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Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are four recognized treatment regimens for obstructive sleep apnea: oral appliances, lifestyle changes, continuous positive airway pressure, and surgery.

Decisions on treatment are customized for each patient based on their medical history, sleep specialist's examination, results of the sleep lab study, the individual's unique needs, preferences, health problems, and life style. Success of the selected treatment can and should be verified by a repeat study in the sleep lab.

Oral Appliances for the Treatment of Apnea

There are two main categories of oral appliances - Tongue Retaining Devices (TRDs) and Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs). Both result in the tongue being in a more forward position than normal and the mouth being held open beyond its normal rest position. They presumably keep the airway open by preventing collapse of the tongue on the soft palate and throat.

Thornton Adjustable Positioner - TAP©             OASYS Oral/Nasal Airway System™      MRD   SonoMed


Whichever oral appliance is prescribed for OSA and snoring, as with all other alternative treatment regimens, there is no guarantee of success. Various home monitors are available to objectively evaluate progress each time the device is adjusted. After the dentist has adjusted the oral appliance to maximum performance, a final study should be done in the sleep lab to confirm results. 


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