Oral Appliance Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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ENT - Otolaryngology

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an increasingly common disease affecting two to four percent of middle-aged adults in the United States. Left untreated, OSA contributes to impaired cognition, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and stroke.


David Upton MD, FACS, otolaryngologist and clinical assistant professor at UW School of Medicine and Public Health has been providing an alternative treatment option for sleep apnea: an oral appliance.


The appliance works by advancing the mandible forward opening the patient’s airway during sleep. Traditional therapy for the disease involves use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) that can be difficult to tolerate due to discomfort from the mask interface and high airway pressures. As a result many patients are opting to use an oral appliance as a first-line alternative to CPAP for treatment of their disease.

"Oral appliance therapy is a well-validated successful treatment alternative for patients with mild to moderate OSA. Improved patient compliance, portability and convenience have driven a robust increase in the number of patients seeking oral appliance therapy for their sleep apnea."

Dental impressions are taken in the office and the appliance is custom fit to the individual patient and can be accomplished in as few as two to three visits.