You could use a dental appliance to alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Rather than your physician, you visit your dentist for this oral appliance therapy (OAT) device.
You cannot visit just any dentist to obtain a Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance. Dr. Greg Pitts in American Fork, Utah, has received training and accreditation to practice dental sleep medicine. These dentists typically belong to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).
These devices resemble the mouthguard or a retainer. The OAT device repositions your jaw gently forward, opening your airway. It keeps your airway open so that you can breathe. The other benefit is that most of the time it greatly reduces or alleviates snoring.
While some types of OATs have been used for a few years by sleep medicine dentists, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the OAT as a first response treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea. It changed the prior practice of trying CPAP therapy first and only using OAT if the patient could not tolerate CPAP.
These devices work best for those patients who score between 5 and 30 on the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Unlike CPAP, they provide a comfortable method of controlling apnea.
Patients who use these OATs have reported finding them non-claustrophobic since it fits inside the mouth, not over it. If you have ever worn a sports mouthguard, it works and feels the same.
The OAT also does not provide pressurized air. It lets you breathe normally, sans assistance.
Patients also reported liking that they can sleep in any position without tubes getting tangled, a common problem with restless sleepers. Since there is no tubing with OAT, this can’t happen.
The OAT device proves to be much more portable than a CPAP. You can obtain more than one and pack one in an overnight bag while keeping the other at home. They take up almost no space. You could fit it into your pocket or purse if desired.
The convenience of these devices probably seems rather obvious. Unlike CPAP, they don’t break down. You can still sleep if the power goes out. That’s not true with a CPAP that requires electricity to operate. There is also no noise when using it.
These mouthpiece devices require very little maintenance. You do need to wash it off once per day. If you had a retainer as a child, the cleaning is similar.
Since these cost less than a CPAP, patients can more easily afford them. Some do as mentioned and purchase two, so they can take one on the go with them.
The benefits of OAT therapy are many, so call Greg G. Pitts DDS team today at (801) 758-0019 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Greg Pitts has various options available for residents of American Fork, Utah, regarding OAT devices.
For Dr. Greg Pitts, dentistry is not just a profession; he is passionate about providing the best possible care for patients. He earned his BS from Brigham Young University (BYU), Utah and his DDS from Creighton Dental School, Nebraska. He has been practicing dentistry in American Fork since 1999.
A member of the ADA, AGD, UDA, and American Academy of Sports Dentistry, Dr. Pitts is actively involved with Utah Valley athletics and works to raise awareness of the need for tooth protection in organized sports and recreational activities. He is the official dentist for the BYU and UVU athletic departments.