Patients’ Experiences of Oral Appliance Treatment for OSA

If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you most likely snore and your airway may collapse, temporarily preventing you from breathing. Left untreated, you are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, stroke, and congestive heart failure. You may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness, increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, and impaired quality of life.1 The good news: OSA is treatable.

Two of the most common treatments for adults with OSA are CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and oral appliances that hold your jaw and tongue forward (a.k.a. mandibular advancement), making more space in the airway for you to breath and preventing your airway from collapsing. If you have severe OSA, your doctor can prescribe CPAP, which is the standard of care for severe OSA. If you have mild-to-moderate OSA, or you cannot tolerate a CPAP and do not want surgery, your dentist can make you an oral appliance.

Oral appliances are effective in treating mild-to-moderate OSA. But… what do people wearing the appliances think of them? To find out, a survey was sent to 1150 adults who were treated with an oral appliance for OSA.2 On the survey were 70 questions including questions about changes in symptoms/quality of life and daytime sleepiness, and the value of treatment. Of the 738 adults who responded to the survey, 83% said treatment with an oral appliance relieved their symptoms. Quality of life and cognitive symptoms improved significantly and daytime sleepiness decreased significantly with frequent use of their oral appliance. Over 85% of respondents said they would recommend this treatment to a friend.

If you have been diagnosed with OSA and have questions about oral appliances, please speak to one of our staff and we will be happy to talk with you.

 

  1. Ahrens A, McGrath C, Hagg U. A systematic review of the efficacy of oral appliance design in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea. Eur J Orthod 2011;33:318-24.
  2. Nordin E, Stenberg M, Tegelberg A. Obstructive sleep apnoea: patients’ experiences of oral appliance treatment. J Oral Rehabil 2016.