Sleep Apnea FAQs

What options are available for treating my snoring or sleep apnea?

Medical and dental treatment options include: Positional Devices, CPAP or BiPAP, Oral Appliance Therapy and Surgery.

How does the appliance work to help manage snoring and sleep apnea?

An oral appliance is a small plastic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard.  The appliance is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft tissue of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway.  Oral appliances work by slightly advancing the lower jaw which in turn moves the base of the tongue forward and opens the airway to allow improved breathing and sleep.

What percentage of people find the appliance to be effective?

If the problem is snoring only, the appliance is effective in approximately 85% – 90% of patients.  When treating apnea, the appliance is 60%-80% effective, depending on the severity of the apnea.  The appliance tends to be more effective for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.  However, it can be successful for severe apnea as well.

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How do you confirm the effectiveness of the oral appliance?

You will be referred back to you physician for a follow-up sleep study while using the appliance.  The results of the test will confirm the effectiveness of the device.

Does my insurance cover the appliance?

Since insurance plans vary widely, we work with all of our patients to help them obtain reimbursement from their insurance carrier to the maximum allowed by their plan.  Dental insurance companies do not cover this type of treatment.  Most medical insurance plans have coverage for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with an oral appliance.  Insurance companies will not cover the appliance unless you have been tested for sleep apnea and qualify for the device.  We can provide you with a pre-certification from your insurance company before the appliance is made.

How long does it take to adapt to the device?

95% of patients will adapt to the appliance within 2-7 days.  It will take a few days to adapt to having a device in your mouth during sleep.