Sleep apnea is a serious, sometimes fatal medical disorder that affects around 10% of American men over the age of 40, and 6% of American women of the same age. Sleep apnea sufferers completely stop breathing during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times in a single night. Normal breathing ceases because the airway becomes obstructed, causing a serious reduction of airflow to the lungs.
There are a number of dental devices that can be used to alleviate this condition. The goal of most of these devices is to separate the jaws and push them forward slightly. This slight repositioning opens up the airway, and allows oxygen to flow freely again. Wearers of sleep apnea dental devices report that they stop loud snoring, feel more rested in the daytime, and are much more comfortable going to sleep. Sleep apnea appliances work best on patients who are not significantly overweight. They offer a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP).
Sleep apnea appliances fall into two categories: fixed and adjustable. Here are brief descriptions of the sleep apnea dental appliances we use:
SomnoMed- Herbst and Flex™
- SomnoDent Flex is made with unique SMH BFlex material, Flex has a soft inner liner which maintains retention and offers premium patient comfort.
- Device retention is critical to effective treatment.
- Drop in fit – even for patients with short teeth, little undercut or crown/bridge work.
- Reduced chair time due to minimal adjustments.
- SMH BFlex is a proprietary soft polymer that is molecularly bonded to the acrylic device. The material will not delaminate or attract odors.
- All SomnoDent Signature devices feature a 3-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
The vision for the oral devices has always been to have a range of products, each with a different function, design and recognizable color. The range of products offered by Respire is also a distinguishing factor for Respire’s continued growth. Research has shown that one device is not suitable for every patient so the doctor needs to have options in their treatment protocol.
The color of the device is a small point but ensures two important aspects of product design. First, the unique color palette ensures that Respire’s products are highly recognizable, second, the use of color hides any discoloration in the device, which is a differentiating factor to other products in the market that are clear and can discolor over time. The Blue Series broke the mold in this and is now replicated throughout the industry.