5 Most Expensive Snoring Solutions. Is There An Alternative?

If you have already inquired about snoring treatment through your physician then you are well aware of how expensive surgical procedures and custom made mouthpieces are.

However, if you are like many others, visiting this site is the first step you have taken to do something about your snoring.

So, you may be looking at the price of  several surgical procedures and prescription devices listed and feeling a little discouraged about the price.

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Somnoplasty

somnoplastyIf you were told that the price of somnoplasty is between $1,700 and $2,200 you might consider it. However, although this price is often advertised it is important to understand that this is the price per session.

Unfortunately, most people need at least three sessions to achieve desired results, which could put you at $6,600. Plus, there is no guarantee that you will not need more than three treatments. The somnoplasty procedure removes tissues of the soft palate and uvula.

The levels of radiofrequency heat used are very low to ensure the localized burn area beneath the lining is precise. With time, the body resorbs these burn areas. This shrinks tissue volume and opens the airway. So, do not expect immediate results. This is a gradual healing process.

The Procedure

Somnoplasty generally takes about 30 minutes, and it is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. Prior to beginning you are given an oral spray. This begins to anesthetize your throat. Shortly after, three injections are administered to the roof of your mouth.

You are fully awake during the procedure. The Somnus “gun” device is inserted into your mouth. At the end of the device is a small electrode, which gets inserted into your soft palate. The gun is attached to a radiofrequency generator, which sends radiofrequency through the electrode. The tissue around the electrode is heated.

Healing and Complications

Since tissues will be swollen, your doctor will tell you to expect your snoring to worsen immediately for a while. Improvement can usually be seen in two weeks. You will feel fullness in your throat for a few days. It is recommended to keep your head elevated and ice your neck. A sore throat can be expected.

Complications can include bleeding, impaired healing, infection, and prolonged pain. In rare cases, a change in voice or nasal regurgitation can occur. Approximately 80 percent of somnoplasty patients experience complete or significant resolution in their snoring. Some simply enjoy reduced snoring levels.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

гvulopalatopharyngoplastyThe great thing about this procedure is that in mild cases, the cost can be around $2,000, plus consultation and follow-up visits. The bad news is that this price can exceed $5,000 for moderate to severe snorers.

The goal of the procedure is to enlarge a targeted area of the airway. It involves trimming the soft palate and is usually done alongside the removal of the adenoids or enlarged tonsils. Sometimes, the uvula and pharynx are trimmed, as well.

Procedure and Post Care

All patients are given a general endotracheal anesthesia. Your eyes are taped shut and a towel or blanket is used to ensure the head remains supported throughout the procedure. This is done to avoid cervical spine injury. An oral tracheal tube gets taped to the lower lip to ensure the mouth stays in the desirable position. The surgeon then uses a laser to cut specific tissues.

In most cases, this is an outpatient procedure. However, sometimes the patient is admitted overnight to monitor swelling. You will need to take antibiotics and pain medicine. A special mouthwash is provided for you to gargle with, too. If inflammation is severe, steroids may be given.

Risks

Making alterations to the soft palate in any way is a really big deal. A few physiological functions of this particular body part include swallowing, coughing, whistling, blowing, lubrication, withholding a sneeze, and playing a wind instrument. Common complications of this procedure include:

  • Severe pain
  • Postoperative respiratory depression and edema
  • Pharyngeal dryness
  • Incapability to initiate swallowing
  • Postoperative bleeding
  • Difficulty swallowing liquids for several days
  • Change in voice tone
  • Regurgitation of food and liquids through the nose
  • Speech and taste difficulties
  • Ongoing pain

Patients are generally advised to take three weeks off work to deal with the pain. Days four through six are said to be the worst. Staying hydrated is crucial, even though it will be painful to drink. In three months, a polysomnograph is performed to check effectiveness and determine if further treatment is needed.

Pillar Procedure

pillar-procedureAlthough price can vary from one patient to the next, the average cost of the Pillar Procedure is $1,500. It is considered purely cosmetic, so even with the best insurance this procedure is not covered.

This noninvasive method is designed to stiffen the soft palate. It is performed under local anesthetic in a doctor’s office and generally takes no more than 20 minutes.

By stiffening the soft palate there is a reduction in tissue vibration. The stiffness also helps decrease palatal tissue collapse often responsible for obstructing the upper airway.

This is accomplished by inserting three small woven implants into the soft palate. With time, the implants work with the body’s fibrotic response to stiffen the soft palate through increased structural support.

What to Expect

Upon arriving to the physician’s office your soft palate will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Then, the doctor uses a sterile delivery tool to insert the implants. Each one is about 18mm and has a diameter of 2mm.

When the anesthetic wears off some patients say they have a foreign body sensation in their mouth temporarily. This is usually gone within a few days. Some resume with the normal diet and activities the same day; others need a mild over-the-counter pain reliever. Although some patients notice an improvement within a couple weeks, most do not realize the procedure’s full benefits for 8 to 12 weeks. So, like other surgical methods, this is not a quick fix. You will need to be patient and wait for results.

