Frequently Asked Questions about Sleep Appliances:
When is it worn?
The SomnoDent® MAS is worn when you sleep. The device is very discrete, allowing you to close your lips so it is not obvious that you are wearing it.
Is it comfortable?
You won’t find a more comfortable MAS. Why? Because it is custom made to fit your mouth and it does not impinge on your tongue. You can open and close your mouth normally as the SomnoDent® MAS does not lock or fix your jaws together (like other MAS appliances).
What will the dentist do?
On your first visit, the dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and mouth and may use X-rays to confirm your oral health status, as well as ensuring that you are dentally appropriate for the device. Dental impressions are required to fabricate a SomnoDent® MAS. They are taken, and sent to our laboratory where the appliance is made. Once custom made for you, the appliance will be inserted by a dentist who will show you how to insert and remove it yourself, as well as how to clean and care for it.
What is an oral appliance?
An oral appliance is a small device, similar to an orthodontic retainer or an athletic mouthguard. It is worn in the mouth during sleep to prevent the soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Some appliances hold the lower jaw forward during sleep while others have direct effect on tongue position. Oral appliances relieve snoring and may treat OSA by realigning the jaw and/or tongue in relation to the head. Although oral appliances do not work on everybody, a well-made, well-fitted appliance may reduce or eliminate snoring, and may significantly relieve symptoms of OSA.
Are oral appliances effective?
Oral appliances were first utilized in the 1930’s to help people breathe properly during sleep. By the 1980’s, physicians and dentists began to seriously study the effectiveness of oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea and found them to be effective in many, but not all cases. Recent studies show oral appliances to be effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. The SomnoDent® MAS has also been shown to effectively treat severe obstructive sleep apnea in some cases. The SomnoDent® MAS is the only oral device to have TGA and FDA approval in Australia.
How effective is the SomnoDent® MAS?
One of the major advantages of the SomnoDent® MAS is improved patient compliance. The ability to freely open the mouth, speak and drink with the splint fitted is a quantum leap forward in this type of medical treatment. 95% of patients with proven OSA stated they would like to continue using the SomnoDent® MAS 1,2 83% of patients reported improvement in sleep quality with the SomnoDent® MAS2 86% of patients reported nightly use of the SomnoDent® MAS 2 .
Are all Oral Devices as good as each other?
No. There is a range of such devices available, some of which are not custom-made or adjustable. Most are either uncomfortable, ineffective or both. The unique design of the SomnoDent® MAS greatly enhances comfort, with clinical research backing its effectiveness.
What is the SomnoDent® MAS?
The SomnoDent® MAS is a custom made medical device, designed to hold your lower jaw (mandible) forward while you sleep. This tightens the muscles of the upper airway to allow easier breathing. The SomnoDent® MAS is a type of oral appliance, a mandibular advancement splint, comprised of upper and lower dental plates with a unique patented fin coupling component, which allows normal mouth opening and closing. The device titrates easily to achieve comfortable usage. The SomnoDent® design has a number of key features which represent quantum improvements on existing MAS devices. These improvements make the device both more comfortable and effective. SomnoDent® is now recognized globally by an expanding group of sleep dentists as the MAS Gold Standard. It is used for the treatment of simple snoring, as well as obstructive sleep apnea.
My husband snores. Where can I find an oral appliance?
Oral appliance therapy to treat snoring should be provided by an experienced dentist. Our dentists work closely with sleep physicians to treat snoring and OSA in the most effective way. If daytime drowsiness is a concern, a referral to a sleep physician can be arranged through your family doctor.
What if I have a bridge or denture?
Patients with crowns or bridges can be successfully fitted with SomnoDent® MAS appliances. Adjustments are made in the appliance to ensure that fragile crowns and bridges are not harmed. Patients with crown and bridge work may prefer SomnoDent® MAS Flex that has a soft lining inside and is more gentle for your teeth.
Sufficient healthy teeth are required in order to use an oral appliance. Most devices require at least 10 good teeth both upper and lower jaws. The SomnoDent® MAS appliances require fewer teeth to be effective. Patients with partial dentures may be successfully fitted with the SomnoDent® MAS, as long as there are sufficient teeth on the lower arch for optimal retention.
The MAS may be fitted over dental implants. However, we recommend using SomnoDent® MAS Edentulous designed for patients with no upper teeth and made from either acrylic or flex. An edentulous upper splint covers the palate in the same way as a full upper denture secured by suction and made to oppose a lower splint. Due to the unique two piece coupling mechanism, there is no downward pull on the upper splint.
This advantage allows edentulous patients to enjoy the benefits of a SomnoDent® MAS. Please note as a recommended minimum pre-requisite for SomnoDent® MAS Edentulous the patient should have six teeth in the low jaw.
Can it be adjusted?
Yes. The SomnoDent® MAS features medical grade stainless steel screws on the side of the appliance to provide incremental levels of jaw advancement. This optimizes the effectiveness and comfort-level of treatment, as the jaw is moved only as far as required to alleviate snoring and OSA.