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How is oral appliance therapy customized to each individual patient?

To customize oral appliance therapy to each individual patient, a dentist sends models of a patient's teeth and the bite registration to a dental lab, where the appliance is made. A few weeks later, the patient returns to the dentist's office to be fitted with the custom-made oral appliance. Several more follow-up visits may be necessary to ensure the appliance is working properly and that the patient is comfortable using it.

This content originally appeared on the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) website.

Oral appliance therapy is customized to individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). There are two major types of oral appliance therapy—mandibular advancement splints (MAS) and tongue retaining devices. Mandibuar advancement splints are the most commonly used oral appliance and are anchored to the person's dental arches. The MAS induces anatomic change by advancing the mandible forward. The MAS can be customized based on the person's dentitian and anatomy. The tongue retaining device uses suction to pull the tongue out of the mouth. The tongue retaining device is also customized by a dentist based on dentitian and anatomy of the mouth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.