Oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for patients who are affected by snoring and/or obstructive sleep apnea. This type of therapy involves having a custom-fitted device inserted in your mouth and designed to use during sleep. Put simply; an oral appliance fits no differently than an athletic mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. The only difference is it is fitted and monitored by your dentistry sleep specialist at the California Center for Sleep Disorders.
Oral appliance therapy typically uses one of two types of devices: mandibular repositioning devices and tongue retaining devices. Mandibular repositioning devices pull your lower jaw forward and down so that your airway is not obstructed during sleep. They are the most widely used among oral appliances. Tongue retaining devices, on the hand, hold the tongue in place so that it does not block the airway.
According to the American Sleep Association, the average cost of an oral appliance is between $1800 and $2000. This estimate may include the actual device, the visit, adjustments, and follow-ups. This cost may vary depending on your unique needs. Still, many health insurers, as well as Medicare, offer coverage for oral appliances that are used for the treatment of sleep apnea.
Once your doctor agrees that oral appliance therapy is a good recommendation for your treatment, he or she will walk you through all the important details about using these devices. Most patients are satisfied with the use of oral appliances because these devices are relatively comfortable, portable, convenient for travel, easy to insert, and easy to maintain. There are no side effects associated with using these devices. If you experience any discomfort, you should see your dentist for a custom fitting or adjustment.