Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Are you wondering what your treatment options are? Some patients with sleep apnea are hesitant to seek treatment because they do not want to use bulky or loud machinery like CPAP devices. While CPAP is sometimes an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it is not always ideal. Fortunately, there are alternatives to CPAP. One method that our dentist prescribes for OSA treatment is oral appliance therapy.
What is oral appliance therapy?
Oral appliance therapy is a treatment option for sleep apnea that does not involve the use of medical-grade machinery. Instead, patients wear a custom-made appliance that fits inside the mouth like a mouthguard. The way an oral appliance works is by positioning the lower jaw forward. By positioning the jaw forward, the diameter of the airway is widened. This can help prevent tissues from blocking the airway while a patient with apnea is sleeping.
What is CPAP, exactly?
CPAP stands for “continuous positive airway pressure”. What this means is that a device streams air into the oral cavity through a small face mask to keep the airway open. CPAP has been used to treat sleep apnea for quite some time and for many people, it can be effective at improving one’s breathing during sleep.
Which treatment is better for sleep apnea?
CPAP and oral appliance therapy present different benefits. Moreover, not all treatment protocols work the same for all people. Regarding oral appliance therapy, however, patients enjoy this treatment option because they do not have to worry about the noise emitted by machinery or its portability when they are not at home. CPAP machines and their pieces require more intensive cleaning that an oral appliance as well.
If you are trying to determine the right treatment for sleep apnea, we recommend consulting with our dentist. Our team can help you decide if oral appliance therapy meets your needs.
Call us today to reserve a sleep apnea consultation.