CPAP Alternatives

With only 43% of CPAP users actually wearing their CPAP masks-an alternative is embraced by many suffering with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Although CPAP is considered the 'gold star' standard for patients with severe sleep apnea, if you don't wear it, it's not helping.  Many patients with severe sleep apnea who need to wear a CPAP, find comfort in combining therapies.  Many include oral appliance therapy in conjunction with their CPAP.  The repositioning of the mandible help open the airway, allowing CPAP users to turn down the pressure on their masks, resulting in higher tolerance and usage.

cpap alternatives


For patients who suffer from mild to severe sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy is a popular method for treatment. People from across the globe are visiting dental practices to see if they are a candidate for oral appliance therapy.  Dentists are using a variety of different appliances to keep the position of the mandible forward, and open, to allow for more air. The best part is, oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea is now covered by Medicare and most large insurance companies.

An oral sleep appliance is a custom-fabricated mouthpiece similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports mouth-guard worn over the teeth.  The appliance works by comfortably repositioning the lower jaw and tongue forward or by restraining the tongue to keep the airway from collapsing during sleep.  Snoring and sleep apnea are then effectively managed and good quality sleep can be achieved without interruption.

A Few Oral Appliances in the Market:
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The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral sleep appliances as a first line treatment option for individuals with mild or moderate sleep apnea or for those who are unable to use CPAP successfully.  Oral appliances are also considered for those who are not candidates or prefer not to pursue airway surgery.

A dentist specially trained in the field of dental sleep medicine can expertly fabricate a dental sleep appliance.  The dentist will work closely with sleep physicians and sleep lab technicians to ensure appliance efficacy and long term health of the individual.

In summary, CPAP treatment can be highly effective in treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. For some patients, the improvement in the quality of sleep and quality of life due to CPAP treatment will be noticed after a single night's use. Unfortunately, most people don't wear their cpap mask, but now there is a great solution; oral appliance therapy.
 
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