DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Norman Roby says his snoring was pretty bad. He says he never felt rested and had a tendency to nap during the day. Finally he sought help.
"I did a sleep study over at Decatur General, at the time, and they determined that I was suffering from Sleep apnea, so I used a C-pap for a long time."
C-pap, or continuous positive airway pressure machines, have long been the standard treatment for slumberers who snore. But those machines come with some caveats.
Roby says he was miserable. "I didn't like being put in a bridle. I couldn't roll and turn and (it) had a noise going, and if I had any kind of a head cold I couldn't use the Cpap. I had to take it off. I slept worse with it than I did without it."
His friend Dr. Randall Sandlin, a Decatur dentist, helped him. "But, unfortunately it's not all that comfortable and there is a pretty high percentage, maybe half or more, of patients who just can't tolerate c-pap, because you're tethered to a machine and you're limited in your sleep position," Sandlin explained.
Sandlin says the oral appliance he recommended works differently. "It all fits within the mouth. It fits like a kid's retainer after braces."
SomnoDent is a two-piece oral appliance that works to hold the lower jaw slightly forward.
"The tongue is actually attached to the lower jaw, and when you bring the lower jaw slightly forward, you are bringing the tongue just a few millimeters slightly forward - which helps it open up the airway and keep it from collapsing," the dentist said.
Sandlin says you can speak, yawn, drink water with the device, so small, it can fit in your pocket. He says this device is a medical-grade acrylic appliance which will not "hold odor".
Roby says he can finally catch some "Z's.
"I was sleeping better than I had in years... sleeping like a fat baby," he laughed
And he says he's not the only one. "My wife is sleeping a lot better too ."