For years, medicine approached sleep apnea treatment as if there were only two options: CPAP or surgery. Many people find CPAP uncomfortable and inconvenient, and surgery poses serious risks, especially for sleep apnea sufferers. Now, though, there is a more comfortable, more convenient, and safer option for sleep apnea treatment: oral appliance therapy. Just slip in the appliance—similar to a mouthguard—before going to sleep, and it will reduce or eliminate your episodes of apnea. It is even covered by your regular health insurance.
This page contains background information on appliance therapy, but the best way to find out if it’s right for you is to talk to sleep apnea expert Dr. Roger Roubal in Omaha, Nebraska. Please call (402) 493-4175 or email Dr. Roubal for an appointment.
How an Oral Sleep Appliance Treats Sleep Apnea
Oral appliances can be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, your airway collapses during sleep. This is because when you sleep gravity pulls down on your airway, and the muscles that normally hold it open are relaxed.
An oral appliance ensures your airway gets the support it needs to stay open. The tissue of your throat basically hangs on your jaw, and an oral sleep appliance ensures your jaw stays in a position that will hold your airway open.
Compared to more traditional methods of sleep apnea treatment, oral appliances have many benefits, including:
- Increased comfort
- No skin irritation
- No noisy pump
- Easy to transport
- Easy to clean
- Easy to use
- Less risk of dry mouth or nasal irritation
- No increased risk of colds or infection
- No surgical risk
- No recovery time
Because of these benefits, most people have an easier time complying with oral appliance therapy than with CPAP.
Is Your Oral Appliance Covered by Insurance?
In most cases, oral appliance therapy is covered by insurance, but in order to be covered, your testing, diagnosis, and appliance must meet certain standards. Dr. Roger Roubal has experience referring patients for sleep apnea tests and providing treatment once you have had an appropriate diagnosis. Our team can look at your coverage and make sure you are given options that comply with your insurance company’s requirements.
We will determine whether your provider:
- Recognizes at-home sleep tests
- Requires certain levels of apnea or hypopnea for coverage
- Covers oral appliances for your level of sleep apnea
- Covers all types of oral appliances
We will make sure you understand your coverage before proceeding with testing and treatment.