What is the DNA appliance? Benefits for Sleep Apnea & TMJ

The DNA appliance is an oral device that offers gradual, natural, safe, and pain-free relief for sleep apnea and TMJ disorder. The DNA is a must-have for all-natural dental care and oral health. 

The DNA appliance is the only true treatment for the root cause of sleep apnea, which is often caused by the tongue being too large to fit in the mouth, blocking your airway. Treating sleep apnea can also stop nighttime teeth grinding, which may address TMJ disorders.

You’ve probably heard about this revolutionary treatment for sleep apnea. You might have clicked on this article to learn more about how it works, or the side effects, or the evidence-based benefits. You’ll find all that in the article below.

What is the DNA appliance?

The DNA appliance is a removable appliance for your mouth that safely, gradually, naturally, and painlessly stretches the upper arches of your teeth. This allows for room for your tongue to occupy without blocking your airway, causing sleep apnea.

DNA stands for “Daytime-Nighttime Appliance”. You may be thinking: why do people call it the “DNA appliance” if the A already stands for “appliance”? I’m asking the same question. But calling it the “DNA appliance” has indeed become the norm.

In several scientific studies, researchers refer to the DNA as a biomimetic oral appliance therapy (BOAT).

Dr. Dave Singh invented the DNA appliance, as well as epigenetic orthodontics and orthopedics. Dr. Singh coined the term “pneumopedics” to describe upper airway remodeling, including using the DNA.

This unique device is worn like an orthodontic retainer. It is registered and regulated by the FDA.

The DNA appliance system improves your smile and may even cure crooked teeth, crowded teeth, teeth grinding, and TMJ disorder.

The TMJ is your temporomandibular joint, also called your jaw joint. Whenever your jaw joint is sore or your jaw muscles are in pain all the time, this is called TMJ disorder (TMD), TMJ syndrome, or simply “TMJ”.

The DNA is a great alternative for CPAP therapy and other oral appliances.

CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. CPAP machines can be unwieldy, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. For all the snoring they prevent, CPAP treatment options can be just as noisy. Ultimately, CPAP therapy does not treat the root cause of sleep apnea.

Other oral appliances, such as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) and tongue retention devices (TRDs), treat sleep apnea by repositioning the lower jaw or pulling the tongue forward. MADs have been linked with TMJ disorder.

Both of these dental appliances may relieve sleep apnea symptoms, but do not treat the root cause.

Does insurance cover the DNA appliance?

Insurance does not always cover the DNA appliance. Depending on the plan, insurance may cover all, part, or none of the cost of oral appliances such as the DNA.

A member of our staff can contact your insurance provider for you to ensure you receive the maximum benefits available. Contact us to get the answers you’re looking for.

How does the DNA appliance work for sleep apnea?

The DNA appliance works wonders for sleep apnea by painlessly restructuring your dental arches and giving more room for your tongue to occupy in your mouth. If your tongue doesn’t have enough room, its natural position may obstruct your upper airway and lead to sleep apnea.

The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. The DNA appliance typically offers permanent relief from obstructive sleep apnea after a few months to a year for the treatment to be completed.

There are 3 types of sleep apnea:

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is due to an obstruction to your upper airway, such as your tongue. OSA accounts for 80% of sleep apnea cases.
  2. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is due to a problem with how your brain communicates with the muscles controlling your breathing.
  3. Mixed sleep apnea is when you experience both OSA and CSA.

How effective is an oral appliance for sleep apnea? According to years of research, a DNA oral appliance is very effective for treating sleep apnea. Other oral appliances (MAD, TRD) may relieve sleep apnea symptoms without treating the root cause.

What is epigenetic orthodontics?

Epigenetic orthodontics is a field of dentistry that offers patients non-invasive options to correct any irregularity in their craniofacial symmetry, alter an abnormal bite, and narrow the palates of the mouth. This usually involves non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical means to restructure the jaw (like the DNA appliance).

The purpose of epigenetic orthodontics may be to improve your smile, relieve TMJ disorder, or treat the root cause of sleep apnea: that your tongue is too big to fit behind your teeth without blocking your upper airway.

