Preventive Dentistry is one of Canberra’s certified providers of SomnoDent™ mandibular advancement splints. Studies have shown that these anti-snoring devices are an effective treatment for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
We’ve chosen to use SomnoDent™ devices as, in our experience, they offer an exceptional combination of comfort, ease and efficacy.
The degree of advancement offered by SomnoDent™ is incrementally adjustable, with accuracy levels down to a tenth of a millimetre. This lets your dentist achieve the optimal balance of effectiveness and comfort. Following natural tissue change over time, the SomnoDent™ device can be easily readjusted with the same level of accuracy.
How it Works
The SomnoDent™ MAS is a custom made medical device, designed to hold your lower jaw (mandible) forward while you sleep, to prevent the tissues at the back of the mouth and throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Although it does not work for everybody, in most cases this well-made, custom-fitted appliance will reduce or eliminate snoring entirely, and can significantly relieve symptoms of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea.
Unlike many other types of MAS, the design of SomnoDent™ MAS allows patients to freely open the mouth, speak, yawn and drink – leading to improved comfort and therefore greater compliance and a higher success rate.
What Causes Snoring
When you fall asleep, the muscles that control your tongue and throat relax, and the tissues at the back of your throat sag, making your airway narrower. The air you breathe then makes the tissues at the rear of the mouth and the throat vibrate – a sound we know as snoring.
Often, snoring is no greater a problem than the annoyance of the sound itself. However, consistently loud snoring could be a sign of a much more serious problem – Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is when your relaxed muscles and sagging tissues actually block the airway completely, starving the body of oxygen as it sleeps. When the brain detects the fall in the blood oxygen level it prompts a large gasp of breath. Although OSA sufferers may experience hundreds of apnoea episodes per night, they are unlikely to remember any of them.
OSA is a serious health risk affecting approximately 1.2 million (one in twenty) Australians. It’s strongly tied to a number of other health issues in ways that are not yet fully clear.
- Regular snorers have a 33% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Patients with OSA are four times more likely to have a heart attack.
- 40-80% of stroke sufferers also suffer from OSA.
Treatment of Snoring and OSA
There are a number of treatment options for snoring and OSA, including:
- The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Apparatus (CPAP) – a facemask and ventilator machine combination.
- Corrective upper airway surgery.
- Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS), also known as Anti-Snoring Devices.
Diagnosing Snoring and OSA with Sleep Studies
A Sleep Study is the collection of data about your breathing rate, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, etc. whilst you are sleeping. They can be conducted at home or in a Sleep Laboratory. The data is interpreted by a medical practitioner to diagnose the severity of snoring and OSA. Preventive Dentistry advises patients to undergo a sleep study prior to use of a MAS. Preventive Dentistry works in conjunction with Sleep Physicians as well as various General Medical Practitioners to provide MAS to patients who have been diagnosed with snoring and mild to moderate OSA. Most health funds will give a rebate only if there has been a written referral for MAS therapy from a medical practitioner.
For comfortable, customised and highly functional anti-snoring treatments with clinically proven results, contact Preventive Dentistry today or enquire in person at our practice.