If you are one of the millions of Americans who are affected by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and want to explore your treatment options, talk to your dentist about whether a mandibular advancement device (MAD) is a good option for you. These devices are also known as a mandibular advancement splint and are only a treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea requires different types of treatment.
The two common treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea are a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) and mandibular advancement devices. A CPAP machine supplies the patient with a stream of air through a mask worn while sleeping. Many patients find CPAP machines uncomfortable, noisy, and difficult to adapt to.
A mandibular advancement device is a sleep apnea appliance that fits over the patient’s upper and lower teeth and is worn while the patient is asleep. It treats sleep apnea and snoring by moving the jaw forward and opening up the airway. A mandibular advancement device is much less obtrusive than a CPAP. It is silent and while it takes some patient a little while to get used to wearing the device, it is much more comfortable than a CPAP.
One problem encountered with mandibular advancement devices is that they can move a patient’s teeth over time if they are improperly fitted. It is very important to have the device properly fitted and adjusted by a dentist with the proper training and experience. Never buy a mandibular advancement device from a vendor who claims that no fitting is needed. These devices can cause serious dental problems. Avoid these problems by obtaining the device from a qualified dentist and follow up with regular dental checkups.
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