DNA Appliance Before and After

This real life example shows you how the DNA appliance can safely stretch your upper arches, treating the root cause of sleep apnea and improving the look of your smile

Hybrid acrylic plus wire frame DNA appliance

Hybrid acrylic plus wire frame DNA appliance

X-ray view after DNA appliance

10 Benefits of the DNA Appliance

  1. Corrects abnormal bite, straightens teeth
  2. Treats the root cause of obstructive sleep apnea and sleep apnea symptoms
  3. Treats the underlying cause of TMJ disorder (TMD) and jaw joint pain
  4. Stops daytime and nighttime teeth grinding and associated headaches
  5. Corrects maxilla-mandibular underdevelopment in children and adults
  6. Widens nasal passages
  7. Expands the upper jaw
  8. Increases facial volume
  9. Improves smile
  10. Is painless, comfortable, non-pharmaceutical, and non-invasive

Potential Side Effects of the DNA Appliance

The known side effects of using the DNA oral appliance are all short-term. Most individuals find these possible adverse effects to be more than worth it for the treatment of sleep apnea, TMJ disorder, teeth grinding, and more.

Also, these side effects are better than the nasty side effects of pharmaceuticals or invasive surgeries.

Potential side effects of the DNA appliance include:

  • Jaw soreness
  • Teeth soreness
  • Gum irritation
  • Dry mouth, dehydration
  • Difficulty swallowing, with DNA in place

3 Types of DNA Appliances

The different types of DNA appliances depend on the material they are made of. The acrylic is more expensive than the wire frame but may be more comfortable than the wire model.

  1. Standard acrylic DNA appliance
  2. Wire frame acrylic DNA appliance
  3. Hybrid DNA appliance

Is the DNA appliance right for you?

Yes, the DNA appliance is right for many people suffering from an abnormal bite, jaw joint pain, chronic headaches or migraines, and obstructive sleep apnea.

If you suffer from sleep apnea — including pediatric sleep apneacontact us right away! At Rejuvenation Dentistry, we work with our patients to evaluate if DNA appliance therapy is right for them. (If you’re asking, it probably is the right treatment option.)

Just ask our patients — their success stories speak for themselves.


  1. Dave Singh, G., & Callister, J. D. (2013). Effect of a maxillary appliance in an adult with obstructive sleep apnea: a case report. CRANIO®, 31(3), 171-175. Full text: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/crn.2013.027
  2. Singh, G. D., & Cress, S. E. (2017). Biomimetic oral appliance therapy in adults with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea using combined maxillo-mandibular correction. J Sleep Disord Manag, 3(1), 014. Full text: https://clinmedjournals.org/articles/jsdm/journal-of-sleep-disorders-and-management-jsdm-3-014.php?jid=jsdm
  3. Singh, G. D., Heit, T., & Preble, D. (2014). Changes in 3D midfacial parameters after biomimetic oral appliance therapy in adults. Journal of Indian Orthodontic Society, 48(2), 100-104. Full text: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Prof_G_Dave_Singh/publication/264298692_Changes_in_3D_Midfacial_Parameters_after_Biomimetic_Oral_Appliance_Therapy_in_Adults/links/53d7bb1b0cf2631430bfc175/Changes-in-3D-Midfacial-Parameters-after-Biomimetic-Oral-Appliance-Therapy-in-Adults.pdf
  4. Liao, F., & Singh, G. D. (2015). Resolution of sleep bruxism using biomimetic oral Appliance Therapy: A Case Report. J Sleep Disord Ther, 4(204), 2167-0277.
  5. Hwang, H., Hwang, C., West, J., & Singh, G. D. (2019). Changes in pediatric paranasal sinuses following biomimetic oral appliance therapy: 3 case reports. CRANIO®, 1-6. Abstract: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31679481/

Dr. Gerry Curatola is a renowned biologic restorative dentist with more than 40 years of clinical practice experience.

He studied neuroscience at Colgate University and attended dental school at the New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry where he now serves as Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Cariology and Comprehensive Care.