To help patients and the medical community embrace oral appliance therapy as a treatment option for snoring and apnea, we’ll be sharing real patient outcomes.
This month’s case highlights a gentleman with very mild apnea with substantial symptoms often seen with more severe apnea patients. The patient’s original complaints included snoring, poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. With just one night of wearing a dental sleep apnea device, the patient reported that all of his symptoms improved. He was very excited to mention that during a recent vacation, he was able to stay in the same room peacefully with his family because he no longer snores.
A very mild apnea patient, or even someone who doesn’t score ‘high enough’ to have a diagnosis of apnea (upper airway resistance syndrome) can have quite bothersome symptoms similar to those diagnosed with more severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These symptoms may include just ONE or MORE of the following all of which can affect one’s quality of life: snoring, poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness with a higher than normal frequency of nodding off during non-active times.
Here are some of this successful oral appliance therapy patient’s stats:
- 53-year-old male with a weight of 245 pounds and a BMI of 34.2 complained originally of snoring complaints from family and daytime sleepiness.
- Patient reports quality of sleep as 2-3 of 5, and daytime energy as 3 of 5, 5 being the best.
- Deviated septum may be treated in future.
- After diagnosis of 5.0 events per hour (very mild obstructive sleep apnea) and an oxygen nadir (lowest blood oxygen level) of 88%, he was recommended CPAP therapy.
- After trying CPAP in the sleep lab, he felt claustrophobic and pulled off his CPAP and gave up on treatment.
- After finding out he was a good candidate for oral appliance therapy with a mandibular advancement splint, he was referred for therapy and a custom Herbst oral device was fabricated.
- The patient reported that after just one night of using the oral device, all of his symptoms have stopped. He no longer snores per his wife, he feels better rested and more refreshed during the day. His sleep quality has improved and he describes his sleep as “deeper”.
- After 6 months of treatment the patient returned for a follow-up with no noticeable side effects with his bite or jaw, continues to wear his device nightly and reports that his symptoms have not returned.
- He was most excited to report that he no longer has issues traveling with his wife and kids when sharing a room.
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Disclaimer: Average successful outcome for oral appliance therapy is 60-80 %. Oral appliance therapy success depends on many factors including case selection, the severity of diagnosis, the experience of a trained dentist, and proper follow-up treatment. Any information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. It should not be used in lieu of personal medical guidance.