tongue and/or the lower jaw in a way that allows the patient to maintain an open airway. Dentists trained in dental sleep medicine are skilled in selecting, fabricating, fitting and adjusting these devices in order to assist the patient in breathing freely during sleep.
There are many different oral appliances available. Approximately 40 appliances have been approved through the FDA for treatment of snoring and/or sleep apnea. These appliances are adjustable so that a trained dentist can fine-tune them to a patient’s current condition and readjust them in the future if their status changes.
To see an illustration of how Oral Appliance Therapy works, click here to see an explanation by the Mayo Clinic.