at Village Smiles

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

At Rochester Dental Sleep Therapy at Village Smiles, we offer a comfortable alternative for patients who are intolerant of CPAP therapy. We design custom oral appliances specific to your needs.

We will work closely with you to maximize any potential medical benefits for your custom oral appliance.

Oral appliances are a non-invasive approach to treating obstructive sleep apnea. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, OAT is indicated for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea that prefer OAT to CPAP treatment. Oral appliances are indicated for anyone who is not a candidate for CPAP or who has failed CPAP treatments and are not appropriate candidates for behavioral treatments such as weight loss or positional changes. Oral appliances can be very effective over time due to much higher patient compliance compared to CPAP.

Oral appliances are placed in your mouth like orthodontic appliances or sports mouth guards. They are used to open up the airway by holding the lower jaw forward, thus creating more space between the tongue and soft palate.

Oral appliance therapy involves selecting and fitting a custom made appliance that best suits your needs. The device will maintain an open, unobstructed airway while you sleep.

Initial therapy involves examination and evaluation to determine the appropriate appliance. Once the appliance is fitted, follow up visits will be required on both a short-term and long-term basis to maintain the effectiveness.

The appliances promote adequate air intake and help to provide normal sleep in people who snore and have sleep apnea. Oral appliances can be used alone or in conjunction with other means of therapy such as continuous positive air pressure (CPAP). Determination of proper therapy can only be made by joint consultation with Dr. Schwedfeger and your sleep physician.

The Practice Parameters published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2006 include oral appliances as a first line of therapy in the standard of care for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.

Studies have shown compliance rates as high as 95% with oral appliance therapy. Because compliance rates are so high with oral appliance therapy, it can be a very effective treatment for patients over a long period of time.

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy

  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • Treatment is reversible and non-invasive
  • Convenient for traveling
  • OAT does not make noise
  • Won’t disturb your bed partner’s sleep

How Oral Appliances Work

  • Moving the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula slightly forward

  • Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue

  • Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue
  • Repositioning the hyoid bone
  • Moving the muscles of the front part of the neck forward to open the airway

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"Ever since I was a child, I was embarrassed by my smile. The best thing I've ever done for myself is to have veneers done at Village Smiles. Your first impression is your smile - I love mine now." -- Katie F. ~ Pittsford, NY
"After being hesitant about having veneers, I finally went forward and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I continue to receive compliments on my smile. Dr. Schwedfeger and his staff were great. I just wish I had the veneers done sooner!!" -- Brad K. Rochester, NY
"People comment on how great my teeth look all of the time. You have turned a self-proclaimed “ugly duckling” into a beautiful, confident swan, and thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough." -- Heather G. ~ Pittsford, NY
"Dr. Schwedfeger is an artist in his trade who truly cares about his patients. He did laser surgery to raise my daughters gum line. She was thrilled with the results and kept mentioning how amazed she was that it didn't hurt. She hasn't stopped smiling since!" -- Wendy D. East Rochester, NY
"I can’t thank you for all you have done for me. My new teeth look and feel great! I don’t think I have smiled this much in years!! Your staff and your work will always get the highest recommendations from me." -- Chris P. ~ Penfield, NY