What is a dental appliance?

A sleep dental appliance is a small plastic device, similar to a sports mouth guard, that you wear while you’re sleeping. It’s custom fitted to your mouth, and it gently pulls your lower jaw forward while you sleep, keeping your tongue from falling back in your throat and your airway open. It’s a treatment for both snoring and sleep apnea.

Snoring dental appliance

When you snore, your tongue crowds your throat, partially blocking your airway. When air moves through this narrow passage, it causes your throat tissues to vibrate and create a snoring sound. A snoring dental appliance can help treat your snoring problem by holding your jaw slightly forward and opening your airway.

Obstructive sleep apnea dental appliance

Sleep apnea occurs when your tongue blocks air from entering your lungs. If the amount of oxygen in your blood drops too low, your brain alerts your body to unblock the airway by tightening the throat muscles. You partially awaken, usually with a loud gasp or snort, and the flow of air starts again. This can happen hundreds of times each night, potentially causing serious health issues.

There are a variety of styles and features available for snoring and sleep apnea dental appliances. At Dreamhaven, you’ll work together with Dr. Clint Roberts to choose the dental appliance that’s right for you.

Dental sleep therapy: What to expect

Initial Visit: Dr. Roberts will thoroughly examine your teeth and mouth to confirm you are a good candidate for a sleep dental appliance. For eligible patients, a panoramic x-ray and impressions of your bite, teeth and mouth will be taken in order to create your custom-fitted sleep dental appliance.

Fitting appointment: Your sleep dental appliance will be placed and checked for fit. Dr. Roberts will instruct you on how to insert, remove and clean your appliance.

Adjustment visit(s): The purpose of these visits is to adjust your appliance and determine its optimal position so you can get the best results out of your dental appliance therapy.

Follow-up visit(s): We encourage you to return to Dreamhaven for checkups twice within the first year of getting your appliance, and once every year after that.