FAQ Regarding Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

A) Does OAT work?

Depending on the severity of the OSA, the success rate for OAT is 70%-84%. The more severe the apnea, the lower the success rate. However, the compliance rate is much higher than CPAP. That being said, there are some people that OAT does not work. There is no way to know if OAT will work until you try it. The simplest way to answer this question is that OAT will work for 8 out of 10 people. Unfortunately we cannot identify those two unfortunate people until the treatment has been started.

B) How will I know if the OAT is working for me?

The first indication of the OAT effectiveness is how you are feeling. Are you more rested? Do you feel more refreshed in the morning? How happy is your sleep partner? Keep in mind that for some people the effects are noticed the very first night. Others may need some time to adapt to the feeling of the appliance. Also, adjustments maybe needed. You may need your lower jaw advanced further than the initial set up. Be patient and pay attention to your body. 4 – 6 months following the initial therapy, you will need another sleep study to ensure that the appliance is working properly. This test can be completed in the privacy and comfort of your own bed. The follow up sleep study must be evaluated by a sleep physician. We can take care of that for you.

C) Why is a dentist treating my obstructive sleep apnea?

OSA is a serious medical condition with a dental solution. We do not treat your apnea on our own. A sleep physician makes the diagnosis and provides treatment recommendations. We will inform your primary care physician of the treatment options that are being considered and ask them to endorse the OAT. We will also keep them informed of your progress and will let them know the results of your follow up sleep study results.

D) How much does it cost and will my insurance cover the appliance?

The cost of the appliance to treat your obstructive sleep apnea or to attempt to eliminate your snoring is $2,500 - $3,000. The difference in cost is based on the type of appliance that is made. This cost includes all adjustments needed in the first 90 days of use, a repositioning device (if needed), and the cost of the sleep study required to check the effectiveness of the appliance. Most medical insurances cover a portion of the cost of the appliance. We are able to bill your medical insurance and are happy to assist you in receiving the maximum reimbursement from your insurance. The insurance game can be complicated and before any treatment is started, we will gather all possible information so there are no surprises.

E) How long will the appliance last?

There are many factors that determine the lifetime of an appliance. First of all, it will NOT last forever. Under normal use and care the appliance will last on average 3 – 5 years. However, it can potentially last quite a bit longer than that.

STOPBang Questionnaire