How do I know if I have sleep apnea or if I just snore loudly?
An overnight sleep study is necessary in order to diagnose sleep apnea. The sleep physician will administer a polysomnogram, which monitors brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and arm & leg movement while you sleep. Discuss any concerns with your dentist to be referred to a medical professional who can help you determine if you qualify for a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

How do I know how severe my sleep apnea is?
A sleep study measures the number of times per hour that you experience decreased breathing or stop breathing entirely. This is called the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI).

How do I know if I can use an oral appliance to treat my sleep apnea?
Oral appliance therapy is a first-line treatment for anyone who suffers from snoring, upper airway respiratory syndrome, or mild to moderate sleep apnea. Talk to your dental professional to find out if there are any other factors that may affect the suitability of an oral appliance for you.

How does oral appliance therapy work?
Custom-made oral appliances reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward during sleep to maintain an open airway. Dentists trained in dental sleep medicine know how to select, fabricate, fit, and adjust these devices to help patients breathe freely during sleep.

Is the cost of an oral appliance covered by dental insurance?
No. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition so its treatment is not covered by dental insurance. However, many supplemental medical insurance policies will cover the cost of oral appliance therapy in part or in full.

How much will an oral appliance cost?
Please e-mail linda.white@maxfacs.com or call (416) 961-6322 or toll-free at 1-855-629-3227 for a free quotation.

Are there side-effects of oral appliance therapy?
Patients may experience some temporary tooth soreness or soreness in the jaw muscles, as well as excess salivation. These side-effects will diminish after a few weeks of regular use and can be further reduced by having the fit of the appliance adjusted by your dental professional. Slight tooth movement or bite changes may also occur, but these can be prevented with exercises taught by your dental professional.

Can I use an oral appliance if I have crowns, bridges, or dentures?
Yes. However, an oral examination must be performed by a dental professional prior to the fabrication of an oral appliance to ensure that the teeth are stable enough to support the oral appliance.

What about the over-the-counter oral appliances?
Over-the-counter or "boil and bite" appliances are not custom-fit by a dental sleep professional and may not be adjusted properly for the degree of retention your jaw requires. This can lead to muscle soreness or the product being ineffective. Because oral appliance therapy requires precise movement of the jaw to achieve the desired results and avoid negative side-effects, it is highly recommended that it be monitored by a professional.

Additionally, boil and bite appliances do not allow you to open your mouth during use and can therefore restrict your breathing. They are also more bulky and are made from porous materials which are more prone to stain and retain odors. Custom appliances have greater life spans and are made from materials that resist stain and odor.