Frequently Asked Questions
What is an oral appliance?
An oral appliance is a small device, similar to an orthodontic retainer or an athletic mouth guard. It is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Some appliances hold the lower jaw forward during sleep while others have direct effect on tongue position.
Oral appliances relieve snoring and may treat OSA by realigning the jaw and/or tongue in relation to the head. Although oral appliances do not work on everybody, a well-made, well-fitted appliance may reduce or eliminate snoring, and may significantly relieve symptoms of OSA.
Are oral appliances effective?
Oral appliances were first utilized in the 1930’s to help people breathe properly during sleep. By the 1980’s, physicians and dentists began to seriously study the effectiveness of oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea and found them to be effective in many, but not all cases. Recent studies show oral appliances to be effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The OASYS has also been shown to effectively treat severe obstructive sleep apnea in some cases.
My husband snores. Where can I find an oral appliance?
Oral appliance therapy to treat snoring should be provided by an experienced dentist.Dr. John Bixby work closely with sleep physicians to treat snoring and OSA in the most effective way. If daytime drowsiness is a concern, a referral to a sleep physician can be arranged.
What if I have a bridge or denture?
Sufficient healthy teeth are required in order to use an oral appliance. Most devices require at least 10 good teeth both upper and lower jaws. The OASYS appliances require fewer teeth to be effective. Patients with crowns or bridges can be successfully fitted with OASYS appliances, and adjustments are made in the appliance to ensure that fragile crowns and bridges are not harmed.
Patients with partial dentures may be successfully fitted with an appliance as long as there are enough teeth to anchor the device.
Note: dentures may or may not be worn with the the appliance, depending on the number of teeth and their postion; your dentist will be able to make this recommendation.
Can it be adjusted?
Yes. The OASYS features medical grade stainless steel screws on the side of the appliance to provide incremental levels of jaw advancement. This optimises the effectiveness and comfort-level of treatment, as the jaw is moved only as far as is required to alleviate snoring and OSA.
What will the dentist do?
On your first visit, the dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and mouth and may use X-rays to confirm your oral health status, as well as ensuring that you are dentally appropriate for the device. Dental impressions are required to fabricate a OASYS. They are taken, and sent to our laboratory where the appliance is made. Once custom made for you, the appliance will be inserted by a dentist who will show you how to insert and remove it yourself, as well as how to clean and care for it.
How do I get a device fitted?
The OASYS is a custom fitted oral appliance, similar to a mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It is worn to bed at night time and is used for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
Please call us at 732-455-3030 to discuss your treatment options.