Types of dental sleep appliances

The most effective, comfortable types of appliances are those made from impressions and models of the patient’s own teeth. Such customized appliances ensure perfect fit and minimal dimensions.

Warning- Beware of over the counter, non prescription dental devices.

While custom-made dental sleep appliances are proven to be effective, comfortable and safe, “over the counter”, non prescription dental devices have been recently banned from direct sale throughout the US. The ban on these devices by the US FDA is because they are far less effective than custom-made adjustable sleep appliances and because of the potential for side effects such as teeth movement and jaw joint damage. These devices are non-adjustable in nature with one size fits all. Studies indicate that such devices are highly ineffective than custom-made adjustable sleep appliances. Mostly available mostly for sale over the Internet, not only do these devices have potential side-effects, they are tough for people to wear even temporarily.

There are 2 types of appliances – non-adjustable and adjustable:

  • An adjustable appliance is highly advantageous because it allows the dentist, and importantly the patient, to slowly bring the lower jaw forward to the ideal most comfortable position that opens the airway.
  • A non-adjustable appliance makes it a guess to achieve the ideal forward position of the jaw and results in sub optimal outcomes. While such appliances are still being used and recommended by many dentists, experts in the field are in general agreement that they should have no place in current best practice.