How are oral appliances for sleep apnea fitted?
Hi! I'm Dr. Susan Welch. I'm a general dentist here at Wright Parkway Dental Center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I'm a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, a fellow in the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, and I also hold membership in the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. I have been practicing for 17 years. The first 7 years I spent in the United States Air Force before entering private practice.
How are oral appliances for sleep apnea fitted? We make custom molds of the upper and lower teeth. We also take X-rays of the side of your head as well as the jaw joints. Then we lie you back in the chair and we use particular gauges to try to measure the best position to place your airways as a starting position. We do some snore testing with you lying back. Then, we take an impression of that bite registration. We take the models and the molds and the bite registration and we send them to the laboratory. They then fabricate an appliance, and that appliance is going to be adjustable so that we can actually move your mandible forward or backward of that starting position. That allows us to maximize the airway posture for you as well as the jaw joint position.