Airway dentistry is a specialization of the field, focusing on airway management. While only a qualified sleep specialist can diagnose sleep apnea, an airway dentist provides treatment, allowing patients to get the restful sleep they have been denied. Across the entire medical field, CPAP is considered the preferred treatment method. Standing for continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP involves wearing a mask when you sleep that is attached to a machine with calibrated airflow that pumps air into the airways. However, many patients find using a CPAP machine uncomfortable and it disrupts their partner’s sleep.
At Exceptional Dentistry, we offer oral appliance therapy to help our patients with sleep apnea. There is a high rate of non-compliance among sleep apnea patients who use CPAP. According to clinical studies, up to 50% of CPAP patients stop using the machine within one year, while as many as 20% of sleep apnea patients never even start on CPAP. Oral appliance therapy has a higher compliance rate than CPAP. It is less invasive and more convenient. Your dentist provides a customized mouthpiece for the ideal fit, comfort, and effectiveness. When worn, the mouthpiece gently guides the lower jaw, helping maintain an open airway to decrease sleep apnea symptoms. We use two varieties of oral appliances to treat sleep apnea: ProSomnus and SomnoMed.
A ProSomnus oral appliance is customized to fit your mouth. ProSomnus is comfortable to wear and won’t impede your ability to sleep. It remains easy to speak and even drink if you wake up needing some water. The device is worn like a retainer, bringing the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open. Patients who use ProSomnus often report their snoring is completely alleviated when wearing the device.
Advantages: ProSomnus is flexible, comfortable, and durable. Its small size and precise fit make it more comfortable than other methods of oral appliance therapy. Not every dentist is qualified to offer ProSomnus—only those registered and certified. Exceptional Dentistry is proud to be a ProSomnus provider in Louisville and the surrounding areas.
Much like ProSomnus, SomnoMed moves the jaw forward, as well as the tongue, allowing the airway to remain open while you sleep. Thanks to its unique SMHBFlex technology, a SomnoMed device provides a high level of comfort and compliance rate; 88% of SomnoMed patients regularly use their oral appliances, while 91% report more comfortable sleep. These oral appliances glide over the teeth, providing a gentle cradle of support. You can speak when wearing it, and the appliances are quite discreet. These oral appliances have an average life expectancy between 3-5 years and carry a 3-year warranty against manufacturing defects.