A CPAP machine uses pressurized air generated by a bedside device. The air is delivered trough a tube connected to a mask that covers the nose and mouth of the patient. The force of air causes the airway to open so that breathing becomes easier. It should be noted that this mode of treatment is 100% effective.
End of story Doc? Not quite. As effective as CPAP machines are, they are not used by up to 50% of patients who need them. Complaints range from noise, inconvenience, and unwillingness to have something strapped to their face. In addition, CPAP machines pose problems wen traveling as they are somewhat burdensome to pack and carry around.
On the other and, oral appliances are essentially a pair of mouth guards that fit on the upper and lower teeth. They are connected by a metal positioning device which moves the lower jaw forward, thus opening the airway. They are highly effective and are very well tolerated by most patients (up to 80% compliance). They are extremely portable and there is no noise involved! In fact, as an added benefit, these oral appliances also eliminate or decrease snoring in most cases. Oral appliances are covered by most medical insurance plans including Medicare.
Our office is well-versed in the fabrication of oral appliances and offers a variety of styles to best suit our patients' individual needs. If you currently have a CPAP machine and can't, won't, or don't use it or if you suspect that you might have a sleeping disorder, please contact our office so that we can help you to find a solution.
This concludes our present discussion of OSA. If you have any further questions, please contact our office. Have a great start to the school year!