I have a patient that wears a nighttime appliance for snoring/sleep apnea. What do I have to do to accommodate both clear aligners and the nighttime appliances while they are in treatment? Do the appliance trays provide adequate retention or do you have to make the appliance fit over the clear aligner?
As you know, clear aligners should be worn for at least 22 hours per day. If your patient removed the clear aligners each night to wear the sleep apnea appliance, not only would it cut into your patient's wear-time, the appliance could actively work against the aligners, pressuring the teeth back into their original positions.
So, tight-fitting custom sleep apnea appliances probably can't be used during clear aligner treatment.
If you use a loose-fitting sleep apnea appliance, it may be less likely to interfere with the aligners. You could also consider a non-fitted device, such as the aveoTSD or a CPAP machine. If you've found something that works for you, please let us know.
Please note, however, that we have not tested ClearCorrect for use with sleep apnea appliances. We cannot guarantee the safety or efficacy of any sleep apnea device when used with clear aligners.
If your patient just stops wearing a sleep apnea appliance during clear aligner therapy, remember that they'll probably need a new sleep apnea appliance at the end of treatment, to fit the new configuration of their teeth.
Until next time...
Clarification: An earlier version of this post described loose-fitting appliances as “like an over-the-counter sport mouthguard.” We simply meant that the fit of such a device might be similar to an over-the-counter sport mouthguard. We do not recommend using an over-the-counter sport mouthguard to treat snoring or sleep apnea.