A mandibular advancement splint is a type of oral appliance that is used to help treat obstructive sleep apnoea. It is typically recommended by your sleep physician for mild to moderate cases.
Give us a call today on 9250 8844 if you would like to book in for a consult to discuss this with Dr Adam Peermamode
Typically a mandibular advancement splint works by holding the lower jaw forward, which opens the airway and makes it less collapsible. Mild cases of obstructive sleep apnoea have been shown to be well managed by a mandibular advancement splint, but the degree of improvement through the use of a CPAP machine is usually better if it is used sufficiently.
However, a mandibular advancement splint is usually more comfortable and easier to use for patients than a CPAP machine. In some cases of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea, a mandibular advancement splint may still be recommended as the treatment option.
Snoring is also reduced by an mandibular advancement splint, and you may be able to get an mandibular advancement splint even if you do not have obstructive sleep apnoea.
A mandibular advancement splint is prescribed by a respiratory and sleep physician, following the diagnosis of OSA. Discuss the possibility of getting an mandibular advancement splint with your primary health care physician, sleep physician or dentist if you think that it is something that you would like to look into.
This may then require a sleep study to ensure that you are receiving appropriate treatment for your needs.
In the cases where the patient wants their snoring addressed but does not have a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea we may require a sleep study still to make sure we aren’t overlooking any possible underlying issues.
Once an mandibular advancement splint is recommended by a sleep physician the patient has an examination and consultation with the dentist. Any dental work that may interfere with the fit of the mandibular advancement splint is completed prior to it being made.
Then it is as simple as having some impressions taken of the teeth, and a special registration of how the patient bites. This is sent to a specific lab for the appliance to be made and the patient returns a couple of weeks later for the appliance to be fitted and any possible adjustments to be made.
The degree that the appliance holds the lower jaw forward will usually need some adjustment, and initially the patient returns to the dentist after another couple of weeks for this ‘titration’ to be completed. Depending on the device further adjustments might be able to made by the patient themselves at home.
On average the mandibular advancement splint will last 5 years, but this is dependent on how well it is maintained and other patient factors.