What is the OPAP®?
On December 28, 1997, the new show, "Breakthrough: Televisions Journal of Science and Medicine," aired a segment about a new dental appliance that was being tested under the auspices of Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic by Drs. William Hart and Christian Guilleminault.
It is hopeful that it will be an alternative to the headgear and mask used with CPAP and Bi-Level for obstructive sleep apnea. And for sleep apnea sufferers, there have not been a lot of choices. As we move toward the next century, the future looks bright and full of new alternatives.
The OPAP® is a dental appliance that fits in your mouth and conducts air through it. It conducts airflow to the site of the obstruction in the upper airway.
Is it available for purchase?
Yes. The FDA has given approval for the OPAP device to Dr. William T. Hart, MD and Richard Moore, DDS.
What is it like?
It is comparable to CPAP. The prescribed pressure used for CPAP may be lowered because the air is delivered at the site of the obstruction and does not have to go through the nasal passages.
How is it fitted?
The patient's mouth is measured for size, how much your jaw can move right or left, and a few other measurements. Your mouth is examined much the same way your dentist would examine you. It is noted if you have still have your tonsils, the size of your tongue, the shape of your palate and airway. The jaw is examined for TMJ and any pain in the area.
Then the impressions of your upper and lower jaw are taken to insure a custom fit mouthpiece.
Are there any side effects?
There may be some salivation, or sore jaw muscles. Individuals may experience a variety of side effects, or no side effects at all.
I have apnea and I would like to know more.
Update 10/99: Dr. Hart has formed OPAP Inc. and they are located in Pioneer, California. Their OPAP web site should be accessible soon.
You can reach Dr. Hart at:
Update 1999: Dr. Hart has closed his practice in Angels Camp, CA and is now in Santa Cruz, CA. He says the patent has come through. He is still collecting data on the OPAP, and so is a lab in Canada.
INFORMATION ON OPAP
Read the abstract presented at the 1997 APSS meeting in San Francisco about the OPAP® dental appliance. Search by the author, HART or by the title of the abstract: Oral positive airway pressure by the (OPAP_) dental appliance reduces mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
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