Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) for Sleep Apnoea Treatment
Sleep Apnoea Treatment with a Quality, Custom-fitted SomnoDent Dental Appliance
If your sleep physician has recommended oral appliance therapy as a suitable treatment option, our Sound Sleeper professionals will be able to provide a dental appliance that is right for you. Our devices are made with safe materials that are approved for use in your mouth and clinically tested for effective treatment.
There are many types of dental appliances that are specifically designed to treat sleep apnoea. It is helpful to know what you’re looking for when choosing such a device, making sure that it is safe, hygienic and comfortable for your personal use.
Our Sound Sleeper dentists will be able to advise you on the best available options, relative to your individual needs and budget. To make an informed decision, it pays to find out how the innovative devices work and their benefits. For this purpose, we invite you to read our “Dental Appliance” information as provided below.
Mandibular Advancement Splint/ Device (MAS/ MAD)
The Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) or Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) is a sleep apnoea device that is worn on the teeth during sleep like an orthodontic appliance. Also known as an anti-snoring device, the splint is used to prevent the soft tissue from collapsing into the airway and disrupting normal breathing patterns. Scientific evidence shows that the device is effective in treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea and getting rid of snores.
The Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) is a TGA-approved oral device. It is extremely safe and requires a painless and non-invasive treatment. No needles or surgery is required. The splint is customised to the unique shape and size of your mouth. There are other types of oral appliances including tongue retaining devices that are used in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea but mandibular advancement splints (MAS) are the most commonly used.
How does MAS/MAD work?
To understand how the device works to cure the snoring issue, you should have a basic understanding of why snoring occurs in the first place. When a person’s airway is partially blocked by the soft tissue and muscles surrounding the windpipe, it creates soft palate vibrations that cause the snoring.
The Mandibular Advancement Device typically consists of two splints that are worn over the upper and lower teeth. The two plates are connected in such a way that the device pushes the lower jaw forward relative to the upper jaw’s position. In most cases, this helps to open up the wearer’s airway while preventing the surrounding soft tissue from collapsing on it. The device typically repositions the user’s lower jaw (mandible) by about 8 to 10mm, which is generally enough to keep the airway open. Your Sound Sleeper dentist may make adjustments, where necessary, to ensure that the device fits snugly and comfortably in your mouth, and also to increase treatment efficacy.
As a result, the Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) not only helps to eradicate the snoring, it significantly reduces the number of apnoea events throughout the night as well as the severity of the condition.
What can I expect for the treatment?
During the initial consultation, you will have to undergo a thorough examination and discussion to assess your suitability as well as available treatment options and choice of device. The Sound Sleeper dentist will study your medical and dental history, advise on potential side effects and post-treatment care. You may also be required to go for a radiological evaluation.
Subsequently, dental impressions (moulds) and a bite registration will be taken to serve as “blueprints” from which important dimensions and data may be retrieved for the purpose of fabricating the appliance. The splints would take approximately one month to create, after which you would be asked to return for a second appointment. This is when the dentist will fit the appliance over your teeth, making adjustments to ensure optimum comfort and efficacy. Once the appliance is in position, the dentist will make sure everything is in good order before concluding the fitting session. During the same appointment, you will be given after care instructions to maintain cleanliness of the appliance.
Subsequent review appointments with your Sound Sleeper dentist may be necessary to determine if ongoing treatment objectives are being met – whether there is significant reduction in sleep apnoea symptoms like snoring, daytime sleepiness etc. During these “titration” visits, the condition of your appliance will be assessed and adjusted for optimal effect and comfort. You may also be referred back to you sleep physician to undertake sleep studies, to track the performance of the device relative to your sleeping and breathing patterns.
Will I experience any pain or discomfort?
You may take a few weeks to get used to the splint in your mouth. If you experience some discomfort in the initial weeks, it may be due to the jaw muscles still adjusting to the forward inclining position that is responsible for the minor aches. This is usually felt in the first few hours of the morning, as the splint would have been working throughout the night to keep your airway unblocked by holding your lower jaw in place. The symptoms will usually disappear after a while as your mouth – more specifically your mandible (lower jaw) and tongue – gets accustomed to the dental device.
