Oral Appliance Therapy for Sleep Apnea – A CPAP Alternative

couple sleepingThe most widely accepted treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP mask, but many patients have issues with the device, like skin irritation, dry nasal passages, accidentally removing the mask in their sleep, claustrophobia, and difficulties handling the pressurized air. For these patients, dental appliances are available depending on the severity of your sleep apnea. When you come to our dentist for sleep apnea treatment near Chicago, you will be custom-fitted with a dental appliance that can drastically improve the quality of your sleep.

When a Dental Appliance is Recommended

The first thing you need to do before beginning any sort of treatment is undergo a sleep study to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. For very severe cases, you will likely need a CPAP treatment, but dental appliances can work well for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea who don’t respond well to CPAP. In some instances, you may need a dental appliance in addition to CPAP mask to lower pressure.

The Two Types of Dental Appliances for Sleep Apnea

When it comes to dental appliances for sleep apnea treatment, there are two categories:

  • Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) – This device prevents the throat muscles from collapsing back into the areas by moving the lower jaw and tongue forward slightly. They look at lot like sports mouthguards.
  • Tongue Retaining Mouthpieces – This device works similarly to MADs, but it also has a small compartment to hold the tongue, using suction to hold it in place. This prevents your tongue from sliding back against the airway. If you cannot have your jaw adequately repositioned with a MAD, this treatment is recommended.

Make an appointment with our dentist today to learn more about our sleep apnea treatments.