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Is Dental Sleep Medicine Treatment Effective?

Sleep Medicine Port Charlotte, FL

Dental sleep medicine is an important dental practice area that favors the use of oral appliance therapy to manage and treat sleep-disordered breathing. Sleep-disordered breathing is basically an umbrella term for multiple chronic conditions in which complete or partial cessation of breathing happens repeatedly throughout the night. Symptoms may include snoring and disturbed sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is a common form of sleep-disordered breathing. If you suspect you have OSA, talk to your dentist or physician for more information and possible evaluation.

Dental sleep medicine treatment

Treating OSA is very important for a person’s health. When left untreated, sleep apnea usually causes many problems including excessive daytime sleepiness. Untreated sleep apnea also raises a person’s risk for serious health problems such as stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease and even death. Oral appliance therapy is often recommended for the treatment of OSA. It has been proven to be effective in helping patients with sleep apnea and snoring.


A physician can determine if a patient has OSA. Several steps are usually involved in its diagnosis. After discussing the symptoms, the physician will finish a sleep evaluation and may decide to schedule an overnight sleep study or home sleep apnea test. The data from the sleep study will then be interpreted to make a diagnosis. A physician may then recommend an oral appliance.

Effectiveness of oral appliance therapy

Oral appliance therapy is a non-invasive and effective treatment option for sleep apnea. Oral appliances can be used to shift and support the jaw, which helps prevent the airway from collapsing. Research shows that oral appliances can help prevent sleep apnea in particular mild to moderate cases. Oral appliances are also safe to use, which is why many health care practitioners often recommend them. More than 100 oral appliances have received FDA clearance, which means they are effective.

Effective oral appliances are always custom-fit to suit a patient. They also have to be adjusted over time to help ensure maximum effectiveness. After getting it, a patient is supposed to see the dentist regularly. Follow-up visits are needed to ensure the oral appliance fits well. A dentist can also schedule an annual assessment. Routine visits are vital for the long-term success of treatment.

Obtaining an oral appliance

After both the patient and physician decide that an oral appliance is a good option, the physician will write a prescription for the patient to receive a custom-made oral appliance. A dentist who is qualified in dental sleep medicine will then take impressions of the teeth, which will help to build a model. The model will then be sent to the dental laboratory. This is where the oral appliance will be made.


Research supports the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of OSA and snoring. Education in dental sleep medicine is needed to ensure a dentist can provide quality care. This is beneficial to patients who have opted to use oral appliance therapy for sleep-related breathing disorders. If you think you have OSA, you should seek treatment immediately. When left untreated, OSA can cause many serious problems. If you want to find out more about dental sleep medicine treatment, talk to your doctor or dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Dragonfly Dental of Port Charlotte at (941) 249-9383 for an appointment in our Port Charlotte office.

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