Suites 1 & 2, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Bracken Road, Sandyford, Dublin Tel: +353 1 213 5644

Dental Sleep Medicine Treatment

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of clinical expertise which focuses on the management of sleep related breathing disorders, including snoring, noisy disturbed sleep, sleep apnoea, CPAP intolerance and sleep bruxism (teeth grinding), with the design and fitting of customised oral / dental appliances.

What is Oral Appliance Therapy?

An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either supporting the tongue or jaw in a forward position, thereby opening the airway.

With a custom fitted oral appliance, we can help minimise or eliminate the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep apnoea (in mild to moderate cases) including loud snoring, gasping and unpleasant noises.

The device can also act as an alternative treatment for patients (on medical advice only) who have been prescribed CPAP by their medical consultant, finding it difficult to adhere to this therapy for management of their sleep apnoea condition.

How does Oral Appliance Therapy Work?

Oral appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position, dilates the upper airway and preventing it from collapsing. This helps to:

  • eliminate or reduce snoring noise levels
  • improve sleep quality and general energy levels on wakening
  • treat sleep apnoea disease progression
  • improves bed partners sleep quality of life.

The Beacon Dental Clinic provide the following additional services

  • Referral from consultant led medical diagnosis of sleep disordered breathing, noisy loud snoring and suspected sleep apnoea.
  • CBT referral or medical advice for sleep disorder management.
  • Dietician and weight management referral if indicated.
  • Dental health care education.
  • Routine in office dental healthcare

Process of our Oral Appliance Therapy Program


If you are referred to the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic by a medical consultant, we will then assess your suitability for Oral Appliance Therapy. This will involve a dental examination, an x-ray and a trial oral appliance, if indicated.

If you have not been seen by a doctor, we will refer you to the appropriate medical consultant before further assessment.

Treatment Interventions

In the Treatment phase, you will be fitted with an oral appliance by an experienced restorative dentist with expertise in the field of dental sleep medicine, who will control and monitor your progress and response to treatment. All patients of the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic are seen one week and one month following initial appliance delivery. You will also be provided with clear instructions as to the best use and care of your oral appliance.

Follow up appointments

All patients with sleep apnoea diagnosis are referred back at this stage to their medical consultant for evaluation. The oral appliance is re-evaluated at the Beacon Dental Clinic at specified internals to evaluate its mechanical integrity and performance.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Dentists have pioneered the use of oral appliance therapy for the treatment of sleep apnoea and sleep related breathing disorders. An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits like a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either holding the tongue or supporting the jaw in a forward position. With an oral appliance, dentists can minimise or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnoea in mild to moderate cases.

Dentists with training in oral appliance therapy work closely with sleep physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care for sleep related breathing disorders. The Irish Sleep Society, the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend that a physician must diagnose sleep disorders including sleep apnoea. Sleep physicians at sleep laboratories use an overnight sleep study to detect and diagnose sleep apnoea.

Once a patient is diagnosed with sleep apnoea or a sleep related breathing disorder, dentists may provide treatment. Dentists assist patients in the selection and fitting of an oral appliance and provide long-term follow-up care.

Medical Diagnosis and Sleep Studies

It is important that an appropriate medical diagnosis is made by the relevant sleep physician to investigate the significance of snoring or sleep related disorders.

Download Epworth Sleepiness Scale Self-test

Download STOP-BANG Questionnaire

About Dental Sleep Medicine at The Beacon Dental Clinic

As director of the Beacon Dental Group Dr Edward G Owens is a hospital affiliated Prosthodontist. He has been working successfully with oral appliances to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea since 1997.

He collaborates with major hospital sleep disorder clinics and has been active in the management of oral sleep appliances and the development of Dental Sleep Medicine in Ireland.

Dr Owens is one of a small number of dentists with recognised expertise in treating this category of patients in Ireland working in co-operation with physicians and surgeons in the recognised leading centers of experience and established expertise in Sleep Medicine in Ireland, namely St Vincent’s Hospital, The Mater Hospital, Beaumont and UPMC Beacon Hospital.