To slowly ease into the therapy, it is recommended that you put on the splint a couple of hours before going to bed. This way you will have some time to get used to the device in your mouth. In most cases, a properly fitted oral appliance should not cause prolonged discomfort, and the aches should disappear soon after the device is removed in the morning.
How would I know if the dental appliance is right for me?
Different people have different facial structures and airways. As such, it is difficult to determine whether an oral appliance will work for your particular situation. That is why the follow-up reviews and guidance of a professional sleep physician and dentist who specialises in sleep apnoea oral appliances is central to the process – whether in terms of tracking the progress or making changes when set objectives are not being met.
Generally speaking, the Mandibular Advanced Splint (MAS) is not only easy to use but also more convenient as compared to a CPAP machine. They are often prescribed for patients suffering from mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnoea. However, there are certain factors that may inhibit the use of the oral appliance: Excessive levels of body fat, severe obesity, stiff jaw joints, poor tooth structure, etc.
Do not hesitate to discuss whatever concerns or issues you may have with your dentist or medical professional. They are in the best position to determine if the appliance or therapy is right for your situation.
Benefits of Mandibular Advancement Splints
Safe and effective
They are extremely safe and proven highly effective for eliminating snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea.
Using highly accurate impression moulds as administered by a qualified dentist, the Mandibular Advancement Splint is customised to the precise shape of your mouth as well as contours of your teeth. The fitting can be precise even if you have had previous dental restorative work done (eg. Crowns and bridges).
For precise fit and comfort, the splint is easily adjusted over time using a device known as a titration key. These periodic adjustments ensure that you won’t need to replace your device as often or prematurely.
Non-invasive and pain-free
A Mandibular Advancement Splint offers a great pain-free alternative to surgery. The straightforward procedure is no more invasive as the fitting of an athletic mouthguard or orthodontic plate.
Stop anytime you want
If for any reason you wish to discontinue the oral appliance therapy, it is completely reversible. Unlike surgery, the results are not permanent, so you can easily halt treatment and revert to a previous state.
The splint is a small and unobtrusive device that does not interfere with your lifestyle. Even with the Mandibular Advancement Splint in your mouth, you can still talk and drink, without anyone noticing that you are undergoing the therapy.
The cost of the device is a small price to pay for improved quality of life and many nights of restful sleep. It helps too that the dental device is competitively priced compared to other conservative treatments and much less expensive than surgery.
What is SomnoDent?
The SomnoDent is a type of Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS) that provides a safe, effective and comfortable alternative to CPAP machines. Used in conjunction with lifestyle and behavioural changes – such as regular exercise and nutritional diet – the SomnoDent oral device can address even advanced cases of sleep apnoea. The product belongs to the vaunted range of clinical devices manufactured by SomnoMed, the global leader in Continuous Open Airway Therapy (COAT). The COAT system is synonymous with industry recognised treatment options for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and sleep bruxism.
The custom-made device consists of upper and lower dental splints. It features a unique patented coupling component, which allows the patient’s mouth to open and close normally. The SomnoDent improves the comfort level of patients – while boosting the effectiveness of treatment – by allowing small incremental adjustments to reposition the jaw as accurately as desired. This makes it possible to move the jaw only as far as it eliminates the snoring and curbs the OSA symptoms.
Other key SomnoDent features include:
- Allows normal opening/closing of mouth
- Permits speech and drinking
- Clinically proven safe and effective
- 91% of patients report improvements in sleep quality (supported by 15 independent studies)
- Durable acrylic material retains shape and colour
- Easily adjustable
- Manufactured at an ISO 13485 certified facility
- 3-5 years life expectancy
- Soft inner liner
- 3 year warranty
Types of SomnoDent Dental Appliances
Features the unique SMH BFlex material and a soft inner liner for maximum device retention.
The use of medical grade stainless steel ball clasps holds this customised oral device in place. Offers alternate version that allows more room for patient’s tongue.
Combines screw calibration and wing calibration technology in one device. Custom calibration allows faster advancement, fine screw adjustments (0.1mm increments), broader range and flexibility.
Standard metal-free device that is easy to clean, wear and adjust, Available with ball clasps for retention. Features alpha-numeric calibrating system for ease of calibration.
