Retainer for Sleep Aprea & Teeth Straightening?
June 6, 2011 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to treat sleep apnea and straighten teeth using the same orthodontic device?

I have moderate sleep apnea which has been treated with CPAP, which is my least favorite thing in the world. My doctor thinks that a dental device might work for me, so I'm looking into getting one made. As a teenager, I had a full set of braces. Fast forward some years and a random disease that causes bone loss, and my gap-toothed smile is back.

Is there an option out there that will treat sleep apnea & straighten teeth? Sounds a little crazy but I can't be the only one. . . .
posted by Kalatraz to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First try the dental device alone to find out whether it will really work for you, before possibly investing in a hugely expensive Invisalign/apnea treatment hybrid. Dental devices are not nearly as effective as CPAP for most people.

Have you tried different masks for your CPAP? There is no mask that can fit every face. You may have to experiment with a large number of different models before you find the most tolerable one. I find the ResMed Swift LT for Her nasal pillows system, with cushions ranging in size from XS to L, to be far more tolerable than others, but your best fit might be a different system. The air-filled silicone cushion that fits under the nostrils needs to be replaced once a month, because it tends to stiffen a bit and fit less perfectly so that it becomes more annoying.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 5:58 AM on June 7, 2011

This is anecdotal, and not quite an answer to your question, but my wife has breathing issues during sleep. Not quite apnea, from what I understand. Anyway, she got a mouth appliance that the dentist swore would turn her into a new woman, best sleep of her life, blah, blah. It didn't. Not only did it not really help her breathing, it also jacked up her teeth such that she needs braces to fix the problem. And the appliance was around $2k, if I remember correctly. Total waste of money, not even counting how much we'll have to spend to fix her teeth.

So, I'd be very careful about the appliance....from what we understand, I think it works fine if you have an underbite(because the appliance pulls your lower jaw forward), but if you don't, it could pull your teeth out of alignment.
posted by specialnobodie at 11:54 AM on June 8, 2011

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