Materials & Technology

A Revolution in Custom-made, Titratable Oral Appliances

In the past, it was thought the design of the appliance was the most important factor in achieving success. However, in recent years there have been 10 studies comparing different combinations of custom made appliances and the results always demonstrate that each of the appliances is equivalent with regard to effectiveness.

There is no “Gold Standard” appliance – despite the claims made by companies.

Comfort and Compliance Are The Keys to Success

It is not the specific design of the appliance but the level of comfort, the ease of titration, and the minimisation of side effects.

Compliance is the key, and when it comes to the level of comfort, with minimal side effects, not all appliances are the same. The fit, dimensions and type of material used in construction are the main factors in achieving long term successful use.

CPAP vs Oral Appliances

The CPAP machine and custom made oral appliances are the only two frontline treatments for sleep apnoea and snoring. Both treatments have been proven* to be similar in regard to effectiveness yet oral appliances are far more comfortable and easier to use.

* “Health outcomes of continuous positive airway pressure versus mandibular advancement device for the treatment of severe obstructive sleep apnea: an individual participant data meta-analysis”

Cistulli, P. Sutherland, K et al
Sleep 2021 Jul 9;44(7)

The Material Of An Oral Appliance is a Critical Factor

Comfort and compliance are the keys to success

Traditionally appliances have been made from acrylic resin and while this material has served the profession well, it is not without problems. Acrylic is brittle, prone to fracture, and consequently needs to be relatively thick.

The Revolution - 3D Printer, Medical-Grade Nylon

There has been a revolution in the materials used for appliances with the advent of 3D printed nylon. 3D printed nylon brings in a new era which is rendering the traditional acrylic resin obsolete for the manufacture of sleep appliances.

Appliances made from medical grade nylon can be made down to a thickness of 0.5mm, yet are unbreakable in the mouth. This is of the utmost importance given that comfort, compliance and longevity are universally regarded as the key factors for successful outcomes.

The medical-grade polyamide type 12 nylon has the highest level of biocompatibility and is used in medical procedures like neurosurgery and joint replacement. This ensures the rarest levels of allergy and intolerance.

Computer-Aided Design

To ensure the highest quality of production we utilise next-generation design software incorporating AI technology. This results in unmatched precision and appliances with a perfect fit each and every time. This makes the fitting visit stress free for the dentist and the patient.

Computer-Aided Manufacturing

Our oral appliances are printed with smart technology guaranteeing high precision and efficient production.

We can therefore produce appliances faster, more accurately and with a degree of reproducibility that is beyond the capability of traditional manufacturing methods. This helps the dentists to treat patients quicker, with minimal chairside adjustments and with peace of mind.

The 3D Sleep polishing process ensures significantly reduced surface porosity and results in a beautiful glossy finish that can be maintained long term

With many of the major overseas companies now making the switch to 3D printed nylon, appliances made from acrylic are now being considered outdated, or “old world”.

Comparing Oral Appliances for Snoring & Sleep Apnoea

A Novel Method for Testing an Acrylic and Nylon Appliance

3D printed nylon appliances are virtually unbreakable in the mouth, even in thin sections of under 1mm. Another advantage of nylon is that being thermoplastic the appliance can be easily readapted if the patient has a restoration.

Intra-oral Scanning

Intra-oral scanning results in exceptional accuracy in capturing the dental arches. Recent upgrades in technology have resulted in the ability to accurately scan both arches in one to two minutes.

3D Sleep accepts scans from all the commonly used scanners as well as scan your impressions and study models.