Dr Pyle's Weston Dentist Blog

Fort Lauderdale Area Dentist Explains the Benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy vs. a CPAP Machine

Everyone wants and deserves a good night sleep. But if you suffer from obstructive sleep apea sometimes the treatment can be worse than the condition itself.  The most common treatment involves strapping a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to your face while you sleep. While effective most people would prefer not to use one. Fortunately, for many sleep apnea sufferers, there are alternative treatments to CPAP that can be just as effective.

  • Elevating your head at night— Propping up the end of the bed where you rest your head can help to unblock the airways during sleep making it easier for you to breath.
  • Managing Your Weight — Obesity is a major contributing factor to sleep apnea. Fat deposits can fill throat tissue blocking your airway. Just a 10% loss in weight has been shown to decrease sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Decongestants — Using a nasal decongestant can temporarily reduce nasal swelling and improve your breathing at night.
  • Avoid Alcohol Avoid the night cap before bedtime

If those suggestions are not enough there is an alternative therapy called dental appliance therapy.  A dental appliance most closely resembles a mouth guard that you may have used when playing sports or an orthodontics guard you might have used if you needed braces. The purpose of the appliance is to slightly adjust the angle of your jaw so that the soft tissue in the back of your throat can’t collapse thereby eliminating the cause of the obstruction.

The appliance itself is custom designed based on a digital x-ray or a physical mold. Your doctor will carefully adjust the appliance to ensure both comfort and the desired results are achieved. Once the appliance is ready, all you have to do is install it like a mouth guard when you go to sleep.

Why You Should Consider a Dental Appliance Over CPAP

For decades people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea had been treated with a CPAP machine. Here’s why most patients now prefer a dental appliance:

  • Comfort — Appliances are natural and comfortable to use. Just slip it in your mouth and go to sleep. CPAP systems require wearing a mask connected to a hose.
  • Quiet — On average, the person who shares a bed with a snorer loses at least an hour of sleep per night. Appliances are silent. CPAP systems are run by an electric motor to pump air into the mask that creates a noise.
  • Convenience — Appliances are travel-friendly. There are no special requirements needed. CPAP requires an electrical connection and space for the pump and hose.
  • Effectiveness —There are over a dozen clinical publications demonstrating the effectiveness of oral appliances (OA) compared to CPAP.

If you have questions about sleep apnea dental appliances please feel free to call our offices. We have the most comprehensive dental appliance services in the Fort Lauderdale area. Call today.

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Board Certified Diplomate of American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine

As a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM), Dr. Pyle is part of an elite group of dentists who have met the highest educational and experiential standards, possessing an in-depth level of knowledge in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea using oral appliance therapy.