Questions and answers from SomnoDent oral device patients on their treatment journey with SomnoMed, the Leader in COATTM (Continuous Open Airway Therapy).
(Click on the questions below to see the answers)
A: Frequent, loud snoring may be a sign of sleep apnea, a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. The biggest indication is how you feel during the day. Normal snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep as much as sleep apnea does, so you’re less likely to suffer from extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day if you have simple snoring as opposed to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
However, snoring could be more than annoying – it could be a danger to your health. Click here to take a quick sleep questionnaire to see if you may be at increased risk of having sleep apnea.
A: Depends on your medical insurance, if your dentist is in-network, and the fees of the office you go to. You will need to speak directly with a SomnoDent Sleep Dentist near you to determine cost and coverage of your health plan.
A: The SomnoDent oral sleep appliance treats obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by advancing the lower jaw which keeps the airways open. The appliance is custom-made to fit your mouth and consists of upper and lower splint that cover your teeth and will be titrated to advance your lower jaw throughout the treatment process. As your jaw moves forward it in turn helps open your airway allowing you to breathe easier and sleep more comfortably for longer periods of time, helping you to reach deep, REM sleep.
A: SomTabs are recommended by SomnoMed® for the gentle and thorough cleaning of SomnoMed devices. SomTabs are available for purchase in 30 day, three month or six month supplies here. Click here for more information.
A: With innovation comes the use of new and different materials. When SomnoMed launched our new Air product line in late 2014, we learned that the liner used in the Air+ should not be stored in water in order to reduce the chances of delamination. To simplify storage instructions across our product line, we updated our device storage instructions for all products and recommend all devices be stored in a dry container. We have since uncovered that some of our products actually maintain their appearance when stored in water and thus, we are reinstating the direction to gently clean and rinse the Classic, Flex, Fusion, Herbst and Herbst Advance and Air (with ball clasps) devices and store in retainer case, IN WATER.
For the Air+ (w/Polyplus), we recommend gently cleaning, rinsing with water and storing in the retainer case DRY. Click here to view a picture of the Air+ (w/ Polyplus) – Polyplus is a softliner.
Important Reminders About Your Device
- Keep your device out of direct sunlight.
- Never use toothpaste on the device as it contains abrasives and may damage your SomnoDent.
- Never use hot or boiling water to clean your SomnoDent.
- Always brush your teeth thoroughly prior to inserting your device for the evening.
- Cleaning tablets containing active oxygen for dentures may permanently damage the plastic of your SomnoDent oral device. The use of any cleaning agents not recommended by SomnoMed will void the devices warranty.
- Instructions for Using SomTabs
A: Damaged or broken devices must not be used. Continuing use may cause injury. Contact your dentist immediately if your device is broken. For repairs and warranty claims/questions you will need to contact the dentist who fitted you for the device.
A: Although SomnoDent devices are effective in the vast majority of patients, there could be an occasion where the device is not working, or is not meeting your therapeutic needs. In these occasions, please keep in close contact with your sleep dentist throughout the treatment process. If you feel that it is not working then the sleep dentist will need to evaluate the device and make any necessary adjustments. If you feel your sleep apnea symptoms are worsening, you will need to speak with your physician for alternative treatment options as you may have a severe case of OSA.
A: As with any medical treatment, there are possible complications or side effects to dental sleep therapy. Considering the well-documented health risks of leaving obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) untreated, most of the side effects or using COATTM (Continuous Open Airway Therapy) are considered minor. However, most patient’s side effects will subside after the first week or two. The three primary side effcts are tooth discomfort, TMJ (jaw joint) or muscular discomfort, and tooth movement or bite changes. Although other minor complications are possible, like salivation changes and dry lips.
- Tooth discomfort is the most likely complication of COATTM (Continuous Open Airway Therapy) but is also generally the least concerning. SomnoDent oral devices can put pressure on the teeth and may cause temporary soreness. If this does occur it can often be easily alleviated by adjustment of the oral device by your sleep dentist. Research suggests that there is no evidence of long term tooth discomfort with properly fitted dental sleep devices.
- SomnoDent oral devices work by moving the lower jaw forward to open the throat and collapsible airway. Due to this forward positioning of the jaw, there is a risk of TMJ (jaw joint) muscle discomfort. SomnoDent oral devices are adjustable, so each device can be adjusted gradually to help achieve advancement with minimal discomfort. Long term muscle discomfort is rare. Short term discomfort is usually treated by adjusting the dental device to a more comfortable setting. Certain patients with existing TMJ (jaw joint) problems may not to be able wear dental devices, while other patients with TMJ (jaw joint) problems may actually improve their jaw problems by wearing a dental device. Your trained SomonDent sleep dentist will be able to help determine solutions to any of your discomforts or concerns.
- SomnoDent oral devices are custom fit to your mouth and consists of an upper and lower splint that cover your teeth. Due to the devices fit, there are forces exerted on the teeth and on the jaw while wearing a SomnoDent device. These forces can cause teeth to move slightly, or the forces can cause the jaw to be repositioned which can change your bite. There are recommended jaw exercises that you can use for a few minutes each morning after wearing the dental sleep device that will help reset your bite. Speak with your sleep dentist for more information on exercises suitable for your treatment.
Despite the above described side effects, however, obstructive sleep apnea may pose serious health risks and should be treated. It disrupts normal sleep patterns, can reduce normal blood oxygen levels, and may result in excessive daytime sleepiness, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attack or stroke. Although some changes might be undesirable in certain patients, the effective treatment of a life-threatening disease such as sleep apnea supersedes the maintenance of regular bite. Even if major tooth movements are seen, the discontinuation of oral appliance treatment should occur only if the patient accepts another treatment form, such as a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device, as directed by your physician.
A: Most patients easily adapt to wearing a SomnoDent oral device at night. After wearing the device for a short period of time it will become part of your routine, and most people will hate to go to sleep without it after they realize how much better they feel in the morning (and how much better their bed partner sleeps as well).
Compliance rates for dental sleep therapy are much higher than for other forms of non-surgical treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. In other words, patients are much more likely to use a dental device successfully than any other form of treatment. A recent survey of our patients indicated that 90% of SomnoDent patients regularly use their device.
Once patients experience better sleep and improved health associated with use of a dental device, it is rare for someone to stop using it. Click here to read a few patient testimonies and reviews.