Introducing OAT (Oral Appliance Therapy)
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) consists of an appliance similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth guard. It is fitted specifically to the wearer’s mouth, and helps prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissue at the back of the throat. This helps keep the airway open, reducing the episodes of snoring and interrupted breathing.
This is a helpful alternative to CPAP, and is most effective in patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Since each appliance is fitted specifically to the wearer’s mouth, the wearer finds the appliance to be far more effective than over-the-counter devices, which cannot be fitted perfectly.
The first step in being fitted for an OAT appliance is to have an accurate diagnosis by a board certified sleep medicine physician. The sleep study can be conducted in the comfort of your own home, and the results sent to be read by a sleep medicine physician. Once diagnosed, Dr. Bucher can begin to determine with you what is the best appliance design for your needs.
What are the advantages of OAT?
- The most striking advantage of an oral appliance is that they are comfortable and easy to wear. Compared to the bulkiness and intrusiveness of the CPAP, oral appliances are easy to adjust to and non-invasive to both the wearer and the sleep partner.
- Oral appliances are compact, making them easy for travel. Their small size makes them convenient to those who travel, and to those who wish to limit the bulk of a traditional CPAP.