Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT)

At OC Dental Sleep Medicine, we pride ourselves in being the very best at co-treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In addition to co-discovering the correct diagnosis and treatment protocols with our Sleep Physicians, we partner with our patients to make sure they are well cared for and that their sleep appliances are properly fitted and titrated. In addition, we will always have constant communication to increase success rates. Simply put, “we have never seen a CPAP, oral appliance, or surgical procedure that cured an individual alone”.

Both Dr. Nick Nguyen and Dr. Calvin Yang initially became involved in Sleep Medicine after they observed the toll that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) was taking on the oral health of their own patients. Due to clenching and grinding of teeth, patients were experiencing extreme wear and breakage, loosening of teeth, gum and bone loss, Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) signs and symptoms, headaches, and head and neck muscle problems.

Their plight in treating OSA went from saving teeth to becoming something much different. In taking many continuing education courses on OSA, they believe that along with their team, they are now saving lives daily. Their involvement in Sleep Medicine turned from primarily screening for sleep apnea to now having very close relationships with Sleep Physicians and allied health professionals in the community in treating this disease.

Drs. Nguyen and Yang both strongly believe that successful management of one’s sleep disorder(s) should be a long-term, multidisciplinary approach as OSA is a chronic disease. “We would like health professionals and the general public to understand that the goal in most cases should be the successful management of OSA as it usually cannot be cured. Because health professionals tend to look though their own tunnel vision based on their training, experience, and values, proper management of OSA needs the input and communication from a multidisciplinary team of qualified individuals, including the patient. Long-term implies that treatment options and patients do not remain static”.

At their facility in Aliso Viejo, CA, Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Yang provide care along with their team to provide sleep services which include screening for OSA and other potential sleep disorders, TMJ/Muscle/Dentition examinations to screen for proper Oral Appliance selection and titration, and delivery and titration of Oral appliances. The care received in delivering an oral appliance includes monitoring TMJ signs and symptoms, bite changes and successful titration of an oral appliance which is usually verified with a sleep study 6 months following the delivery of the oral appliance. “The goal is not just to get rid of the snoring; we are trying to get patients healthier by reducing the actual number of apneic episodes”. Therefore, here at OC Dental Sleep Medicine, we use the term “Oral Sleep Appliance Therapy” to describe our care. Our patients get better because of the care they receive from us, not just from the oral appliance.

Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Yang received training from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the Pankey Institute (Key Biscayne, FL), the Spear Institute (Scottsdale, AZ), and the University of California,. Los Angeles (UCLA) in TMJ and head and neck disorders. This makes them better qualified to co-treat OSA while monitoring the health of muscle and joint symptoms. They are also current members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).

“We are excited with the direction that Sleep Medicine is heading and we feel that we are positively contributing to the awareness and treatment of this under diagnosed disorder. Through good communication with our patients and with our multidisciplinary team of allied health professionals and physicians, we look to have great success in helping to manage this serious disease”.

To read about the specifics of oral appliances, please click here.