To address the complexity of obstructive sleep apnea there are multiple modes of treatment conducted by both medical and dental professionals. These include less invasive modes of treatment such as oral appliances and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as well as more invasive forms of treatment involving skeletal and soft tissue surgery.
How Would Your Rather Sleep?
Continuous positive airway pressure forces air through nose and mouth to open airway
Customized oral appliance shifts the jaw slightly forward to open the airway
Oral Appliance versus CPAP
A custom made oral appliance is an effective life changing treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which can improve your sleep, restore your alertness and revitalize your health. Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.
Custom-made oral appliances that advance the mandible are emerging as an ideal treatment option particularly for mild to moderate OSA. Although CPAP is the most definitive medical therapy for OSA, many patients have difficulties wearing CPAP.
The CPAP machine supplies a constant and steady air pressure to keep the airways open through a hose and a mask or nose piece.CPAP has a cumbersome mask connected to a loud machine and has to be worn every night to be effective. However, it is not well tolerated by most patients due to social unacceptability, interference with intimacy, claustrophobia, delayed sleep onset, inconvenient for travel, restriction of sleep position and interference with TV or Reading.
Treating snoring or obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy can help you feel like a new person. You will find that your tiredness and your quality of life can improve dramatically when you start using your customized oral appliance. It is likely that you will sleep better, have more energy and feel sharper throughout the day.
If you have severe sleep apnea, an oral appliance may be insufficient to treat your condition and so hard tissue surgery or soft tissue surgery may be a better solution. Surgery is also a good solution for patients who prefer a lifestyle that is device free to manage their chronic condition of obstructive sleep apnea. The two main types of surgery are separated into hard tissue surgery which involves changing the width and dimensions of your jaw bone to enlarge your airway or soft tissue surgery which involves removal of tonsils, palate, and tongue to enlarge your airway.