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Oral Appliance vs CPAP
Although continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure therapy is the most recommended treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), not all patients are able to remain compliant with this form of treatment. Some complain of claustrophobia, dry nasal passages, skin irritation from masks, difficulty tolerating pressurized air, and accidentally removing the mask while tossing at night.
For patients like these, an alternative to CPAP therapy may be recommended, and depending on the level of severity of their disorder, may benefit from a substitute treatment such as an oral dental appliance.
Getting dental devices
You will have to have your Sleep Apnea trained dentist make a custom fitted oral device to suit your particular needs. Over-the-counter devices may be appealing because of their reduced prices, but can actually complicate sleep apnea. Many patients who order oral devices without consulting with a dentist, find that their snoring symptoms went away, but were unaware that it was not preventing apnea events leading to complications down the road as only the snoring symptom was prevented but the disorder itself was not.
Advantages of Dental devices
Many patients find dental devices to be more comfortable and tolerable to wear as opposed to CPAP masks.
Patients on CPAP often complain of dry, itchy noses from the air pressure drying out their sinuses. Oral devices do not have this problem.
There is less equipment to become entangled with during sleep, or knock off during slumber, for patients who are active movers during sleep.
There is a lot less equipment involved, and therefore easier to travel with.