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Sleep Apnea Appliances

Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age.  Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night.  Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.

There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly.  This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again.  Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep.  Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

Sleep apnea appliances fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable.  Here are brief descriptions of some commonly used sleep apnea dental appliances:

TAP® 3 (Thornton Adjustable Positioner)

The TAP® 3 is the smallest, most comfortable member of the TAP family.  It is a two-part custom-created sleep apnea appliance that fits over the teeth in much the same way as a sports mouthguard.  The TAP® 3 projects the jaw forward to prevent the tongue and soft tissues from impeding the airway.  The lower jaw positioner is adjustable, which means that it can be altered to suit the comfort level of the wearer.  The TAP® 3 appliance can accommodate the three main types of malocclusion, and allows the lips to fully close.

OASYS Appliance

The OASYS appliance is designed to move the base of the tongue toward the front of the mouth by gently repositioning the jawbone (mandible).  This shift opens the oropharynx and strengthens the upper airway.  An extension of the upper shield projects toward the nose, creating a larger nasal opening and less resistance to normal airflow.  This adjustable appliance is comfortable to wear and extremely patient friendly.

KlearwayTM Appliance

The KlearwayTM Appliance is generally used to alleviate obstructive sleep disorder and eliminate snoring.  The patient or dentist can project the jaw forwards in increments of .25mm at a time.  This ensures maximum comfort for the sleeper.  The KlearwayTM appliance is made from VariflexTM heat softening acrylic, which makes it easier to insert.  Running warm water over the appliance makes it pliable, but once placed in the desired position, the acrylic hardens again.

Herbst Telescopic Appliance

The Herbst appliance is held in the mouth by clasps and friction grips.  It is made of acrylic, and contains adjustable metal wiring.  The advantage of this appliance is that the wearer is able to move vertically and laterally without dislodging the appliance.  The Herbst appliance is usually used in mild and moderate cases of sleep apnea, and can also alleviate loud snoring effectively.

If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask your dentist.

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Finding a good dentist is so essential for overall health. Dr. Patel is highly professional and has such a gentle touch. I have commuted from Orange and Ventura counties to keep using her services. Highly recommend.

Rebecca R.

Dr. Patel is the best dental experience I've ever had.

Important context: I hate the dentist like poison, and because of that, I need really nice, patient, compassionate dentists because by the time I end up going, whatever problem I have is usually really bad.

Anyway, Dr. Patel was not only a skilled dentist, but she had incredible bedside manner (as did her entire staff). They also shuffled stuff around for me just to make my life easier. I couldn't say enough nice things about her, her staff, her fellow dentists (one guy named Arthur was also very very nice).

Brendan S.

I had moved to Burbank a year and a half ago without a doctor or a dentist. My boyfriend is from the area and recommended Dr. Patel. Thankfully she's in my insurance network! I went to her for a basic check up and now she's been my dentist ever since. Dr. Patel and her staff are super welcoming and very nice! Veronica, her receptionist, is a sweetheart! They call for appointment reminders, so you can't miss your appointment. The office is very clean! They use pretty high tech equipment for xrays, it's all computerized now. Dr. Patel is very nice and gets to know you. Last time, she mentioned things that I told her in the appointment. Very surprising that she'd remember those details, it means she cares!

They have great hours and also have select Saturdays! The parking lot is free, easy to locate the office, and it's easy to get to. Right off of the freeway.

I would definitely recommend Dr. Patel to anyone.

Maika P.

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We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the contact form below.