The National Sleep Foundation recently spoke with leading sleep dentists, Drs. Larry Lockerman and Don Pantino, to get an inside look at OSA & Dental Devices. Oral appliances are increasingly being used alone or in combination with other therapies to help treat obstructive sleep apnea.
Q. What leads patients to choose a dental appliance?
Dr. Lockerman: There are many people who cannot use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for a variety of reasons. Once they hear there is a non-surgical alternative to CPAP, they get very excited to find a way to get better quality sleep.
Dr. Pantino: When other therapies are unsuccessful for whatever reason – perhaps the patient is unable to lose weight or use various breathing masks – an oral appliance provides another option for them. The people I see tend to be patient-referred, physician-referred and now, as we’re getting into a little bit of internet marketing, internet-referred also.