Are There Risks?

Since no tissue is destroyed or removed, the risk of experiencing complications is extremely low. No major adverse events have been reported and the procedure has been performed on more than 45,000 people. In less than 1 percent, a minor complication has occurred. This involves partial extrusion of the implant as a result of the implant being placed too deep or shallow. If this occurs, the implant can be removed.

CPAP Machine

cpapIf you think being faced with mouthpiece options is overwhelming you should see the number of CPAP machines on the market. In addition to different styles and features, there are different operating powers, as well. Plus, when it comes to picking a mask you have nasal, nasal pillow, gel nasal, full face, advanced nasal, and others to choose from.

CPAP machines are more affordable that surgical procedures. They average $160 to $800. However, you also need to factor in the cost of new masks and hoses, as well as general maintenance expenses.

What is It?

Medically referred to as continuous positive airway pressure, CPAP is a treatment method that keeps the airway open by using mild air pressure.

When you go to sleep, you put on the mask, which is generally connected to the machine with a 6-foot tube. Inside the machine is a tank of distilled water and a filter. The water provides the air with a little humidity and the filter rids the air of some impurities. A chinstrap assists with holding your mouth closed, so you breathe through your nose. When you turn the machine on the nasal passages are blessed with a continuous stream of air. This keeps the airway open to prevent obstruction.

Expectations and Risks

Mild discomfort is to be expected the first few mornings when you wake up. Your nose may be running or congested, so you might need to use corticosteroid nasal sprays or decongestants. Other problems that can arise include:

  • Excessive dreaming and nightmares
  • Sore throat
  • Dry noise
  • Irritation of eyes and facial skin
  • Abdominal bloating

Prescription Mouthpieces

A custom made mouthpiece obtained through your dentist or physician will run on average between $1,100 and $2,500. However, there are some doctors that sell certain products as low as $500, but price also varies greatly based on location.

Plus, you have to factor in doctor’s visits, and they do not last forever, so they will need to be replaced at some point. Below are a few of the most common ones.

SomnoDent

somnodent2More than 175,000 patients over 23 countries have been treated with this mouthpiece. It is clinically proven with 91 percent of patients experiencing an improvement in sleep quality. SomnoDent offers four styles: Flex, Classic, G2, and Herbst.

  • Flex – This option is made of SMH BFlexmaterial and has a soft inner lining to enhance comfort. It features a drop-in fit, so it can be suitable for patients with short teeth, crowns, bridge work, or little undercut.
  • Classic – The flagship product is held in place with medical-grade stainless steel ball clasps. About 91 percent of users report improved sleep quality.
  • G2 – The G2 is the latest innovation in the SomnoMed line. It comes standard as a metal-free device; however ball clasps are available, if needed for retention purposes. It is easiest to calibrate in the product line.
  • Herbst – This is one of the more streamlined options. It features a standard telescopic mechanism.

SomnoMed warns that these devices may cause obstruction of oral breathing, dry mouth, excessive salivation, pressure to sensitive teeth, dental or gingival soreness, tooth movement, and pain to the temporomandibular joint.

Tap 3

tap-3The Thornton Adjustable Positioner is the newest and most effective device. It offers more tongue room than its predecessors. It is available in a Class I, II, and III, so it can accommodate various mouth bites.

Although it is marketed with a 96 percent success rate it is not without flaws.

Many users state that although effective, it is one of the least comfortable mouthpieces they have tried. Some complain that it causes TMJ pain and a user has even said the product caused painful canker sores.

Silent Nite Slide-Link

silent-nite-slide-linkSilent Nite Slide-Link features a hard outer shell that resist breakage and a soft inner layer that is comfortable against the teeth and gums.

The Slide-Link connectors keep the airway open by positioning the jaw in a forward position.

The connectors are attached to transparent splints, which are custom laminated using heat for a precise fit. This device does allow for small movements of the jaw and permits uninhabited oral breathing.

A big concern with the mouthpiece is the potential for teeth repositioning.

Myerson EMA

EMAEMA is made of proprietary thermoplastic polymer that is less costly than polycarbonate, but more durable than acrylic. The mandibular advancement positioning is achieved using interchangeable elastic strands.

These straps come in four different strengths and nine sizes, so you may need to go through a trial and error period with your dentist to find a position that works for you. The bands will stretch over time and need to be replaced.

On a positive note, the Myerson Tooth Corporation was founded all the way back in 1917.

The company is primarily known for making flexible partial dentures, so it is no newcomer to the industry.

Final Thoughts

alternativeThere are several surgical procedures and prescription devices to choose from.

However, an over-the-counter mouthpiece is an excellent alternative to expensive options. Read my article OTC vs. Custom-Fitted Snoring Mouthpieces: What is the Big Difference?

Before spending a fortune on a prescription device or a procedure that could cause pain and complications, I recommend trying an over-the-counter product first.

There are more than 100 to choose from. I have compiled a comparison chart of several of the most popular ones you can use to get started or reference when you want to compare a couple devices side-by-side.