What is a dental device and how does it work?

There are many FDA approved dental sleep devices.  These devices can generally be divided into the 3 categories listed below:


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 Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD)

Mandibular advancement devices are by far the most common type of dental sleep device availablefor the treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). They are also sometimes called oral appliances, or dental sleep devices.

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Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) open the airway by moving the mandible (the lower jaw) forward. The tongue is attached to the lower jaw behind the chin. As the jaw is moved forward, the collapsible part of your airway is held open by the forward movement of the tongue and other airway muscles.Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) also improve the strength and rigidity of the airway by increasing the muscle activity of the tongue and other muscles of the airway.


 Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD)

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Like MADs, Tongue Retaining Devices (TRDs) also work by holding the tongue in a forward position. These devices pull the tongue forward, but instead of moving the jaw forward like a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD), TRDs directly control the tongue itself. In some cases Tongue Retaining Devices (TRDs) have decreased therapeutic complications compared to MADs, but TRDs can also be less comfortable and generally take several weeks or months to be worn comfortably.


Combination CPAP/Dental Sleep Device Therapy

Often the problems associated with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy are due to high pressures and uncomfortable fit of the nose or face mask. Your dentist can work directly with your sleep physician to make a combination dental sleep device that is worn in combination with your CPAP. This custom-made dental sleep device or oral appliance will attach directly to your CPAP machine. When CPAP is combined with jaw advancement from a mandibular advancement device, the CPAP can often be used at a much lower lower pressure setting.