Treating Sleep Apnea-Neuromuscular MAS

LVI Somnodent

A recent article describes the LVI Somnodent . This device is a recent improvement over the current Lexus of oral appliance therapy devices to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the Somnodent MAS (Mandibular Advancement Splint).  With recent FDA clearance, the LVI Somnodent MAS fulfills the mission to both treat airway closure during apneic events and position the mandible (lower jaw) in a neuromuscular (physiologically ideal) rest position during sleep. This position can help facilitate the return  of muscle tonus to the tongue and other soft tissues of the throat.

Nature did NOT design our tongues and throat tissues to choke us in the night!  If these tissues during sleep are collapsing and not keeping the breathing passages open, that is obviously not normal function. These tissues are dysfunctional and  lacking the normal muscle tonus to maintain a patent airway . Other sleep apnea dental devices simply attempt to drag the jaw and attached tongue and soft tissues forward to keep them from sealing off the airway without addressing the root cause. A neuromuscular sleep appliance is designed to enhance normal muscle tonus in the tongue and  throat soft tissues to help open the airway with less mandibular advancement, while also allowing subtle advancement if necessary. Dr. Ziv is a specially trained Fellow of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, one of the largest and most highly regarded post graduate dental teaching facilities in the world, specializing in training dentists in Neuromuscular Dentistry. He has been practicing neuromuscular dentistry longer than any other dentist in the Ventura County/Conejo Valley/Malibu area.

 

 

One of the main features of the LVI Somnodent MAS is that it is a lingual-less design. Unlike other oral appliance therapy sleep devices, the LVI Somnodent MAS has eliminated the thick plastic that wraps around the tongue side of the upper and lower teeth. It makes absolutely no sense to wear a dental device designed to bring the tongue forward away from the back of the throat, and then crowd the front of the same tongue with thick plastic, pushing it backwards! The lingual (tongue side) plastic is eliminated in the LVI Somnodent MAS and, in recent studies, patients much preferred this design over conventional mandibular advancement devices, even the regular Somnodent MAS.

 

The initial lower jaw rest position of the LVI Somnodent MAS is also derived completely differently than other oral appliance therapy sleep devices. The neuromuscularly correct, physiologic rest position of the mandible (lower jaw) is determined by electronic evaluation of the jaw musculature via use of TENS (trans-cutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) , electromyography, sonography, and computerized jaw scanning techniques to accurately pinpoint the most healthy, relaxed position of the patient’s mandible in space. This neuromuscular dentistry technique has been successfully utilized for decades to improve muscle function and decrease pain and dysfunction of head and neck muscles primarily for daytime therapy. With the LVI Somnodent MAS the same technique can establish a physiologically derived rest position for the mandible during sleep.  The device prevents the lower jaw from falling backward as the head changes position, such as when the patient is sleeping on their back. Other dental obstructive sleep apnea devices place the lower jaw in an arbitrary forward starting position and then simply adjust or titrate the mandibular position forward without any goal to improve tongue or soft tissue health and function. It is not uncommon for these devices to require such significant jaw advancement that it causes temporary TMJ discomfort. The LVI Somnodent MAS potentially requires much less lower jaw advancement to achieve airway patency.

 

To learn more about Dr. Ziv’s unique dental mouthpiece alternative to a CPAP mask call us to request a complimentary consultation at   or email info@zivsmilestudio.com  or click this link to send us your contact information.

 

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