Treating sleep-related breathing disorders.
Improving your quality of sleep, Dental Sleep Medicine is a branch of medicine and dentistry that focuses on the use of Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) to treat and manage sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). Although not yet categorised as a dental specialty, sleep medicine dentists are dentists with additional areas of expertise in sleep medicine.
Medical professionals collaboratively work with sleep medicine dentists to identify and facilitate optimal treatment for individual patients. They can treat mild to severe sleep apnoea cases, often comprising those who have trouble tolerating or prefer an alternative treatment to first-line therapy, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
Preventing your tongue from falling back during sleep, oral appliances are removable guards that hold your lower jaw and tongue in a forward position whilst sleeping, often alleviating symptoms like airway blockages and snoring. Each oral appliance may differ in appearance and is custom to the patient based on their suitability, impressions and bite.
OAT has effectively treated many patients however, it is important to recognise there are many factors that influence the upper airway during sleep.