In a recent press release, the US Army noted that its Civilian Dental Corps is forwarding the field of dental sleep medicine. The Civilian Dental Corps are dentists who are not service members, but who work to support the US Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) in its work of ensuring the health of active duty service members.
The press release notes that many service members benefit from oral appliance therapy — and that new technology makes these appliances better than ever for service members and the Army.
How Oral Appliances Benefit Service Members
Sleep apnea is very common among active duty service members. This is another example of how people may be quite fit, but still be subject to obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea impacts the readiness of soldiers, making them more groggy and less able to perform their mission duties. Sleep apnea can cause errors in judgment and lead to dangerous accidents.
But when it comes to treating sleep apnea, CPAP is often not a good match for active duty service members.
The devices are bulky and require water for operation and maintenance. The way the mask fits over the face can also be problematic for service members who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). All of these things can make soldiers less likely to use CPAP, at home or in the field, which means that their health and readiness will be impacted.
But oral appliances are small and easily transportable. They are much less likely to cause feelings of claustrophobia that can trigger PTSD episodes. And, on top of it all, oral appliances are less expensive, which saves the military budget for military equipment vital to our soldiers’ well being.
Advanced Appliances for Our Advanced Army
In its release, the Army Civilian Dental Corps also focused on the fact that oral appliances are regularly becoming more advanced and therefore more convenient for the army to use. The Corps promoted its use of digital imaging and manufacturing to produce oral appliances. This technique simply uses digital scans taken of soldiers’ teeth to mill appliances on-site for soldiers.
This is not only more convenient for soldiers–who get their appliances faster–it’s also less expensive.
Promote Your Readiness with Oral Appliances
While it’s true that the Army does more before 9 AM than most people do all day, that doesn’t mean you might not benefit from oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance is sleep apnea treatment that helps you get ready for your daily battles–not a treatment you have to do battle with. There are no masks, hoses, and other equipment to wrangle with, just one simple piece that you can quickly put away. With little more than a rinse or maybe a soak while you’re showering or brewing your coffee. And you’ll love the increased energy you have every morning.