95% of patients will adapt to the appliance within 2-7 days. It will take a few days to adapt to having a device in your mouth during sleep. The appliance will not hurt the teeth. If your teeth are sore after initial use, Dr. Parker can easily adjust it for your comfort.
After the initial consultation, there may be 2 - 3 appointments within the first 6 months. Thereafter, you will be placed on an annual or semi-annual recall.
Since insurance plans vary widely we work with all our patients to help them obtain reimbursement from their insurance carrier to the maximum allowed by their plan. Most insurance companies have coverage for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with an oral appliance. Insurance companies generally do not cover treatment for snoring only. If coverage is available for oral appliances, it would come from the medical insurance carrier. Most dental insurance companies do not cover treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. We encourage you to call and check with your medical insurance company. We will be happy to send information to your insurance company regarding your situation to request a determination of benefits.
Since each patient’s situation is unique, the treatment with an appliance varies based on the type of appliance prescribed. The fee for the initial examination and consultation (a 1-1/2 hour visit) is approximately $350 – $550. The appliances that we use are customized to each patient's situation and are adjustable to allow us to gain optimal comfort and adjust the jaw position to achieve maximum success. The fee for fabrication, adjusting, and placing the appliance is $1200 – $2100 (a similar process and fee to making a denture). During the next three-month period, we will see the patient approximately two times for follow-up/adjustment visits (on average $95 per visit). The patient will need to be seen on an annual, or semi-annual basis after this point and these office visit charges are also usually around $95.
Under normal circumstances the appliances generally last 2-5 years, but many will last much longer than 5 years.
Patients with moderate or severe sleep apnea must have a follow-up sleep study while using the oral appliance to confirm the effectiveness of the device. During the follow-up sleep study, the jaw position on the appliance can be adjusted to increase treatment success. Following the sleep study, a consultation with the sleep medicine physician will be necessary to discuss the results.
If the problem is snoring only, the appliance is effective in approximately 85%-90% of patients. When treating apnea, the appliance is 60-80% effective, depending on the severity of the apnea. The appliance tends to be more effective for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea although we have had success in treating numerous cases of severe apnea.
An oral appliance is a small plastic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. The appliance is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Oral appliances work by slightly advancing the lower jaw which in turn moves the base of the tongue forward and opens the airway to allow improved breathing and reduced snoring and apneas during sleep.
Medical and dental treatment options for treating snoring and sleep apnea include: Positional Devices, CPAP, Oral Appliance Therapy and Surgery.