21 Oct New Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) in Brisbane
Mandibular advancement splints (MAS) are a form of treatment for OSA. These are primarily used to treat mild to moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, or used by patients who just cannot tolerate CPAP at all. Essentially a MAS looks like a mouth guard that fits over your top and bottom teeth, and when worn they push the jaw forward. By doing this, they may help to stop or reduce the upper airway from closing. Some patients report that their snoring is also reduced by using a MAS.
Positives for MAS:
- Small – easy to carry and does not need electricity
- Less intrusive than CPAP
- Less visible and audible to the bed partner
- Used longer per night than CPAP (on average)
Negatives for MAS
- Can cause jaw pain, and can change the shape of the jaw over time
- May not be effective for all patients i.e. they may not work (CPAP generally always works)
- Can only be adjusted until a point (your jaw can only move so far forward), and some cannot be adjusted at all
- Hard to “try before you buy”, making the device is the expensive part (similar costs to CPAP for the better devices)
Oventus is a Brisbane based maker of a sleep disorder treatment: O2 Vent. They have recently been featured on TV, so you may have heard the name recently. This device is gaining a lot of interest worldwide, so much so that their initial share price of $0.50 has risen to $0.74. This is despite the company making a loss year on year, presumably shareholders feel it is only early days and things are about to upswing. Oventus make a MAS with a slight difference, it has a titanium tube that runs from the front of the device, down either side of the device and opens out at the back (which is behind the teeth), allowing wearers to breathe through their mouths, through the device. Oventus devices seemingly work as well as other MAS devices (although further clinical trials are under way).
Caution when thinking about a MAS: Like many OSA treatments available, Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS) may be marketed to you or people you know as being the perfect solution for sleep apnoea and that they will prevent all snoring. While this may be true for some people, for others this is a source of false hope and is just not true.
Points to consider:
- Quality of sleep therapies does vary (including different MAS products)
- MAS devices generally have lower efficacy than CPAP, but are more tolerated and therefore may have similar effectiveness overall, so they may work for you – talk to your doctor
- All sleep therapies should be conducted under the supervision of medical practitioner i.e. see your doctor, dont even think about it if a medical doctor is not involved (dentists are not medical doctors)
- Titratable devices are preferable as these can be adjusted if required (improves efficacy)
- The majority of reputable MAS devices are made to order – no efficacy trials are available prior to purchase
- Costs are similar or even more than that of CPAP, like CPAP devices there may be rebates available from private health funds
- Various private health funds may require patients to undergo a type 1 or 2 sleep study to be eligible to make a claim from their health insurance – only doctors can request these medicare billed studies
- Not all “cures” for sleep disorders are as effective as they claim to be, be careful out there – talk to our doctor