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Mandibular Advancement Splints
South West Rocks Family Dental has been proudly serving the South West Rocks and Kempsey Shire for over 30 years.
Mandibular Advancement Splints
Mandibular advancement splints (MAS) are a type of oral appliance that can be used to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These appliances work by repositioning the lower jaw (mandible) forward, which helps to keep the airway open during sleep. MAS are custom-made to fit your mouth and can be an effective alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or surgery.
Often, we notice the signs of snoring and sleep apnoea on your teeth – however this isn’t diagnostic, it just makes us ask a few more questions. For some, the best next step is a sleep study and diagnosis with a medical professional. If you do have sleep apnoea or perhaps don’t but want to stop snoring, then a Mandibular Advancement Splint may be best for you. These custom-made devices work by gently repositioning the lower jaw (mandible) forward, which opens up the airway and helps to alleviate breathing difficulties during sleep.
The process of having a mandibular advancement splint made is simple:
- Come in for a Comprehensive Dental Assessment – we’ll make sure your mouth is healthy and discuss ways to keep it that way. We may suggest a sleep study or consultation with a medical professional
- Sleep study – this would be guided by a medical professional. They may recommend a MAS.
- Come in for a digital scan – no putty impressions here just a simple scan to create your perfectly custom splint.
- 2 weeks later we’ll be ready to fit your splint and coach you on its wear.
- Review – MAS appliances can be adjusted and do need some time to ensure they’re working ideally for you.
There are several benefits to using mandibular advancement splints:
Non-invasive treatment: Unlike surgery or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, MAS provides a non-invasive solution, making it an attractive option for those seeking a more straightforward approach to managing their sleep apnea or snoring.
Comfort: Custom-fit to the patient’s mouth, these devices can be more comfortable than wearing a CPAP mask. With proper fitting and gradual adjustments, many patients find them easy to wear throughout the night.
Portability: Mandibular advancement splints are small, lightweight, and easy to transport, making them a convenient option for individuals who travel frequently or simply prefer not to carry bulky equipment.
Effectiveness: Studies have shown that MAS can effectively reduce the frequency and severity of apnoeic episodes and snoring in mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. They may also improve overall sleep quality and daytime alertness.
Reduced health risks: By alleviating sleep apnea symptoms, MAS may contribute to a decreased risk of associated health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
The process for getting a mandibular advancement splint typically involves a consultation with a dentist or sleep specialist, followed by a digital dental scan and custom fitting of the appliance.
While there may be an adjustment period, most patients find mandibular advancement splints to be comfortable to wear.
Yes, you can still sleep on your back with a mandibular advancement splint, as long as it remains securely in place.
Mandibular advancement splints can last for several years with proper care and maintenance.
Mandibular advancement splints are typically only recommended for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. In severe cases, other treatment options such as surgery or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy may be necessary. In some cases, MAS and CPAP combination therapy may be recommended by your sleep physician.
Mandibular advancement splints may cause dental problems such as bite changes or tooth movement in some patients. Regular dental checkups are recommended to monitor any potential dental issues.
Mandibular advancement splints should be cleaned daily with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap or denture cleaner. They should be stored in a dry, ventilated area when not in use.
While there may be an adjustment period, most patients are able to speak comfortably with a mandibular advancement splint in their mouth albeit with some difficulty
Mandibular advancement splints can be effective for managing or treating mild to moderate cases of snoring and sleep apnea. However, the effectiveness may vary depending on the individual’s specific condition and other factors.