Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Treatment option (Oral Appliance Therapy)
Q: Why should I consider Oral Appliance Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
A: Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for patients who are diagnosed with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). A custom-fit oral sleep appliance can improve your sleep, restore your alertness, and revitalize your health.
Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:
• Easy to wear
• Convenient for travel
• Easy to care for
Q: Can Oral Appliance Therapy really help me?
A: Yes, some dental oral appliances are effective for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There are more than 100 oral appliances that have received FDA clearance. Although CPAP is the standard treatment of OSA, dental oral appliances are becoming more common as new research solidifies their efficacy in treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. It is important to work with your physician and dentist to find an appropriate treatment for you. Follow care is imperative to insure that the treatment is working.
Q: Can I get rid of CPAP if I get Oral Appliance Therapy?
A: Oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative to CPAP for treating patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Researchers find that oral appliance therapy is an effective alternative to CPAP for treating patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. For severe cases of OSA, researchers recommend CPAP as the best treatment option.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has approved Oral appliance therapy (OAT) as a first line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA. AASM recommends oral appliance for patients with severe OSA, who are unable to tolerate or cannot wear Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices. Another option for people with severe OSA is Combination Therapy, (wearing CPAP and an oral appliance together) to help reduce the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more comfortable to use.
Depending on the severity of OSA, treatment options are:
• Mild to Moderate OSA: Oral appliance Therapy (OAT)
• Severe OSA: CPAP, Combination Therapy (CPAP and oral appliance together)
Q: Is Oral appliance therapy covered by insurance?
A: Oral appliance therapy is covered by many medical insurance plans. Most health insurance companies and Medicare cover sleep apnea oral appliances. The treating physician must first render the diagnosis of Obstructive sleep apnea before the dentist can initiate therapy.
In many cases, health insurance will cover all or part of the costs of getting an oral appliance for sleep apnea treatment. This can vary from different insurance plans and from state to state. Some insurance companies may cover the full cost, while others may cover part of the cost. Some insurers might not cover any of the cost.
*Dr. Anna Lee is a dentist trained in sleep apnea who can assist you with options of treating sleep apnea. For more information, please visit our sleep website at www.glendorasleep.com or call office at 626-335-5114 for a FREE Sleep Apnea Consultation.