What Is a Mandibular Advancement Device and How Does It Work?
An alternative oral appliance therapy treatment for obstructive sleep apnea to the CPAP machine is the mandibular advancement device (MAD). It is a strong, plastic oral appliance with a hinge in the middle that covers both the upper and lower teeth. It functions by gently moving the mandible (lower jaw) forward while you sleep. The MAD advances this tissue as well, preventing it from collapsing over the airway (causing obstruction), preventing OSA. The lower jaw is connected to the tongue behind the chin.
For treating mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea, particularly when the patient is a “CPAP reject,” the mandibular advancement device has long been advocated as a successful alternative to the CPAP machine. Someone who cannot tolerate the CPAP machine is referred to as a CPAP reject. In order to keep the patient’s airway open all night, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine forces air through it. Through tubing and a mask, the machine provides the patient with air. Patients may remove the mask because it is so uncomfortable to wear it and to breathe through forced air.
The CPAP machine has historically had lower rates of treatment adherence than the mandibular advancement device, which is frequently preferred by patients. However, it is still being investigated whether or not the MAD can effectively treat severe OSA cases. In January 2018, one of the most recent scientific articles pertaining to these studies was released. The article supported the mounting body of evidence that the MAD is a superior treatment to CPAP (in large part because of patient compliance) and is frequently chosen by patients.
The following elements affect whether a dentist will advise using the mandibular advancement device:
- Your obstructive sleep apnea’s severity
- Your upper airway’s skeletal system
- Any additional medical conditions you may have
- Your personal preference
If you are interested in a mandibular advancement device in Castle Rock or Denver, Colorado, we would be happy to schedule an appointment for you with Refresh Snoring and Sleep Apnea Center and see if it is the right treatment option for you or a loved one who has obstructive sleep apnea.