Dental treatment for snoring and sleep apnoea (correctly known as Oral Appliance Therapy) is now a recognised form of treatment for sleep disordered breathing conditions including snoring and sleep apnoea. In fact, according to The Academy of Sleep Medicine, the leading international sleep-medicine body, OAT is endorsed as first line treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnoea. In more severe cases, CPAP is still the recommended and generally more successful form of treatment.
At The Sleep Therapy Clinics we conduct detailed diagnostic sleep studies on each patient to determine precisely what the nature and severity of their condition is. The results of the sleep study are then reviewed by an independent specialist sleep physician who will determine and prescribe an appropriate form of treatment.
If oral appliance therapy is prescribed, we can introduce patients to some of the most highly qualified dentists in this specialised field. Where CPAP is indicated, our own nurses are able to provide caring, ongoing treatment. If necessary, we can also provide referrals to expert surgeons whenever surgical intervention is necessary). The important point is that our patients truly get the treatment which is best for them — not just the treatment which a dentist, surgeon or CPAP merchant wants to sell.
Oral appliance therapy involves the custom fitting of specialised dental devices known as Mandibular Advancement Splints or Mandibular Repositioning Devices. As their name suggests, these devices move and hold the mandible (lower jaw) and connected tissue clear of the airway while the patient sleeps.
When properly prescribed and fitted, OAT is extremely effective. This, combined with the discreet nature and easy portability of the device (it can be kept under the pillow until ‘lights out’ or carried in a toiletries bag when travelling) makes OAT a popular treatment option.
OAT can sometimes also be used for ‘severe’ apnoea sufferers. In these cases, the patient will almost certainly get a better result (as in, a reduction of the number of apnoeic events per hour) while using CPAP. But when the patient cannot comply with CPAP, or when lifestyle issues such as travel, camping, power supply etc make it difficult to use consistently.
In these situations, OAT will generally NOT deliver quite as good a result — but dramatic improvements will still be achieved. It is certainly better to get at least this degree of improvement via OAT if CPAP is not suitable, rather than getting no treatment at all.
For more information about OAT, call The Sleep Therapy Clinic on 1300 246 6371 for a free, no-obligation chat with a friendly treatment coordinator.