Dentist Eyes Apnea Solution That's a Bit Easier to Swallow


By Peter Carter, Contributor

For truckers (or anyone else) diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the familiar contraption known as the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device has become the
“gold standard” treatment.

It works by delivering a continuous stream of air to prevent possibly fatal but definitely fatiguing lapses in breathing In most cases, the CPAP machine is 100% effective. That is, says Dr. Les
Priemer, 100% effective 50% of the time, because so many people don’t use it the way they’re supposed to.

The problem is, the CPAP device is bulky, ugly, uncomfortable and requires electrical power and water.

“You couldn’t pay me a thousand dollars to wear one of those things,” Priemer said.

Priemer, a Toronto-based dentist, is offering an alternative: Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT).

The heart of OAT is the small appliance — it’s self-contained and requires no hoses or electricity– that you wear to bed and it sort of thrusts your lower jaw forward. In doing so, it draws the tongue away from the airway so there’s no blockage of the air passage.

“What we’re doing is moving the jaw forward by, usually, about 8 millimeters,” he says.

It’s of course more complicated than sticking a device into your mouth before bedtime. After an initial consultation, the dentist takes a mold of your mouth. Two weeks later, the appliance is fitted and a few weeks later, you return for a follow-up consultation to ensure the appliance is
comfortable and effective.

After that, it’s yours for life.

The treatment ranges in cost from $1,500 to $3,000. For more information on how you can
locate a dentist who can help, contact the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

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11/8/2011 – Dentist Eyes Apnea Solution That’s a Bit Easier to Swallow

For truckers (or anyone else) diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the familiar contraption known as the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device has become the
“gold standard” treatment….
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