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Sleep Apnea Appliances

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Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age.  Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night.  Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.

There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly.  This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again.  Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep.  Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Sleep apnea appliances fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable.  Here are brief descriptions of some commonly used sleep apnea dental appliances:

The Moses

This new, innovative device adds another dimension to oral-appliance therapy. Stimulating protrusive tongue reflexes and an open anterior design advances the tongue and enlarges the cross-sectional area of the airway. Combined with mandibular advancement, it becomes the most effective appliance available. Two-part construction allows patients to talk, drink, open wide and close their lips, making this the most comfortable appliance available.

 

 

EMA

The EMA® (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) oral appliance is a customized removable appliance created for the noninvasive treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The appliance is designed to both advance the mandible and open the bite to allow for less restricted airflow during sleep.

EMA devices help promote a deeper, more restful sleep by preventing snoring and relieving the symptoms of OSA. The EMA does not interfere with breathing through the mouth, even in cases of congested nasal passages. It has many options for advancement with nine strap lengths and four different elastic tension options. Non-restricted lateral/protrusive movement and improved movements of the jaw are possible while wearing the device due to varying elastic bands.

 


If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask your dentist.

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