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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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Testimonials

Dr. Morgan is the BEST! He cares about what he does, and even better, he is great at what he does -- which is to restore the image of having good teeth back to your face! I've had three crowns made, and I was impressed by the way he treated each one like a well-crafted work of art. He was meticulous, patient, precise. He has very high standards and does not cut any corners. Best of all, he is friendly and courteous. He's been my dentist since 2008, and I have to say that every the time and dollar spent are worth the investment!

Maria Q., New York

"I asked Dr. Morgan to replace the crown on one of my front teeth, a glaring restoration that caused me to smile self-consciously. Once he'd finished, I told my sharp-eyed young daughter. She wanted to see and I bared my teeth for her. “Which one is it, Dad?”—no critique could have made a more ringing confirmation of Dr. Morgan’s precision in pursuit of dental wholesomeness."

~Mr. A.R.K.

"I searched for a dentist for a couple of years. My upper teeth were very small and discolored which always bothered me. My biggest concern was to find someone who would create a natural looking smile. Luck struck when I befriended a woman who to my disbelief mentioned her beautiful teeth all being 'fake'.

"I want your dentist" I said.

I now have a beautiful smile. My gums were raised, my teeth straightened and then capped or veneered. Dr Morgan is not only a very knowledgeable doctor but also a skilled craftsman. As a hobby sculptor and photographer he has a keen sense for 3 dimensional design and a very good eye. I have recommended him many times."

~Ms. T. M.

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