Sleep Apnea Appliances
Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects a growing number of men and women. Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night. Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.
There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws, push them forward slightly. This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again. Some appliances are designed to help grow the palate to allow for proper tongue positioning. Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep. Children wearing these devices find less bedwetting, improved behavior, improved ability to learn in school, growth, and less dependence on medication for behavioral issues.
Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative for patients unable to wear to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines.
Types of Devices
The Myobrace®System is preventive pre-orthodontic treatment that focuses on addressing the underlying causes of crooked teeth, often without the need for braces or extraction of teeth, unlocking natural growth and development. Treatment is best suited to children aged 3 to 15 and involves using a series of removable intra-oral appliances that are worn for 1-2 hours each day plus overnight while sleeping.
Waiting until all permanent teeth have come through to begin treatment with braces can unfortunately lead to irreversible damage affecting not only the teeth, but also the child’s overall health and development.
Poor myofunctional habits (poor oral habits) are evident before all permanent teeth are present, which means treatment of the causes can begin much earlier than originally thought. This can be as early as three years of age.
Myobrace® is designed to deal with these incorrect myofunctional habits by teaching children to breathe through their nose, rest the tongue correctly in the roof of the mouth, swallow correctly and continue widening the jaws so they grow to their full and proper size. This results in sufficient room for the teeth, allowing them to come in naturally straight and often without the need for braces.
The Myobrace®System consists of a series of intra-oral appliances that are worn for one hour each day plus overnight while sleeping. The appliances assist in correcting poor oral habits and expand the arch-form while exerting light forces to align the teeth and jaws. Separate appliances are used depending on the child’s age and type of orthodontic problem. In addition, the patient education program, known as Myobrace®Activities, is used to further correct the myofunctional habits causing the incorrect dental and jaw development. The Activities are to be performed twice daily in conjunction with wearing the Myobrace® appliance and consist of a series of breathing, tongue, swallowing, lip and cheek exercises.
Myobrace® treatment starts with the habit correction and works through a combination of three or more appliances to correct the causes of orthodontic problems and align the teeth as they grow into the mouth. Treatment can begin as soon as the poor myofunctional habits are recognized however, older children have had more time for the incorrect habits and wrong growth patterns to establish, which can require extra effort for a successful treatment outcome. With good compliance, excellent results can be achieved.
There are typically four stages of treatment with Myobrace® involving: habit correction, arch development, dental alignment and then retention.
Stage 1 - Habit Correction
The first stage of Myobrace® treatment is Habit Correction and it involves teaching the patient to breathe through the nose instead of the mouth, retraining the tongue to rest in the correct position, swallow the right way and keep the lips together when not eating or speaking. By focusing on correcting these oral habits that are causing crooked teeth and poor jaw growth, the child will have the best possible chance to grow their jaws to their proper and full size which allows the teeth to come in straight and often eliminates the need for braces later on.
Stage 2 – Arch Development
Along with habit correction, additional arch development may be required to widen the upper jaw allowing sufficient space for the teeth and tongue. Children with underdeveloped jaws over 7 years of age can be recommended to use appliances and techniques in combination with The Myobrace®System such as the Biobloc or Farrell Bent Wire System™ (BWS™) to achieve additional jaw development which will speed up the treatment process. The Myolay™ is suitable for the younger age groups and is used in conjunction the Myobrace®.
Stage 3 – Dental Alignment
At the stage when the last of the permanent teeth are erupting, the Myobrace®for Teens is used to align the teeth into their natural position.
Due to the nature of removable appliances, compliance is essential. The Myobrace® appliances must be worn every day and overnight while sleeping. Patient co-operation and motivation is paramount when it comes to achieving optimal results. Depending on the child's individual requirements and compliance, final alignment may involve treatment with braces.
If the teeth need further alignment, braces can still be used for a much shorter period of time which can be combined with the Myobrace® for Braces to provide optimal results.
Stage 4 – Retention
Retention is the final stage of Myobrace® treatment and aims to ensure good oral habits are maintained, often preventing the need to wear a permanent retainer or wire for an extended period of time.
Once braces are removed a retainer is usually required to prevent relapse from occurring. With good compliance and providing the correct oral habits are maintained, Myobrace® treatment allows for more stable orthodontic results and improved overall health
* Success of Myobrace® treatment relies on compliance and the child's ability to correct their poor myofunctional habits. Results and treatment time vary for each individual case.
Biometric and MRNA Appliances
If you have questions or concerns about sleep apnea appliances, please ask your dentist.