This EO486 Medicare approved device offers superb patient comfort and satisfaction. Features visual indicator for advanced control. Fewer resets are needed with an 8mm range of calibration – also means reduced chair time improved therapeutic efficacy.
Adjustments within 5.0mm range afford greater control and more precise fit. Features Flex version for superior patient comfort and retention. Proven effective treatment for bruxism, mild to moderate OSA and chronic snoring.
Dental Appliance vs CPAP
While CPAP may be the most common sleep apnoea treatment option around, it is also likely the least tolerated. If you’re one of those currently on CPAP therapy and find difficulty coping with it, you’re not alone.
CPAP can be highly beneficial if patients use them properly. The problem is, the majority of patients struggle to comply with CPAP directives. The therapy requires patients to wear a nasal mask, ideally throughout the night, to allow an influx of pressurised air to keep their throats from collapsing during sleep. Only 23 – 45% of patients are able to stick to the daily regime to see the desired results. Many CPAP users only manage to keep the mask on for 4 hours or less per night. Most users experience one or more of the following compliance issues: Nasal irritation, dry mouth, sore throat, acne breakouts (due to the straps), runny nose, allergies, etc.
Please click here for more information on CPAP therapy.
If you happen to be one of those patients experiencing CPAP compliance issues, you would be happy to know that many ex-CPAP users have successfully transitioned over to oral appliance therapy. If you’re interested, speak to your sleep physician about the possibility of switching to a dental appliance. You may also contact one of our Sound Sleeper providers to find out how a dental practitioner can comfortably and effectively solve your snoring problem.
Click here to locate a Sound Sleeper dentist near you today.
Click here to view a comprehensive infographic about obstructive sleep apnoea treatment created by Sound Sleeper.
FAQ - Sleep Apnoea Dental Appliances
Are dental appliances as effective as CPAP?
Yes. Studies show that the overall effectiveness of MAD’s are comparable to CPAP1 and do not suffer from some of the drawbacks of CPAP such as loud machinery, wearing a mask during sleep and general discomfort report by patients.
By design, dental appliances are non-invasive, removable, quiet and non-bulky. Unlike CPAP machines, dental appliances also allow free jaw movement, speaking, drinking and yawning while in use.
Many patients prefer MAD’s and their uptake is much higher than CPAP devices. Dental appliances are often a first choice for this with OSA and for those not comfortable with CPAP.
How comfortable are dental appliances?
Not only are dental appliances more comfortable than CPAP devices, they are also much more convenient. As dental appliances are custom created based on a mould of your teeth and fitted by a dentist, there should be very little discomfort. Some people may feel tender around the jaw pivots as they wake in the morning due to the new positioning, however this should dissipate over time.
Is a dental appliance right for me?
Dental appliances are often best for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea and is considered a good alternative to CPAP. Some factors may inhibit the ability to use a dental appliance, such as poor tooth structure, or excessive weight and body fat levels.
Your dentist and medical professional are best placed to discuss if the appliance is right for your situation.
To find your closest Sound Sleeper dentist, click here.
Get the rest you deserve
... with a little help from a Sound Sleeper Dentist
There are many factors that determine the choice of sleep apnoea oral appliance. What works on other OSA patients may not necessarily work for your individual snoring problem. Besides the severity of your sleep apnoea condition, other factors like your jaw structure, tongue size, bite quality, condition of teeth and gums, jaw range of motion...etc. need to be considered. That is where the experience and expertise of a Sound Sleeper dentist comes in.
All our dentists are accredited oral health professionals who have specific training and education in the application of sleep apnoea oral devices. Using clinically tested methods and high-quality materials, we endeavour to provide you with the best possible oral appliance options to treat your obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring problems.
In the area of private health insurance, we can assist you to find out your coverage limits and extents. Depending on your insurance policy and chosen cover, oral appliances for the purpose of treating obstructive sleep apnoea are typically covered by private health insurance rebates.
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnoea can potentially result in major illnesses and even sudden death. Do not take any chances with this highly prevalent sleep disorder.
A Sound Sleeper Dentist is able to help with your sleeping disorder and provide a solution for your snoring condition. Click here to locate a Sound Sleeper dentist near you today.