FAQs on Sleep Devices

Below are some common questions we receive about our sleep dentistry oral devices. Don’t see the answer to your question below? No problem. You can contact us, and we’ll get right back with you.

Can my dentist confirm that I have a snoring/sleep apnea problem?

No. Obstructive sleep apnea or a snoring problem must be diagnosed by your physician or a sleep specialist. Once you consult with him/her and determine that a dental appliance is a viable treatment option, you can bring your most recent sleep study and prescription or letter to our office. From there, we can begin discussing the best options for you.

How long will it be before I experience beneficial side effects?

Because every person’s body is different, the time it takes to have beneficial side effects often varies. Some people report feeling more alert and rested in just a few days and others may take a few weeks. If an appliance does not produce beneficial side effects after several weeks, it may be time to consider a different appliance all together.

Will my insurance cover the cost of an oral appliance?

All insurance plans are different and offer various levels of coverage for dental devices. Many insurance companies will cover treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Many do not cover treatment for snoring only. Often times, it is the medical insurance that will offer coverage or reimbursement. We encourage you to check with your insurance company before making any decisions. We will gladly send any needed documentation to the insurance company.

I'm eligible for Medicare. Are any of the devices covered under Medicare?

Yes, Patrick Toms is a Medicare-compliant dentist. We offer several devices that are accepted by Medicare, including the HerbstTap 3 Elite and SUAD.

Will it take me long to adapt to the appliance?

The majority of patients adapt to the device after a week. Some may take longer depending on mouth and bone structure or other pre-existing situations. Adjustments can be made to the appliances to improve fit and comfort.

How effective are the appliances?

Effectiveness levels are typically higher for people who are treating snoring versus those who are treating sleep apnea. Often times it is the severity of the apnea that affects the effectiveness of the device. Approximately 60%-80% of apnea patients will experience positive effects from oral devices, and nearly 90% of those who suffer from snoring will experience relief.  

Are there any side effects from using an oral appliance? 

There are a few common side effects that may occur at the beginning of using an oral device. These side effects include increased salivation and/or tooth, jaw or bone discomfort. Follow-up examinations can help correct these issues.

What are the benefits of using an oral appliance over a CPAP machine?

Because of their small size, oral devices are less bulky than a CPAP machine. They are easier to travel with and store conveniently in your bedroom. For some, they are also more comfortable than a CPAP. There are also a range of options when it comes to dental devices, and these appliances can be customized to fit your mouth and comfort needs. Read more about the benefits of these devices.

How will my dentist monitor the effectiveness of the oral appliance?

Your dentist will schedule follow-up exams with you, and your physician or sleep specialists may choose to do a follow-up sleep study with you while wearing the device. Information from these exams can help shed light on the device’s effectiveness and better determine any modifications that are needed.

How long should the oral appliance last?

With appropriate care and maintenance, the devices tend to last 2-5 years. Many devices can last longer than 5 years.

Have more questions? Contact us today!