Most of the time you hear the letters “DNA” you’re thinking about the double helix, genetic-code-carrying molecule that makes the development, function, growth and reproduction of living things (and viruses) possible. And when you hear the term “mRNA,” you’re either having a conversation about genetics or perhaps a debate about those fancy new vaccines to battle COVID-19. But if you’re at your dentist’s office talking about the snoring problem your sleep partner says you have, the letters DNA and mRNA stand for something else—Daytime Nighttime Appliance and Mandibular Repositioning-Nighttime Appliance, respectively.
Both are considered the gold standard way to put sleep apnea to bed for good. That’s because these systems do not mitigate sleep apnea by forcing air down your windpipe. Rather, they change the structure and alignment of your airway, your jawline, the roof of your mouth, and/or any other craniofacial factor causing sleep apnea. In short, they cure sleep apnea rather than fight it.
Defending against sleep apnea—the old way
The solution to sleep apnea also comes from the mouth. More specifically, it comes from the conversation between you and your dentist. He or she knows what to ask about when it comes to your sleep. And if your responses and the evidence from your dental health indicates a possible case of sleep apnea, your dentist will make some suggestions and referrals. The next steps might be these:
- Do a sleep study in a sleep lab overseen by a sleep tech
- Get fitted for a CPAP
A continuous positive airway pressure machine sends a steady flow of oxygen into your nose and mouth as you sleep. This keeps your airways from closing and you breathing normally. CPAP styles vary, but all of them are essentially a mask that goes over your mouth and nose connected to an oxygen unit by tubes, all of which serves to push air down your throat. It combats a symptom of sleep apnea but it’s not a cure.
Defending against sleep apnea—the new way
While patients have used CPAPs over the years with some success, dental science advances like the Vivos System, which uses DNA and mRNA methods, have become cutting edge solutions that are fast replacing sleep apnea’s “old normal” form of treatment as well as diagnosis. In other words, no more Darth Vader masks and no more nights inside a sleep lab. Snoring may cause cloudy thinking and sleep partner issues, but systems like Vivos are creating a gold-standard with a silver lining.
Like with CPAPs, there is a process for determining whether the Vivos DNA and mRNA systems are needed and implementing those systems most effectively:
- Advanced Medical Imaging—Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and a three-dimensional oral scanner will accurately measure the hard and soft tissues of your airway.
- Sleep Wellness Assessment—Unlike other methods of diagnosing sleep apnea, Vivos uses an in-home biometric sleep study to arrive at a diagnosis.
- Airway Treatment Algorithm—A step-by-step path to correct any of the diagnosed craniofacial issues.
- Advanced Medical Devices—Custom, minimally invasive oral appliance(s) gets prescribed and worn for, typically, one to two years.
The DNA System
The root cause of sleep apnea is underdeveloped mouth, jaw and throat structures that obstruct your airway. While you sleep, Vivos’ DNA system opens your airway by repositioning those structure. It’s similar to the way braces, over time, reposition your teeth. However, the DNA system intermittently transmits light vibrational forces to your teeth. This stimulates growth in your body and stem cells to gently expand the structures of your mouth, for instance moving your lower jaw forward into a position that does not cause obstruction and snoring.
The mRNA Appliance
The Vivos Mandibular Repositioning – Nighttime Appliance (mRNA) focuses on your lower jaw. Specifically, it shifts your lower jaw forward by lifting any extra tissue around and obstructing your airway. Most patients are eventually able to sleep through the night without the mRNA appliance.