Oral Appliance Therapy – Tulsa, OK

A Solution That Literally Fits in Your Pocket

Man unhappy with CPAP who would prefer oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea

Oral appliance therapy from our Tulsa, OK specialty dental team is an effective sleep apnea treatment that offers a viable alternative to CPAP therapy. Rather than having to wear some bulky device to bed, all a patient has to do is pop in a mouthguard that is designed specifically to fit them, and they are all set. In addition to keeping the airway open, sleep appliances also help to stop snoring, which can be great news for a patient’s partner and family. Our doctors are experts when it comes to providing sleep appliances in Tulsa, and to learn more about this kind of treatment, just read the page below.

Oral Appliance Therapy vs. CPAP Therapy

Man and woman waking feeling rested thanks to sleep apnea therapy

Many sleep apnea patients who have been prescribed a CPAP machine choose to switch to an oral appliance because of several factors, with a few being:

  • Improved Comfort: Strapping an air pump to your face isn’t exactly restful, but with an oral appliance, most patients say that they basically forget they are wearing one as they drift off to sleep.
  • Ease of Use: Cleaning, maintaining, and transporting a CPAP can be a pain, but an oral appliance is simple to rinse off and fits easily into any purse, bag, or even pocket.
  • Quiet: A CPAP can be quite loud while an oral appliance literally makes no noise.
  • Better Compliance: A sleep apnea treatment is only effective if a person uses it, and because oral appliance therapy is so much more comfortable, a patient is more likely to utilize it compared to a CPAP, which has a 50% abandonment rate.
  • Stop Teeth Grinding: A CPAP can’t do anything if a patient grinds their teeth while they sleep, which is fairly common with sleep apnea. Fortunately, an oral appliance can offer protection for the teeth while preserving the airway.

Who Could Benefit from an Oral Appliance?

Oral appliance for sleep apnea therapy
  • Patients who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA.
  • Patients who don’t like or have stopped using a CPAP machine.
  • Patients who still feel unrested despite using a CPAP.
  • Patients who want to avoid corrective surgery for sleep apnea.
  • Patients who snore every night, even if they aren’t diagnosed with sleep apnea.
  • Patients who experience both sleep apnea as well as bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching)

How Can You Get an Oral Appliance?

At Healthy Sleep Tulsa, the process is simple:

  • Step 1: Take the STOP-BANG Assessment or schedule an appointment at our specialty dental office for a complimentary screening.
  • Step 2: When you come to see us, our doctors will perform an oral exam and take several scans of your mouth and airway to determine what might be causing your problems.
  • Step 3: If she believes that you are likely suffering from sleep apnea, she’ll help you get set up to take a sleep test.
  • Step 4: Based on the results of your sleep test, our doctors will help identify the best custom-made oral appliance to treat your apnea and snoring. All of our appliances are made from a digital 3D scan of your teeth and mouth.
  • Step 5: You’ll return to our specialty dental office to receive your appliance, learn how to wear it and maintain it, and then we’ll follow up to make sure your treatment is working a few weeks down the road.

Oral Appliance Treatment FAQs

Woman with white shirt sleeping soundly in her bed

A personalized oral appliance could be the key to keeping sleep apnea under control without having to rely on a CPAP machine. If you’re interested in getting an oral appliance, you probably have quite a few questions about what you can expect from it. Below are our answers to a number of questions that we often get from our patients. Is there something else you want to know about oral appliances that isn’t discussed here? Reach out and let us know!

How Do Oral Appliances Work?

Every night, you will place your oral appliance in your mouth right before you go to sleep. The appliance will help keep your airway open throughout the night to reduce the chances of a sleep apnea episode occurring. Some appliances simply move the jaw slightly forward while others are designed to keep the tongue in place. The type of oral appliance that we suggest in your case will depend on the underlying cause of your sleep disorder; this is a major reason why a sleep test is such an important part of the treatment process.

How Effective are Oral Appliances?

Oral appliances are more effective in some cases than others. If you are experiencing mild to moderate sleep apnea symptoms, then there’s a good chance that wearing an oral appliance could significantly improve the quality of your sleep. On top of that, oral appliances are specifically meant to help treat obstructive sleep apnea; if you’re suffering from central sleep apnea, you will need to seek an alternative solution. A sleep test can help determine how effective an oral appliance is likely to be in your specific situation.

How Should I Care for My Oral Appliance?

First of all, you should always brush and floss thoroughly before wearing your oral appliance. This is to minimize the chances of food particles getting stuck between your appliance and your teeth. Additionally, since plaque can build up on your appliance, you should take the time to clean it every day.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and some anti-bacterial soap for the cleaning process. Be as thorough as possible, and pay extra close attention to any nooks and crannies where bacteria might be hiding. Additionally, you should soak your oral appliance in a denture-cleaning solution at least once every week.

Will Insurance Cover Oral Appliance Treatment?

Many medical insurance plans will pay at least part of the cost of an oral appliance meant to treat sleep apnea. Of course, the exact level of coverage depends on the specifics of your plan. Our team can review your insurance policy with you and answer any questions that you might have in order to give you a clear idea of what benefits are available and how you can take advantage of them. When the time comes to file a claim, we will take care of the necessary paperwork for you.