Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea are some of the most prevalent medical conditions we face. The causes are multiple: age, weight, upper airway anatomy, and neurological predispositions. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP devices) remain the gold-standard in therapy, although compliance is still low.
Adjustable oral appliances are making a strong foothold in treatment. These custom devices that aim to project the lower jaw forward (protrusion), tugging the tongue forward with it. This helps to drastically improve the oropharyngeal airway.
Recently most insurance companies have recognized these as an effective treatment for snoring and mild or moderate sleep apnea. They may also improve severe obstructive sleep apnea as well in the appropriate patient. Our practice has been using oral appliances in patients who cannot successfully use CPAP prior to consideration for oropharyngeal surgery. The device offers a painless reversible option to surgery with comparable long-term results.