The TAP® Appliance Offers Comfortable and Effective Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Dr. Gary Ludka offers the TAP® appliance at his Bowie, MD, practice. Made to fit comfortably over your teeth, the appliance will reposition your lower jaw. In this way, it can tighten your soft tissues and open up your airways. Because of its innovative design, you can easily adjust the device for more effective results and a more comfortable fit. The TAP® appliance is a breakthrough in sleep apnea treatment because it is far more comfortable and convenient than traditional CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy.
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Are You a Candidate for the TAP® Appliance?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) causes your throat to close while you are asleep, due to a relaxed soft palate or throat muscles. This can cause potentially hundreds of brief awakenings throughout the night, and can result in a number of symptoms, including chronic exhaustion, snoring, headaches, mood swings, and more. Dr. Ludka will carefully evaluate your symptoms, and he may refer you to a specialist for a sleep study. After uncovering the cause of your sleep apnea, he can determine whether TAP® is right for you. If you suffer from mild to moderate OSA, you may be a candidate for this treatment. We offer different appliances, so Dr. Ludka will evaluate your jaw and mouth structure to determine which one is most appropriate for you. If you have more severe sleep apnea, you may need to visit a specialist for CPAP or an alternative treatment.
The TAP® device is small and comfortable. Most patients become used to it after just a few nights.
How Does the TAP® Appliance Work?
The TAP® (or Thornton Adjustable Positioner) appliance consists of an upper and a lower tray. Both will fit over your dental arches. The device will gently push your lower jaw forward, which will tighten your soft palate and throat muscles. The newest versions of TAP® are easily adjustable. Using a small key, you can reposition the device while you are wearing it. When you first receive your TAP® appliance, Dr. Ludka will teach you how to adjust the positioner at home. In this way, you can determine the most comfortable and accurate position.
Benefits of the TAP® Appliance
Many patients worry that they will have a hard time adjusting to their TAP® appliance. However, thanks to recent changes in the design, the devices now have an increased range of motion. For your comfort, TAP® is made with very small hardware. There is plenty of room for your tongue to move normally, and you can close your mouth fully while you are wearing it.
In the past, CPAP was the only reliable treatment for sleep apnea. Patients would wear masks over their mouths, and a bulky machine would pump in a stream of air to keep their throats open. For qualified patients, TAP® can be just as effective as CPAP, if not more so. Many find it nearly impossible to sleep while wearing the CPAP mask, so they continue to suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea. In contrast, the TAP® device is small and comfortable. Most patients become used to it after just a few nights. Oral appliances are also smaller, more convenient, and more discreet than CPAP.
Contact Us for More Information
To learn whether the TAP® appliance is the right sleep apnea treatment for you, contact Dr. Ludka’s office today.