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For some people with mild to moderate OSA, lifestyle changes such as weight loss, changes in sleep position and the cessation of smoking may be enough to reduce or relieve their symptoms. But in most cases, some form of treatment may be required. In certain cases, surgery may be suggested, but most of the time, the condition can be treated without invasive procedures.

For a number of years, the most widely-used treatments for OSA has been CPAP, which stands for constant positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine delivers a supply of pressurized air to the sleeper by way of an air hose and a face mask. This pressurized air helps keep the throat open to allow normal breathing.

When a CPAP system is calibrated properly, and mated to a properly-fitted mask, it can provide effective relief from sleep apnea. The primary drawback to CPAP systems isn’t that they don’t work, but that a lot of people don’t like to use them. Many users find the mask and air supply tube to be restrictive or uncomfortable. Some refuse the system outright, and as many as half of all patients who are fitted with CPAP stop using it within six months, or use it so infrequently that their OSA condition isn’t well managed.

CPAP Therapy:
The Gold Standard

Oral Appliances:
The Preferred Option

• The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most commonly used therapy.
• CPAP Provides a continuous stream of air pressure to keep airway open.
We are specially trained in dental sleep medicine. A custom-fit appliance works by preventing your tongue and soft tissue from collapsing, and thus keeps your airway open. This improves your health without the need for CPAP.
CPAP Patient Oral Appliance Patient
Common Side Effects of CPAP:
• Gastric Distension (Air in the Stomach)
• Nasal Congestion
• Eye Irritation
• Sinus Irritation
• Skin Irritation

Benefits of Oral Appliances

Lack of Compliance is a Problem

Although CPAP is very effective, it can be uncomfortable to wear. Some 55 to 77 percent of patients cannot tolerate using CPAP masks, straps and headgear because of:

  • Leakage
  • Pressure from the mask
  • Tightness of the straps
  • Restricted movement while sleeping
  • Claustrophobia
  • Difficulty when traveling
  • Complexity of straps and headgear
  • Daily maintenance and cleaning requirements
  • Less intrusive than CPAP
  • Durable
  • Highest approval by patients
  • Great for traveling and completely portable
  • Discreet
  • No noise, no parts to replace and no electricity is needed.
  • Wearer can sleep in any position: side front or back.

An alternative to CPAP is an oral appliance. These devices are worn during sleep. Depending on the causes of OSA, the appliances may be used to prevent the tongue from blocking the airway, or to advance the lower jaw to help keep the throat airway open. The most common types of oral appliances resemble sports mouth guards or retainers, but are significantly more sophisticated, and are custom-fitted by a sleep medicine dentist such as Dr. Doueck.

Custom Oral Appliance

A custom-fitted appliance works by preventing your tongue and soft issue from collapsing, keeping your airway open and making it easier to breathe. These appliances are well documented to be successful and most people adapt to them very well. You will stop your snoring and improve your health without the need for CPAP.

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