Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing periodically during sleep. Although the most common form of therapy is continuous positive airway pressure devices, there are also dental devices which can be used in the treatment of the condition - namely Mandibular Advancement Devices or Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces.
In this article, we share tips on how you can capture quality digital impressions in order to design a suitable sleep apnea device which fits.
Before recommending treatment options, a sleep study should be performed first in order to determine the severity of the patient’s symptoms and to find out the most appropriate therapy option. Dental devices are suitable for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea or who want to treat their snoring. As each patient’s condition differs, it is important to design a custom fitted oral device which suits your patient’s needs.
This makes the quality of your digital impressions even more important especially since you will need to keep digital models of the appliance when treating patients for an extended period of time. By doing so, you will be able to make new trays should the original one break or get misplaced.
Let’s talk about how to properly capture the bite between the upper and lower jaws using an intraoral scanner like the i500. First, scan both the upper and lower jaws as per normal. After obtaining the impressions, we can now move on to scanning the bite.
In order to make it easier to capture the buccal bite, you should eliminate the tongue from being scanned and also ensure that the jaws do not move during the process. You can do so by using a 2mm bite fork of the George Gauge and add cotton pellets/paper at the incisal edges of the gauge to increase the vertical gap to the desired height. With this method, you can scan the buccal bite easily without worrying that the intraoral scanner will pick up scan data from the tongue.
Once the bite has been captured, we recommend moving back to the maxilla and mandible catalog box in order to take additional images to complete any remaining voids in the model. After you’ve ascertained that everything is order, your digital impressions are ready to be used as a reference to design a custom-fit device for your patient!
Find out more about Medit’s i500 intraoral scanner and how it can simplify your dental work.