Oral Appliance Therapy is a Great Alternative to CPAP

Oral Appliance Therapy is a Great Alternative to CPAP

Did you know that CPAP machines currently are on a 3 month production backlog and oral devices can reasonably be delivered in 3 weeks? Also, in 2021, the American Heart Association published a scientific statement on Obstructive Sleep Apnea: “OSA is very prevalent in the U.S., with prevalence being possibly as high as 80% among patients with cardiovascular disease (e.g. stroke, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure and hypertension).1

The AHAs scientific statement concluded that because continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is limited by low patient adherence, alternative therapies are needed. The AHA endorsed oral appliance therapy (OAT) as an effective alternative for treatment of mild-to-moderate OSA and for patients who are unable to tolerate CPAP.1

OAT is a highly effective therapy for OSA, with ample evidence showing that it not only reduces AHI, but also improves a variety of symptoms and co-morbidities ranging from excessive daytime sleepiness and cognition to high blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality.” 

(Source: News Release from the American Heart Association)

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of poor health outcomes including cardiovascular disease but also diabetes, erectile dysfunction, poor memory … As women reach menopause they are just as likely to develop sleep apnea as men. As a culture, we tend to brush off snoring but it is a key indicator of potential obstructive sleep apnea. If you have recently started to snore or wake your spouse by loud snoring, this might be a sign of untreated sleep apnea. It is worth the time for your health to make an appointment with a sleep specialist, have a sleep study performed and make an appointment with Dr. Erika Mason, DDS, D-ABDSM, D-ACSDD.

Dr. Erika Mason will explain your sleep study to you and choose the best oral device to treat your sleep apnea. Insurance can dictate which appliance it will cover but there are some really innovative ones on the market like the EVO. As Dr. Mason explains the EVO stands for evolutionary and is her favorite new technology. The material of the EVO looks similar to the other Prosomunus oral appliances but actually has some flexibility. The device moves and is made of the material from the tip of a heart catheter. With the heart catheter it needs to move around the body to get up to the heart and as it does it moves and bends around arteries and then springs back to its original form.

The amazing thing about the EVO is that it can move and flex as your jaw needs to move and goes back. When you put it in your mouth it stretches over your teeth and then it snaps back to its original manufactured design. Because of this it tends to fit a little bit snugger. It has proprietary software that mimics the inside of your mouth and your tongue thinks it is feeling your teeth instead of a “hunk” of plastic. Therefore it seems a bit smaller and a lot more comfortable than other dental devices on the market.The EVO is actually 26% smaller than other devices. Less bulk means more AIR. Therefore more air means better efficacy in treating your OSA.

ProSomnus announced at this year’s World Sleep Conference in Rome, Italy  that they are incorporating a sensor in the upper tray which will give you physiological readings of oxygenation, blood pressure, heart rate, and how long you have worn the appliance. This information will be able to be downloaded to your phone and reported on a daily basis. It is like having a home sleep test every night. 

Exciting things are coming in the future of oral appliance therapy or dental orthotics and it will change the landscape of treating OSA. So don’t let your untreated sleep apnea give you poor health. 

All right, sleep better.