The first step in being treated for snoring or obstructive sleep apnea is to obtain an evaluation by a sleep physician who will provide a formal diagnosis based on a medical sleep study. After that, an evaluation by a sleep-disorders dentist will determine whether you are a good candidate for oral appliance therapy and which oral appliance will be most effective.
Your first dental appointment will involve a discussion of the problem, review of your medical status and a detailed focus on the advantages, limitations and risks of oral appliance therapy. Different appliance types will be discussed and one x-ray will be taken of your teeth and jaw joint. A thorough examination of your teeth, jaw joint and bite will be performed. Impressions will be taken of your teeth for fabrication of the appliance and a photograph will be taken of your bite.
Your second appointment will involve custom fitting the oral appliance and learning how to use and care for it. After that, you will return in approximately 4 weeks for a follow-up visit to monitor the effects of the appliance and to make any necessary adjustments to ensure comfort and effectiveness.
Ultimately, when the snoring and daytime sleepiness have been resolved you will be referred back to your sleep physician for a follow-up sleep study to ensure the effectiveness of the appliance. You will then be examined annually by Dr. Rogers to ensure adequate long-term success and to monitor any possible side effects.