Dental Sleep Apnea and Snoring Treatments

It is our practice to begin by taking the time needed to understand your symptoms and the impact snoring or sleep apnea is having on your sleep. It is important that you have sufficient information to make an educated decision about moving forward with Oral Appliance Therapy, and we are here to help ensure that your questions and concerns have been met to your satisfaction.

Once a decision has been made to move forward with an Oral Appliance, we will decide which one best fits your needs and jaw structure and fabricate one that is a custom fit it for you. Proper fit and appliance selection is an essential part of the effectiveness of oral appliance therapy.

Oral appliances are similar to the mouth guards you may have seen on athletes. They fit comfortably over both top and bottom teeth, can be easily removed and are easy to maintain. They are designed to draw the lower jaw or tongue slightly forward to increase the size of the airway during sleep. 

Types of Oral Appliances

The two main categories of oral appliances currently in use are the mandibular advancement devices (MAD) and the tongue retaining devices (TRD).  Both appliance types are custom made for each patient. The MAD’s are adjustable to allow the patient or dentist to change gradually the position of the jaw to achieve normal, unobstructed breathing while sleeping. The TRD’s are often used for patients whose jaws will not comfortably move forward or for patients with dentures. They are a less rigid material than the other devices and have a pocket into which the tongue is slipped to hold it forward independent of the jaw. The objective for both types of appliances is to keep the airway open during sleep.  The variety of appliances, their individual fabrication and the ability to adjust them with the guidance of the dentist, provides a customized solution for each patient that makes this a very effective treatment option.

Appliances Used in Our Office

We use a number of different oral appliances to meet our patients’ needs. Deciding which appliance will be used for each patient is based the severity of their apnea, their jaw structure and range of motion, the size of their tongue and soft palate, overall dental health and the presence of other conditions such as clenching or grinding teeth. Dr. Schneider will help select the appliance that will be most comfortable for each individual patient.

We currently use:
Treatment Options
Dental Sleep Apnea, Snoring & TMJ Treatment Center
Welcome to our treatment center. Welcome to better health.
190 GARDNER AVENUE, SUITE 5  BURLINGTON, WI 53105  PH 262.342.0191
FAX 262.763-7034  INFO@DSASTMJ.COM
Adjustable PM Positioner (APM)
The Adjustable PM Positioner is an appliance fabricated of a heat-sensitive acrylic, custom-made to fit over both the upper and lower teeth. The appliance is comfortable, durable and is easily adjusted to advance the jaw when treatment protocol would suggest appropriate. This device allows for tongue space and some jaw movement and is generally very effective.
Made of lighter weight plastic than the APM, The EMA is also custom molded for each patient and fits in the mouth like an athletic mouth guard. Adjustments to the position of the jaw are made with varying length straps that fit over flat “buttons” on the sides of appliance. The thinner plastic may appeal to patients with smaller mouths.
The Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®) is another style custom adjustable oral appliance.

The TAP device is two part, with a tray that fits over the upper teeth and a second tray that fits over the lower teeth. A hook mechanism attached to the upper tray fits into a socket attached to the lower tray and positions the lower jaw forward. The Adjustment Key of the TAP® permits the patient to adjust the protrusion of the lower jaw to the most effective and comfortable position.

In our office, we use the Tap 1 plus,
the Tap 1 TL, Tap 3 TL and the
Tap NF. This provides us with options
of tray lining (important for fit), of hook
mechanisms and options on the
adjustment key structure.
The SomnoDent MAS™ The SomnoDent device positions your lower jaw slightly forward of its natural position, with a patented fin-coupling mechanism on the lower tray. The “fins” ensure that your lower jaw remains in the correct position, whether you sleep with your mouth open or closed. It is comfortable and easily adjustable on the sides of the top tray with a key.

Continuing Treatment

Once the patient has started using their appliance, several additional visits to check back in on the optimum level of adjustment and to insure that the bite and fit are working, should be scheduled. With certain levels of sleep apnea a follow-up sleep study while using the oral appliance may be indicated to confirm the effectiveness of the device.

Possible Side Effects of Oral Appliance Therapy

A number of temporary side effects may be noticeable during the first few weeks or may require minor adjustment of the appliance by the dentist. These include:
Jaw tension
Soreness in teeth or gums
Excessive salivation or a dry mouth
Temporary change in the bite (when appliance is removed in the morning)
Noises in the jaw joint (TMJ)
The potential side effects that can be more problematic include:
Jaw muscle or joint pain
Permanent changes in the bite
Slight movement of teeth
Loosening of dental restorations (crowns, bridges, etc.)