The treatment for this condition can range from a sleep apnea appliance worn at night to reposition the jaw to a surgical intervention that corrects a jaw deformity contributing to the sleep apnea.
Although many patients will not need to undergo an invasive procedure to get relief from their sleep apnea symptoms, an oral surgeon still is often involved in the care for this condition to design the sleep apnea appliance to the patient’s unique specifications. In fact, the oral surgeon’s expertise in the structures of the facial bones and the jaw, in particular, make this specialty specifically well-suited to correct the problem that is causing the sleep apnea.
Generally, an oral surgeon will first try a sleep apnea appliance with a patient before moving on to a more aggressive course of treatment like surgery.
In the earliest stages of treatment, the patient will have an initial appointment at which the oral surgeon collects the information needed to design the appliance. After the appliance is ready, the patient will return to the oral surgeon’s office to be fitted with it.
Patients also should plan to return to the oral surgeon periodically for follow-up visits that monitor the appliance’s effectiveness. Follow-up appointments typically are scheduled every six months for the first year that the patient wears the appliance, and yearly after that.
At these follow-up appointments, the oral surgeon will examine the fit of the appliance and ask you if you are experiencing any sleep apnea symptoms as well as the degree of those symptoms.
Do not feel like you have to wait for six months if there is a problem or issue, though. If you feel that the device is not working or if it is causing you some other problems, like discomfort, you can always feel free to contact our office for an appointment.