Perhaps the most well-known treatment option for sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. The CPAP machine forcibly pushes oxygen into a patientís lungs through his or her nose, by way of a mask worn across the face while sleeping. This machine has been proven to be very effective in treating sleep apnea; however, there is a significantly low rate of patient compliance. Because of the uncomfortable mask, troublesome tubing and irritating pressure of the machine, some people cannot tolerate the CPAP machine, especially as a life-long treatment option. If patients disregard instructions to wear this mask every night, all night, their risk for the disorders associated with sleep apnea is just as high. ††
At our dental office, we offer a more convenient dental alternative. For those who cannot tolerate the CPAP machine, dental appliances are available in order to take control of your sleep apnea. Dental appliances resemble small mouth guards and are fitted for comfort by dentists, using a unique mold of each patientís mouth. By repositioning the lower jaw and tongue, these appliances prevent airway obstruction and maintain normal breathing patterns. Oral appliances improve patientsí sleep quality, minimize snoring and significantly reduce the risk factors associated with sleep apnea. Subsequently, dental appliances have a much higher patient compliance rate. This alternative requires no tubing, mask or electricity and can successfully treat sleep apnea. Another benefit is that, with a dental mouthpiece, you can sleep in any position you feel comfortable in, as opposed to the restrictive CPAP machine.
If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea and would like to explore treatment alternatives, please call our office for a free consultation to find out if a simple sleep apnea appliance is a good solution for you.