Sleep Apnea Dentist, Arthur M. Strauss, DDS of Falls Church, VA
Special Interest in
the Dental Management of Snoring,
Obstructive Sleep Apnea and
Awake Related Oral Function Issues


Arthur M. Strauss, D.D.S.
Diplomate, American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine *

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Articles - Your Health Magazine, September 2009

Snoring and Sleep Apnea: Trial Procedures In Oral Appliance Therapy

Last October, in my article, “The Keystone to Success in Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring and Sleep Apnea”, I concluded that trial procedures are the method of matching up the oral appliance to each person. This is because of physical and functional variations of both people and oral (more that 150) devices.

I indicated that, in a future article, I will discuss trial procedures where the appliance type and many design characteristics are determined by patients testing trial versions of the MRD and of the TRD at home, generally for a period of two weeks each. This coupled with examining each patient and studying x-rays and plaster casts of their teeth and movements of the jaws and tongue allows the skilled and dedicated oral appliance therapy practitioner to obtain the most compatible match of the oral appliance to each patient and maximize treatment success.

Trial procedures often begin at the initial visit and culminate in the design of a definitive appliance. Ongoing feedback is required throughout the trial process, including training and orientation sessions. This provides information for modifying the trial devices (trial TRD and trial MRD) and for design features critical in choice of a definitive oral appliance to maximize treatment success.

I define success as:

One can assess the relative fit, comfort and convenience associated with wearing the trial device and, with the sleep disorders dentist, interpolate this to wearing the definitive counterpart.

Clinical Effectiveness May Be Assessed Through:

During trial procedures patients also have the opportunity to get used to wearing an oral appliance. This includes experiencing excessive salivation or a dry mouth for a time period of a few days to a few weeks, as their body adapts to the appliance. TMJ symptoms associated with wearing the oral appliance can also be assessed and addressed as well as pending dental treatment.

To date there is no scientific basis for predetermination of the appropriate definitive oral appliance for each patient. Clinical testing is required and this process is referred to as “Trial Procedures”.

* Denotes a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM). The board is self designated and does not confer recognized specialty status by any certifying organization. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recognizes the Diplomate status granted by the ABDSM. All Diplomate applicants must hold (at a minimum) a dental degree (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) or its equivalent and an active unrestricted license to practice dentistry in addition to completing an extensive application process, including presenting case studies and taking a written exam.

Arthur M. Strauss, D.D.S.

311 Park Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22046

Phone: 703-237-2350
Fax: 703-241-8414
Email: or

Office Hours

Tue, Wed, Fri: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm - Appointments
Monday - Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm - Administration