Oral devices are often used as an option for patients who have mild obstructive sleep apnea who are not that best candidates for the use of a CPAP machine. Dental devices should be fit by a trained dentist or orthodontist. An initial sleep study to diagnosis sleep apnea, as well as, a follow up sleep study will be needed to ensure the effectiveness of the oral device.
There are several dental devices available to OSA patients, mandibular advancement and tongue restraining devices being the most common. The mandibular advancement device is similar to a sports mouth guard and its used to force the lower jaw forward and down, to open the airway. Tongue restraining devices hold the tongue in place to keep airways open with little interference from the tongue.
Dental devices should be checked up on regularly to determine effectiveness of the treatment and to determine if replacement of device is needed.