For the last several years, Space Maintainers has made the production of OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) appliances one of our main focuses. Sleep apnea can be defined as an instance where an individual has a period of extremely shallow breathing or in more severe cases, a complete stoppage of breathing while asleep.
The main causes of the laboured sleep can generally be attributed to an upper airway restriction or collapse. There are also many contributing factors to OSA such as obesity, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, narrow maxilla, or a predisposed family history. Individuals suffering from OSA may find themselves lethargic throughout the day, consistently awakening at night, or receiving complaints of snoring from their partners.
Traditional treatment methods of OSA involved the application of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP). This is a device that looks similar to one a fighter pilot may wear and ensures the patient is receiving adequate airflow throughout the night. A major downfall of CPAP machines is that they are quite noisy and can be very difficult for certain patients to wear and also disruptive for partners to sleep beside.
Space Maintainers fabricates a number of removable OSA appliances that focus on moving the patient’s mandible into a more protrusive position and also increasing the vertical opening. This movement allows the patient’s airway to remain open while wearing the device, decreasing obstructive sleep apneic events. Current appliances Space Maintainers produces are the SomnoDent, TAP III, E.M.A, and Klearway appliances.
Andy Brown – Space Maintainers Laboratory
Contact your dentist today for more information on the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea!