Snore No More

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of dental practice that focuses on the use of oral appliance therapy to treat sleep-disordered breathing, including snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

What's an oral appliance, you ask?

These small, mouthguard-like devices guide your jaw slightly forward to open your airway and stop your snoring, like taking the wax paper out of a kazoo.

An oral appliance may be a good alternative to a CPAP machine for treating individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Image of dental oral appliance.

who it's for

People with mild to moderate (and certain cases of severe) sleep apnea who would benefit from slight advancement of their jaw for smooth, easy breathing at night.

who it's NOT for

People with a BMI over 40 and have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea.

If you live in Minnesota and want to know whether an oral appliance can help you get silent, restful sleep, GEM can help.

Get Started

How does an oral appliance work?

Oral appliances work by slightly advancing the lower jaw which moves the base of the tongue forward and opens the airway to allow improved breathing and reduced snoring and apneas during sleep.

How effective are oral appliances?

When used to treat mild or moderate sleep apnea, an oral appliance can be just as effective as using a CPAP machine. When treating apnea, the appliance is 60-80% effective. Patients will see different results depending on the severity of their apnea.

Is there more than one style of oral appliance?

There are two main categories of oral appliances currently in use: they are mandibular advancement devices (MAD) and tongue retaining devices(TRD).


Custom-made for each patient
Made of a special acrylic or nylon material
Fit snugly but comfortably over the upper and lower teeth
Holds the lower jaw slightly forward to open the airway and restore normal breathing during sleep

Have a built-in adjustment mechanism that allows gradual advancement of the jaw to help achieve optimum effectiveness


Custom-made and pre-fabricated models are available
Made of a soft, pliable material
Have a compartment that fits around the tongue to hold it forward by means of suction

Used most often for patients with dentures or for those whose jaw cannot be adequately advanced

How do I know which oral appliance is right for me?

We will work with you to determine the best device specific to your concerns, mouth shape, and comfort levels. All oral appliances are made custom to fit the patient's mouth.

How long does this appliance last?

Under normal circumstances the appliance generally lasts 2-5 years, but many last longer than 5 years.

What steps are involved in getting an oral appliance?

1.   Receive a referral from GEM Sleep to our preferred Sleep Medicine Dentist

2.   Provide your insurance information (if available).

3.   Complete an initial (free) consultation call.

4.   Complete a series of appointments to take measurements for the device, fit the device, and make future adjustments if needed. Patients typically have 2-3 visits in the first 6 months, and then semi-annual or annually after that.

Does insurance typically cover Dental Sleep Medicine?

If coverage is available for oral appliances, it would come from the medical insurance carrier. Coverage will vary by insurance plan type and provider, but generally oral appliances are covered (up to a certain dollar amount) for patients with an Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis. We will work with you and your insurance company to determine your benefits.



How much will my services cost if I am using insurance?

If GEM SLEEP is in network with your health plan, we will submit an insurance claim on your behalf for any services provided. Once your insurance has paid the claim, if there is a remaining patient portion due, we will send you a separate invoice. If you wish to receive a good-faith estimate for the services prior to completing the check-out process please email us at Estimates will be provided based on your current insurance status, but are subject to change based on when the actual claim is submitted and the services actually rendered.

If you are tired or exhausted do not operate a vehicle or machinery.
The information contained in this document is for educational purposes only, Sleep Apnea can only be diagnosed via a medically approved sleep study. A sleep study must be ordered and reviewed by a professional provider trained in Sleep Medicine. GEM Sleep is focused on treatment and support of Sleep Apnea, not other sleep conditions.

Dental Sleep Medicine
Content from: ©2023 Snoring and Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center, Author: Dr. Jon Parker