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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How does the appliance work to help manage snoring/sleep apnea?
An oral appliance is a plastic device worn over the upper and lower teeth, similar to an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard. Worn during sleep, oral appliances prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. The appliance moves the lower jaw slightly forward bringing the base of the tongue with it, opening the airway to allow improved breathing, reduced snoring and fewer apneas during sleep.

What percentage of people find the appliance to be effective?

If the problem is snoring only, the appliance is approximately 85% effective. When treating apnea, the appliance is 65-70% effective, depending on the severity of the apnea, The appliance tends to be more effective for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea than for severe.

How long do these appliances last?

We are telling our patients 3-5 years, although we expect many will last much longer. Patients with heavy bruxing (tooth-grinding) activity may wear them out somewhat faster.

How much does treatment with an appliance cost?

The fee for the initial examination and consultation is approximately $50.00. We use appliances that are custom-made for each patient’s situation and are adjustable, allowing us to achieve the best jaw position for maximum effect with optimal comfort. The fees for making, adjusting, and placing the appliance are $1000-$1800. This includes all follow-up care and adjustments in the 3 month period following initial delivery. After that each patient needs to be seen on a semi-annual basis; these office visit charges are usually $75.

Does my insurance cover appliance treatment?

Most insurance contracts have coverage for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with an oral appliance, especially if you have had a sleep study. Most do not have coverage for treatment of snoring only. Coverage is usually through medical insurance, not dental insurance. We encourage you to call and check with your insurance company. We will be happy to send information to your insurance company regarding your situation to request a determination of benefits.

How long does it take to adapt to the appliance? Will it hurt my teeth?

95% of patients will adapt to the appliance within 2-7 days. It takes a few days to get used to having a device in your mouth during sleep. We tell our patients to expect some initial tooth and/or muscle soreness, not lasting past an hour after awakening. First follow-up visits are within 1-2 weeks, sooner if needed; to immediately address any discomfort issues. The appliances are easily adjustable for your comfort.

# About Oral Appliances

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