Oral appliance therapy, or OAT, is one method of treating obstructive sleep apnea that can help a patient sleep during the night without concern for apneic events, which is when a person has trouble breathing and may even stop breathing. If you are curious about what to expect from the therapy, we can give you a brief overview.
In order to make sure that OAT can work for you, we recommend getting a sleep study done by a specialist to see if you have obstructive sleep apnea. We do not perform these sleep studies ourselves, but we accept referrals from doctors who do, and we work closely with them in regards to our patients.
We can provide an oral appliance that is custom-made to treat your particular situation and fit in your mouth comfortably. You wear the appliance every night while you sleep. It may take a bit of time to get used to the appliance, but you should feel comfortable wearing it by then, and it should not prevent you from sleeping. If not, we can make any needed adjustments.
The appliances should keep the soft tissues like your tongue from collapsing and closing up your airway, which are the causes of apneic events. As such, you should be able to sleep and breathe easy again. After getting your needed sleep, you can be more alert and active during the day.
We cannot guarantee that OAT will work for everyone. We will be sure to tell you if this is the case, and we will try to guide you to other treatments that may be more helpful for you. If the sleep study determines that OAT is a viable option, you are welcome to call Refresh Dental in Bentonville, Arkansas, by dialing 479-339-0081. Our sleep dentist. Drs. Hedgecock and Kerr, are happy to help you get the nice, peaceful rest you have been needing!