Oral Appliance

TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center

TMJ Specialists & Dental Sleep Medicine located in Seattle, WA

Oral orthotics, mandibular repositioning splints, cranial repositioning, oral sleep appliances and other customized oral appliances can be particularly effective for treating TMJ disorders, Bruxism, headaches, sleep apnea, snoring, and more. Skillful expert TMJ Orofacial Pain and dental sleep specialist, Jason Pehling, DDS, MS,and Akanksha Gupta BDS MS have the specialty experience treating TMJ Disorders, sleep apnea and other problems at the TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center in Seattle. Drs. Pehling and Gupta have placed over 10,000 custom oral appliances over the last 20 years. They will present useful treatment options and personalized, compassionate care. Call the office or use the convenient online scheduler to protect the health of your jawbone, teeth, and facial structures.

Oral Appliance Q & A

What is oral appliance therapy?

There are two types of oral appliance therapy: 1. Customized oral appliances to align your jaw for the treatment of TMJ Disorders 2. FDA approved oral sleep appliances for the treatment of snoring and Sleep apnea. 

TMJ appliances are customized to your specific jaw condition. Your jaw position not only affects the alignment in your TMJ, but also the position of your bite, head, neck, airway, and tongue position. Dr. Pehling makes them small and comfortable so that you can talk in them as they often need to be worn during the day and night. 

These appliances are very different from nightguards which are only meant to cover your teeth to reduce wear. Studies and experience have shown that nightguards used improperly can actually worsen a TMJ disorder and worsen sleep apnea.  

Oral appliance therapy is a safe and successful treatment method for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy usually involves custom-fit oral sleep appliances that can improve your sleep and open your airway space.

Oral sleep appliances fit like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and support your jaw in a forward position to assist you in maintaining an open airway.

What can I expect with oral appliance therapy?

Dr. Pehling conducts a complete clinical evaluation including an examination of your jaw, teeth, tongue, airway, and any necessary testing, such as imaging of the jaw. Imaging is typically a Cone Beam CT or MRI. This lets Dr. Pehling visualize the anatomical problems in the jaw. Panoramic and Dental X-rays do not provide adequate visualization

The TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center team creates a personalized treatment plan for you and customizes your oral appliance using physical or digital impressions of your teeth. These models are sent to a dental lab where your appliance is created by a qualified technician.

Once your oral appliance is ready, you return to the office for a fitting and Dr. Pehling adjusts your appliance accordingly to maximize comfort and effectiveness. He also gives you valuable information about how to clean and maintain your oral appliance.

Follow-up visits with Dr. Pehling are necessary to ensure the optimal fit and success of your oral appliance. Dr. Pehling might need to continue to adjust your oral appliance over time for the best results.

What are the benefits of oral appliance therapy?

The TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center provides oral appliance therapy due to the many benefits, such as: 

  • Comfort
  • Easy to wear
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Convenient for travel
  • Easy to care for
  • Effective results
  • Prevents further damage or wear and tear to your teeth
  • Decreases pain and discomfort from TMJ and other issues

Whether you’re grinding your teeth, or your jaw is locking, or dealing with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy can be a successful solution.

Dr. Pehling also provides other treatments used in addition to oral appliance therapy, such as injections, Botox, Physical Medicine, Minimally Invasive surgery, medications, and lifestyle changes.

During your personal consultation, Dr. Pehling can discuss oral appliance therapy in detail, answer your questions, and help you determine if it’s right for you.

Find out how oral appliance therapy can be part of a solution for your pain, jaw popping and locking and sleep apnea. Call TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center or schedule here through the web.