He has been working successfully with oral appliances in the management of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea for over 14 years. Many people in Ireland have been treated successfully through the utilisation of various dental appliances.

Dr Owens is a founding member of the Irish Sleep Society and has served as a committee member of the society. Dr Owens received his specialty training in Prosthodontics in Indiana University and is a member of American College of Prosthodontists and The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

He is a member of a number of national organisations, which focus on this developing interface between dentistry and medicine.

Sleep Bruxism

Sleep Bruxism is a movement disorder characterised by clenching and grinding of the jaws and teeth while sleeping. Typical signs of this condition are exaggerated tooth wear, fractures of teeth and dental restorations, fillings, crowns, bridges etc. Excessive sleep bruxing can also lead to damage to the gum or periodontal tissues, which support the tooth leading to gum recession and looseness or tooth mobility. Typical symptoms can be significant TMJ, or jaw joint discomfort, tooth sensitivity and headache which may result from persistent sleep bruxing movements.

Severe wear resulting from Sleep Bruxism

Reduced Tooth Visibilty
Resuting from Severe Wear

Associated risk factors

There are a number of documented risk factors associated with Sleep Bruxism such as anxiety, psychological stress, obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, snoring, daytime sleepiness, and alcohol and caffeine consumption. Certain prescription drugs including serotonin uptake inhibitors such as Lexapro, Prozac, and Seroxit along with psychiatric disorders and neurological conditions have been associated with this condition. Sleep Bruxism may also have a hereditary component.


1. Are you aware, or has anyone heard you, grinding your teeth frequently during sleep? Yes / No
2. Are you aware that your teeth are worn down more than they should be? Yes / No
3. Are you aware of the following symptoms on wakening? Yes / No

  • Sensation of fatigue, tightness or soreness of your jaw on awakening?
  • Feeling that your teeth are clenched or that your mouth is sore on awakening?
  • Aching of your temples upon awakening?
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide upon awakening?
  • Feeling tension in your jaw joint upon awakening and feeling as if you have to move your lower jaw to release it?
  • Hearing or feeling a “click” in your jaw joint upon awakening that disappears afterwards?

Positive responses indicate potential sleep bruxing risks.

[Modified from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (2005)]

What we can do for you

  • Comprehensive Diagnosis and Risk Analysis of the potential for damage to your teeth, existing dental restorations, gums and jaw joint discomfort. Evaluation of actual or expected damage from SB should be considered as part of any management strategy
  • Comprehensive Investigation and diagnosis of causes, effects and potential management approaches to deal with the signs and symptoms posed by excessive Sleep Bruxism.
  • Protective Oral Appliance Provision of several variations of customized protective dental appliances to control the effects of excessive Sleep Bruxism

Protective Oral Appliance

Appliance, as worn over upper teeth

  • Restorative Dentistry interventions and treatments for teeth or dental restorations damaged by Sleep Bruxing.
  • Prosthodontic Reconstructions and or replacement of significantly worn or damaged or missing teeth resulting from the effects severe Sleep Bruxism. Complex diagnostics and treatment planning are required to ensure predictable outcomes with a specialist prosthodontist.

Severe Tooth Erosion and Wear from Sleep Bruxism Following Treatment with Crowns

  • Bite Adjustment Periodontal (Gum) Considerations Selective Adjustment of teeth and evaluation of damage to the periodontal support for the teeth may form part of any treatment intervention.
  • Facial Pain, Medical and Stress Management Referrals For complex medical treatment requirements, we have an established network of dental and medical specialists with whom we collaborate, to provide optimal care for you. We will orgainise the appropriate referrals to deal with non-dental aspects of Sleep Bruxism as part of an integrated treatment approach.
  • Maintenance Programs to maintain the outcomes of the treatment interventions provided

To book a consultation with the Beacon Dental Sleep Medicine Clinic, click here 

Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin 18, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 213 5644 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email:

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