How well do Oral Appliances work?
A large number of medical associations now endorse Dental Therapy as a first-line treatment for OSA. But any therapy only works well if it’s actually used.
CPAP therapy, when used properly, can provide highly effective treatment but a lot of people can’t tolerate the restriction of the face mask or the feel of forced air. As a result, many stop using it.
People who are given oral appliances to treat Sleep Apnoea, on the other hand, are far more likely to stick with the treatment.
How long will they last?
Usually four to five years. If you clench or grind your teeth you might wear out your appliance in a couple of years but in that time it will be doing its job and also helping to protect your teeth and dental work.
Are they comfortable?
Most people find the devices surprisingly comfortable and adapt to them within a night or two. They say that waking refreshed and with a happy partner more than makes up for any initial discomfort.
Are there any side effects?
There can be minor side effects such as excessive saliva and pressure on teeth and jaw but most are temporary and disappear within a day or two. Most people experience no detrimental side effects at all.
Will I need to use one forever?
The device itself will not cure you of OSA. But other factors, such as losing weight, may make the use of the device unnecessary, you may find a different sleep position that will be effective, or the device may improve your sleep and energy levels to a point that you have more incentive to make significant lifestyle changes. Sleep Apnoea is a chronic illness whose severity is a function of weight and age – the older you get, the thinner you need to be.