Is it like wearing a retainer? What is it going to feel like if I get a sleep apnea oral device and have to wear it at night? How big is it and I'm wondering will I feel like I'm sleeping with my mouth open all night.
Doctors Answers (3)
Wearing an obstructive sleep apnea device will feel as if you're wearing retainers on the top and bottom teeth but connect together. This will allow the bottom jaw to be positioned slightly forward opening up the breathing space (pharynx) behind the tongue and soft palate. Your lips may not close but this depends on the patient and the type of appliance made. Personally, I've been wearing one every night since 2008 (5 years) and have not had any problems. A dental evaluation prior to making the appliance along with the sleep study (polysomnogram) will be needed.
Oral devices are usually very comfortable and effective when made according to our cbct scan and custom fit by my laboratory on site and titrated by me. Call us and you can visit and see the process and even try on a prototype.
A custom-made oral appliance for sleep apnea is usually comfortable after a few nights of usage. I recommend my patients to insert the appliance right before sleep onset that way you really don't notice that it is in place. Your oral appliance will have a firm fit much like an appliance used for grinding or bruxing. As far as the size of one, this can be quite varied. Appliances are made in 1 or 2 pieces and you can close your mouth around the appliance unless it is a tongue retaining device.