Many Americans suffer from sleep disorders related to snoring or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Many adult patients suffering from sleep apnea go on to have sleep studies performed and are prescribed a CPAP machine that provides Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
For patients who may snore, but do not have diagnosed apnea, a dental snore appliance may be an option. These appliances are made by taking custom impressions of the patient’s mouth, and a registration of how the teeth come together in various positions. A sleep history is also reviewed, touching on how many hours a night the patient sleeps, do they feel tired during the day, does their significant other wake up due to their snoring, etc.
The appliance works by repositioning the lower jaw into a slightly protrusive (forward) position. By doing so, the muscles of the throat are tightened and therefore as air flows through the nose and throat it does not vibrate, thus, snoring sounds are decreased and air flow is improved.
There are a variety of sleep appliances available, and at Delmarva Dental Services the two currently prescribed options are the SilentNite-SL and the EMA.