Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (and other sleep-related disorders of breathing like snoring) need alternatives to CPAP therapies for a variety of reasons. In and of itself, the untreated disorder is potentially fatal and at a minimum would be cause for increase morbidity and medical complication.
Most patients have compliance problems with CPAP as a result of mask fitting/leaks, discomfort in pressure, claustrophobia, poor sleep, noise and difficulty in travel. In most cases of successful CPAP therapy, patients would continue with such as their primary therapy. There are subtle reasons why CPAP may not work, however, and we take that very seriously as well (eg. hypoventilation syndrome, lung disease etc)
Customized titrated oral appliances, offer an excellent first-choice in mild and moderate cases and a credible option (and sometimes a co-therapy) for severe apnea cases. It is considered of medical benefit to those who just snore, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Importantly, an oral appliance for long-term patient use is a medical device (durable medical equipment) and its recommendation is based on a careful examination and treatment plan.
The original diagnosis is provided by a physician and is determined by an overnight sleep study. The physician’s prescription for the appliance is as important as verifying its efficacy. Most patients arrive in our office looking for an alternative to CPAP therapy, which alone is oral appliance therapy.
A qualified dentist will take the time to review the diagnosis, alternatives to treatment, potential side effects and treatment goals with the patient to gain their consent. Team members in the clinic screen patients for the disorder and support the process of preparing, providing and maintaining an oral appliance when prescribed by a physician. As this is life-long treatment, an annual checkup is important. It would be likely that an appliance would be remade from time to time.
Dr. Morden has made a commitment to improving the lives of his patients. At this time, he is managing patients in both Calgary and Banff without Appliance therapy.
Please see our additional information on this critical health service.