Examining an Oral Appliance for Quality
Do materials and manufacturing processes matter when it comes to providing your patients with the best type of oral appliance? Yes.
Do materials and manufacturing processes matter when it comes to providing your patients with the best type of oral appliance? Yes. The higher the quality, the better and more comfortable the fit of the appliance will be for your patient. A higher end manufacturing process will help to guarantee several years of use and reinforce higher patient satisfaction as well as compliance.
It’s Worth it to Compare Brands
One of the best ways to ensure your patients receive the best quality of oral appliance is to compare brands of custom adjustable oral devices to one another.
Which one has been used to treat the most people?
Is there a strict compliance standard?
What materials or data is used to back their product?
Some companies use lower quality, non-proprietary materials that make oral appliances more challenging to fit and adjust. Even with a sleeker or more convenient profile, cheaper alternatives are not guaranteed to fit as well as one from a more reputable company. Not only that, but a smaller or newer company often has fewer resources, such as partnering labs, who are available to assist with fabrication or repairs. Or, they may be cheaper simply because they leave the repairs completely up to the providing dentist without any support.
Styles to Fit Your Patient
What does your typical sleep apnea patient look like? When you’re ordering an oral appliance, you want to have options and varieties available to fit diverse individual needs.
For example, are any of your OAT patients edentulous? Many companies do not provide oral appliance designs that will work for someone without a dentition. As such, it can restrict who you’re able to help treat and whether that treatment will be successful.
Review Independent Clinical Studies
The only way to guarantee that an oral appliance is proven to work, is to research independent clinical studies on the oral appliance and manufacturer. Many companies fund their own, but brands that have been established for a given length of time are more likely to have input from 3rd party researchers.
Monitor Data to Review Efficacy
Is there data for you to compare or gather from the specific type of oral device? This may come in useful when you’re managing your patients’ sleep apnea symptoms. For instance, SomnoMed is the only provider of oral devices in the U.S. that has the option to provide compliance recording technology as part of their oral appliances. Opt for a company that has a variety of design options for you to tailor therapy from patient to patient.
Consider Warranty Options
Did you know that most oral devices do not provide extended warranties? If you are left with repairs or mandibular appliance failures, this can be especially frustrating. Established companies such as SomnoMed include warranties (and even repair services) with their devices.
Review Coverage and Approval
If you are filing a medical insurance claim for oral appliance therapy, you may note that only certain, more reputable companies are approved by Medicare. This can make a huge difference as to whether or not it’s something your patient can afford. Yes, although a quality appliance may cost more, after insurance covers a portion of it, your patients’ expenses may be lower than opting for the oral appliance made of cheaper materials. As provider of SomnoDent oral appliances, it is vital that you select one that is made of durable, superior materials to protect your patient’s investment.
Your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients deserve the best care possible, to ensure the quality of sleep that they’ve been searching for. Consider SomnoMed oral appliances and the proven track record that they have to offer. From quality materials to ongoing support for your OAT patients, SomnoMed offers some of the few appliances that are actually covered by Medicare and insurance.