Most people who suffer with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and who seek help from their doctor are treated using a breathing device known as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). Currently, CPAP machines are the most common treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea in adults. But some patients also turn to a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD).
Generally speaking, however, both CPAP and MAD therapies are lifetime commitments. Why, you ask? Neither MAD oral appliances nor CPAP actually cures sleep apnea. The best these therapies can do is manage the disease state. Which can feel like dire and depressing news for patients. The structural, anatomical, and physiological conditions that were present at the onset of OSA will still be there years from now under either of these treatments.
There is a lifetime solution, though. The DNA Appliance® (Daytime Nighttime Appliance), first pioneered by Dr. Dave Singh, has been highly researched and clinically proven to improve Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) while straightening the teeth.To learn more about this alternative, visit www.biomodelings.com and find a provider near you.
Still, if you’re weighing your options between a CPAP or MAD, then it’s important to understand how MADs work, as there are approximately 150 different devices on the market today. While all of them do essentially the same thing—they reposition the mandible (lower jaw) forward and hold it there—some are more basic than others.
The more sophisticated MAD appliances incorporate springs, gears, wedges, elastics, and other innovations which allow for further customization by the doctor. Many of them can be adjusted (titrated) in both vertical and horizontal planes. Some newer ones can even be worn with CPAP machines.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Wearing a MAD appliance will frequently affect your bite. They tend to create an open bite, meaning that your upper and lower teeth may no longer come together the same way as before. In fact, they may not touch at all. In most cases, the effects are temporary and can be reversed by chewing gum or some other exercises. In some cases, however, especially where the treatment extends over long periods of time, the daily repositioning of the jaw and the constant distortion of the bite registration can become more permanent.
- For that very reason, I strongly recommend that patients NEVER attempt to use the over-the-counter MAD devices available at the drug store or mail-order. If your sleep apnea is such that you need treatment, then by all means do it the right way under the direction of a trained dentist and physician. Whenever the bite is altered, the relative position and function of the jaws is also affected. This can give rise to what is known as TMD – Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, which can give rise to chronic pain, headaches, limited opening, popping, tension, and other conditions. Don’t mess around with the way your jaws function, and don’t risk not getting a proper sleep test and having it interpreted by a qualified specialist.
But, again, don’t forget your third option: The FDA-registered Daytime-Nighttime Appliance® system (or DNA appliance®). Its technology actually redevelops and remodels the jaws and airway. Deep within the tissues of the mouth are stem cells which can be activated to begin forming new bone and tissue which widen the dental arches and increase the size of certain bones in the face. As a result, nasal and oral cavity volume increase, along with the airway.
In the images below, you can see 3D images of a redeveloped airway of a 38 year old female patient. Note that, with the DNA appliance system, the airflow volume increased from 17 cm3 to 28cm3 over the course of the 12 month treatment.
In the images below, we see the Before (red) and After (blue) 3D printed models of the airway of a 60 year old male patient. In this case, after treatment with the DNA appliance, the airway volume more than doubled and his OSA issues completely disappeared.
The DNA appliance is only available through select dentists across the US who have completed the training and certification program offered through BioModeling Solutions.or