When looking at common methods used to treat sleep apnea, no treatment is more widely utilized than CPAP. While many consider this the best treatment option, many patients who visit Dr. Kenneth Childers at Montclair Dental Care in Oakland, California, find a CPAP difficult to wear consistently. A CPAP machine can be loud, cumbersome to transport when needed, and uncomfortable to wear. What results is that patients prescribed this treatment do not wear it regularly. Dr. Childers offers custom-made oral appliances for those seeking an alternative to CPAP treatment. Studies have been conducted that show that a personal oral device can be just as effective at treating CPAP while being more tolerable and convenient.
Before taking a look into a study conducted on oral appliances, let us look at how both CPAP and oral appliances work.
A CPAP device generates pressurized air, which is constantly fed to the patient. The goal is to prevent the patient’s airway from closing while asleep. The patient will receive either a full mask or nasal pillow, which produces this constant stream of air into the airway, preventing any soft tissues of the throat from collapsing.
An oral appliance is a much smaller device, very similar to a mouthguard, which repositions the patient’s lower jaw. This repositioning prevents the patient’s tongue and throat tissues from blocking the airway while asleep.
A 2-year study performed using subjects suffering from mild to severe obstructive sleep apnea concluded that oral appliance therapy is a feasible treatment alternative to CPAP therapy for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. This study was done over two years and included patients using both CPAP and oral appliances. Progress was checked annually.
If you want to learn more about how an oral appliance can help with your sleep apnea, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Childers. We can be reached at (510) 328-7792. Get better sleep now. You deserve it!