What is DNA Appliance Therapy?
A DNA appliance is a type of oral appliance therapy, but it works differently than the therapy we talked about above. The DNA appliance works to guide jaw growth and movement in children and adults who are experiencing sleep apnea due to a narrow airway caused by malocclusion (a bad bite). It is designed to promote the growth and development of the jaw and airway by utilizing the body’s natural mechanisms of bone remodeling and gene expression. The DNA appliance comprises a series of removable oral devices that a San Jose sleep dentist custom-fits to a patient’s teeth and can be adjusted as the treatment progresses.
Just as with oral appliance therapy, you’ll notice your sleep gets better as treatment progresses. However, it’ll take longer because your jaw needs time to grow and remodel. While the DNA appliance is a longer treatment, usually taking months to years to complete, it’s a permanent solution to sleep apnea.
The DNA appliance has other benefits too. Since the appliance permanently repositions your jaw, you’ll notice a change in your appearance, smile, and profile, which is often desired when you have an orthodontic issue causing your sleep apnea.
Our San Jose sleep dentist recommends DNA appliance therapy to anyone who:
- Is experiencing sleep apnea due to an orthodontic issue.
- Needs a malocclusion correction.
- Wants long-term results.
- Is unhappy with their facial appearance.
- Wants to improve their smile along with sleep quality.
- Wants to resolve snoring.
- Can’t breathe through their nose well.
- Experiences TMJ issues.
Sleep Apnea-TMJ Connection
Sleep apnea and TMJ disorder can go hand in hand. A poorly positioned jaw can narrow your airway and cause pain in your temporomandibular joint—the joints that connect your jaw to your skull. This can cause you to grind your teeth, resulting in further misalignment. In cases of a poorly fitted oral appliance, your sleep treatment could cause TMJ issues.
This is where the DNA appliance can come in. Your DNA appliance can work to reposition your jaw to be the best for sleep and to reduce TMJ pain. And the best part is that it’s a permanent solution to both issues.