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Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age. Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night. Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.
There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly. This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again. Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep. Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
Sleep apnea appliances fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable. Here are brief descriptions of some commonly used sleep apnea dental appliances:
The Somnodent appliance is also used to gently bring the mandible and its associated musculature and tissues forward, opening up the airway for those with sleep apnea. The Somnodent is adjustable and is known for being one of the least bulky appliances. It is made of two seaparate acrylic pieces and allows patients to speak, yawn, and drink. The appliance does not limit space for the tongue which creates a high level of comfort.
The SomnoDentHerbst® is an intraoral medical device used for treating snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The advancement mechanism comes standard in telescopic design. This mechanism allows the mandible to be easily advancedin increments of less than one millimeter. The SomnoDent Herbst is also available in shim design upon request. The SomnoDent Herbst Flexoption offers added comfort and retention through its proprietary soft polymer SMH BFlex material, providing superior retention andunmatched comfort.
SomnoDent G2 provides an easy to use modular titration system, which allows instant and accurate measurement. The mechanism allows you to experience ultimate comfort as the device has a smaller coupling mechanism, is slim-lineand more posteralaly located.
If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask one of our doctors.