CPAP Machines Versus Oral Appliances
In the past, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines were the standard of care for sleep apnea. A mask would fit over your mouth and nose, providing a steady stream of air that would keep your airways open as you slept. Although many sleep experts continue to use these devices, more health care professionals have become aware of the problems associated with CPAP machines. First, the devices can be bulky and inconvenient. Many patients also find them to be uncomfortable and are unable to sleep while wearing the mask. Other problems with CPAP machines include air being pumped into a patient's stomach, mask dislodgement making the treatment ineffective, and the noise produced by the machine.
Based on the understanding of these problems, more practitioners are now using oral appliance therapy (OAT) to treat the condition. If you have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Tran can provide a simple, custom-made splint that fits over your teeth to realign your jaw. As the splint repositions your mouth, it keeps your tongue and the soft tissues of your throat from closing your airway. Additionally, the device is custom-made for each patient so it is easy to adjust and use. Best of all, oral appliances are quite effective. According to the journal Sleep, published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, both CPAP machines and oral appliances can provide significant improvement for patients with mild to moderate OSA.
Only a dentist can fabricate, fit, adjust, monitor, and treat complications associated with Oral Appliance Therapy used in managing sleep related breathing disorder (SRBD). If you or a loved one is experiencing any combination of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, we recommend a consultation with Dr. Tran to determine the best treatment for your concerns.