The 7 Benefits of Oral Appliance vs. CPAP for Treating Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is when your tongue or throat muscles collapse into your airway, essentially choking you while you sleep. And when it comes to treating your sleep apnea, you have more options than you think. Of course, the most widely known (and dreaded) device is the CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It forces air into your airway to help keep it open. Generally, this is done through a mask strapped to your face, with the goal of keeping you from choking and gasping for air while you sleep.
A lesser-known treatment for sleep apnea (and snoring) is Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). This is a non-invasive treatment option that works by repositioning your jaw and tongue to keep your airway open. This simple device allows you to breathe normally while you sleep, without obstruction.
CPAP machines are by far the most commonly used method for treating sleep apnea. In fact, it's estimated that there are more than 8 million CPAP users in the U.S. and those numbers continue to increase by 8 to 9% each year . So why have they gotten such a bad reputation? Well, simply put, most people can't tolerate them. They're high maintenance, hard to use, terribly uncomfortable…and just won't work if your anatomy won't allow it. (Forcing air into a too-tight area is a recipe for failure.)
It's no wonder why so many people suffering from sleep apnea struggle to find relief. The sad truth is - for too many people - CPAP can simply be intolerable.
These people are grateful to now have options…
And this is why so many are choosing OAT over CPAP. These two devices serve the same purpose of treating sleep apnea by keeping your airway open, but with very different approaches. OAT may be the convenient and easy method you've been looking for. No surgery, no hoses, no mask, and obnoxious noise in the bedroom.
And even better, OAT has higher reported nightly use versus CPAP. In other words, it has better treatment adherence which is translated to better health outcomes…like better sleep, less daytime drowsiness, and improved quality of life.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy and How Does it Work?
An Oral Appliance looks and feels much like an orthodontic retainer or athletic mouth guard, but in reality, they are nothing like that. They are advanced medical devices with added mechanics that serve the intentional purpose of keeping the airway obstruction-free with lips comfortably closed while you sleep. The design principles of an oral appliance is to prevent the collapse of the tongue into the throat and establish an open airway.
The top and bottom arches of the appliance connect, positioning your lower jaw forward preventing your tongue from relaxing and closing off your airflow. The appliance is titrated over time to advance the mandible until we find the perfect setting - we call the "sweet spot" - and the balance of comfort and maximum tolerability to meet maximum results.
The Oral Appliance you'll get from ADVENT is precision engineered with personal biomechanics based on your true anatomy. Because it will be made from Medical Grade Class VI material using a digital medical device manufacturing process including AI device design and robotic milling, you'll get a more accurate fit and the most effective appliance.
7 Reasons Why Oral Appliance is Right For You
Reason #1: Better Fit
This device is created by digitally scanning your mouth and teeth, taking a three-dimensional picture that registers your bite and range of motion. You will get a precise fit that is custom to your mouth and your exact needs.
Reason #2: More Comfortable
An oral appliance is MUCH more comfortable than a CPAP…and best of all: nothing to strap to your face! Its custom-fit is just as effective and more tolerable in the long term too. It also is a less disruptive treatment for sleep apnea, as it does not produce noise like a CPAP.
Reason #3: Less Expensive
CPAP requires replacement parts and disposable filters. These extras can significantly add to the cost of CPAP. When looking at a 5-year time span, Oral Appliance Therapy costs about 2-to-3 times less than CPAP. Plus, in many cases, OAT is covered by your insurance.
Reason #4: Portability
Because an oral appliance fits easily in a carrying case, it's much more ideal for travel. No lugging around hoses, cords, or jugs of water. Never again will you have to let your sleep apnea bully you out of a dream vacation!
Reason #5: Easy to Use
Easy to put on and take off. No electricity is required. Just pop it in your mouth before bed and you're good to go. It's really that simple!
Reason #6: Easier to Clean
Cleaning your oral appliance is convenient and hassle-free. You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush with warm soap and water to regularly clean your device. It really is a simple one-step process … versus needing to disassemble and reassemble multiple parts and clean a mask, air tubes, and humidifier tank.
Reason #7: Improves Sleep Quality
The oral appliance is designed to prevent the collapse of the tongue into the throat and establish an open airway to treat your OSA and snoring, which leads to more restful and restorative sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy at ADVENT
Sleep apnea doesn't need to be a life-sentence to CPAP. And treatment does not have to be a hassle. With Oral Appliance Therapy at ADVENT, you'll receive our standard, high-quality care from our specialized board-certified medical professionals. From the exam and scan, to fittings and delivery, to sleep efficacy testing, and follow-ups…ADVENT is your all-in-one source for sleep, sinus or snoring issues. If you suffer from these issues, schedule your new patient appointment right now for a complete evaluation and to learn more about the benefits of Oral Appliance Therapy.