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Oral Appliance Therapy And OSA: A Comprehensive Guide

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects many people around the world. This sleep disorder makes you stop breathing for short periods while you sleep. It can lead to tiredness, health problems, and a lower quality of life.

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available. One such treatment is oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy and OSA use a special device you wear in your mouth at night. It looks similar to a sports mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer.

This guide will explain oral appliance therapy, how it works, and who can benefit from it.

Benefits Of Using Oral Appliances

Many patients prefer oral appliances because they are easy to use, quiet, portable, and comfortable. Oral appliances are much simpler than other treatments like CPAP, which involves wearing a mask connected to a machine.

But oral appliances do not require electricity. They are especially good for people who travel often. Patients find them less invasive.

Recent Advances In Oral Appliance Therapy

Recently, Vivos Therapeutics’ C.A.R.E. devices received the first ever FDA 510(k) clearance for oral device treatment of severe OSA in adults 18 years of age and older along with positive airway pressure (PAP) devices and/or myofunctional therapy, as needed. This approval is a big step. It shows the value and power of oral appliance therapy, which treats severe cases of OSA.

Who Can Use Oral Appliances?

Oral appliances work best for people with mild to moderate OSA and are also a good choice for patients who cannot tolerate CPAP machines. However, you must first see a sleep specialist to start using an oral appliance.

They will conduct a sleep study to confirm your OSA diagnosis and determine the severity of your condition. When an oral appliance is right for you, you will visit a dentist specializing in sleep apnea therapy to get your custom device.

What To Expect When Using An Oral Appliance?

When you get an oral appliance, your dentist will take molds of your teeth to create a device that fits perfectly in your mouth. You may need a few visits to adjust the fit and ensure it works well.

Once everything is set, you will wear the appliance every night. It is important to follow up with your dentist and sleep specialist to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to the device.

Comparing Oral Appliances And Other Treatments

It is useful to compare oral appliances with other OSA treatments. CPAP machines are very effective, especially for severe OSA, but not everyone can handle wearing a mask all night. And after so many recalls on CPAP, people are less interested in using them.

Surgery is another option, but it has higher risks and longer recovery times. Oral appliances offer a middle ground. They work for many OSA patients and have fewer complications than surgery.

Living With An Oral Appliance

Living with an oral appliance is usually quite manageable. Most people get used to their appliances quickly. It is important to clean the device regularly, just like dental retainers. Regular check-ups with your dentist ensure that the appliance continues to fit well. They also ensure it remains effective. Here are the key points to consider when living with one of these devices:

Initial Adjustment:

It may take a few nights to get used to the sensation of wearing the appliance. Initially, there may be some discomfort or tightness, but this usually diminishes as you acclimate.

Daily Routine:

  • Insertion: Place the appliance in your mouth just before bed.
  • Removal: Take it out when you wake up in the morning.


  • Cleaning: Clean the appliance every morning after use. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive cleaner to avoid damaging it.
  • Storage: Keep it in a dry, ventilated case to prevent bacterial growth.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Schedule visits with your dentist every few months to ensure the appliance fits correctly and is not causing any dental issues. Adjustments may be needed over time.

Monitor Symptoms

Monitor your sleep quality and any OSA symptoms. Report any changes or concerns to your healthcare provider to ensure the therapy remains effective.

Following these practices keeps the oral appliance working well. They also relieve OSA symptoms and improve overall health and energy.


Oral appliances are a good treatment option for many OSA patients. They work well. Recent advancements, like the FDA clearance of Vivos devices, mean more people can now access this simple treatment for severe OSA.

Always ask a sleep specialist and a qualified dentist. See if oral appliance therapy is right for you. Finding the right treatment can greatly improve your sleep quality and overall health.

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