Quality and Price
The cost of a mouthpiece is distributed over the processes of R&D, manufacturing/ construction, and testing. Typically the cost is reflected by the price and transferred to the end consumers. But high price does not necessarily mean high quality. There are other deciding factors you should consider to choose a mouthpiece.
Needless to say, the price tag is associated with the quality of mouthpiece in some degree. The simpler the device, the cheaper it is. The simplest model uses a one-piece design that fits all people with boil and bite procedure. More features of the mouthpieces cost you more. The adjustment system, the breathing hole or slots, all drive the price up. Higher priced mouthpieces also use high-quality materials. There are three criteria you should consider in choosing a mouthpiece: the price, the functionalities, and the value.
Professional or OTC?
The market of anti-snoring mouthpieces is nearly saturated. There are too many mouthpieces on the internet for you to choose and they all claim to achieve the same object: stop your snoring. Sifting the information to find a good mouthpiece is not a trivial task.
The Professional Strategy
Unlike the cheap one-size-for-all OTC(Over the Counter) mouthpieces, if you take a professional route, your cost can easily stretch beyond $1000. The cost includes the examine fee(between $300 and $500), the cost of the custom mouthpiece($1200-$2000), and the follow-up checks($100 for each one). You may prepare to go to your doctor for several times to adjust the mouthpiece. If you are affluent in money and do not care about the bills, the professional strategy is appropriate for you as it does increase the success rate of stop your snoring.
The OTC Strategy
If you have time and patience, you can do research on the Internet to find a satisfied mouthpiece. But that may not be the end of the whole story. Chances are what you get is not what you want and you end up returning the device and finding another.
If you are lucky enough and you do a good job sifting through the information, you may get the right device on the first try. If, unfortunately, your first mouthpiece does not work for you, you can take the advantage of the refund policy to return the device and get your money back. This try and return process takes time but is inexpensive. The good thing is that during this process you will gain valuable experience of using different mouthpieces and knowing their performances.
Critics From Professionals
From the above comparison between OTC mouthpieces and professional custom solution, you can easily draw the conclusion that medical professionals do not like OTC devices because they rob of their business. Dr. Demko is one of the experts who are in favor of the professional route. Let us see what he said about the benefits of using a custom fitted mouthpiece:
‘There is a dentist that is watching the patients for side effects. Custom fitted devices fit snugly on the teeth and don’t loosen up in the mouth. They don’t fall out and end up in the bed two or three times a night. They are easy for the patient to adjust, they are not just one piece. They are comfortable and don’t cut into the gums. They don’t torque the teeth. They put pressure on all of the teeth instead of just one. And they are not put in the mouth of a patient whose not a good candidate.‘?
You can see the compelling points in Demko’s words: a dentist assigned to you is watching you for the side effects; the dentist can tell you if you are a good candidate of the device. That sounds good if a dentist is affordable to you. But the implication of the unsafety of using an OTC mouthpiece overnight is questionable.
Materials, Construction, and Features
As said before, both construction and material affect the price of anti-snoring mouthpieces. We will talk about two types of construction.
This construction of mouthpiece was born earlier. The first version looked like a dental retainer. It was not a user friendly design. You needed the assistant of a dentist who customized the mouthpiece to fit you.The expenses were high, which included the initial examine cost, the device cost, and the labor cost of your dentist. Moreover, if the device did not work for you, you needed to repeat all the processes again. Due to these reasons few people used this device.
The situation has changed due to the invention of the Boil and Bite Procedure, which makes the fitting much easier and you can do it in home by yourself. The success of the Boil&Bite procedure has brought up several famous mouthpiece vendors.
Due to the complicated reasons for the snoring problem, jaw retainers may not work for all snorers. In fact they only work in the cases where jaw problems lead to the snoring.
Apart from jaw problems, dental and medical experts realized another major reason that leads to snoring, the tongue. This results in the invention of tongue retainers.
Tongue retainers have a different working mechanism than jaw retainers. Tongue retainers suck the tip of the tongue, pull the tongue forwards, and hold it in place. This way the airway of the throat is opened and the snoring is tamed. Tongue retainers are more effective than jaw retainers with the success rate of 90%(the success rate of jaw retainers is 85%).
You’ll never see the wires or breathing hole in a tongue retainer because it works on the tongue not the jaw. The side effects of tongue retainers are also fewer than jaw retainers. The worst reported side effect is the tender spot on the tongue but it usually vanishes in a few days. This construction of mouthpiece uses less material thus reduces the cost.
Now you know what determine the price of mouthpiece. The construction, the material, the features all affects the price. The more bells and whistles a mouthpiece has, the more you will pay for it.