A snoring appliance can improve your breathing as you sleep, but it requires an adjustment period. Unlike a CPAP machine, you wear a snoring appliance inside your mouth. This is the tradeoff that you make when you swap the much bulkier CPAP machine for a compact, portable appliance.The good news is that there are ways…
Sleep Apnea: CPAP Machine vs. Oral Appliance
The most frequent treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. However, despite its effectiveness, the CPAP is not suitable for everyone. A dentist specializing in sleep apnea treatment may prescribe an oral appliance if a patient does not respond well to the CPAP.
Sleep apnea dental appliances
Oral appliances are ideal for people who have mild to moderate OSA, and a dentist may only prescribe them after a patient has tried a CPAP for a while. The severity of a patient's problem will be evaluated. If an oral appliance is a suitable therapy option, the dentist will suggest either a mandibular advancement device (MAD) or a tongue-holding mouthpiece.
At first sight, a MAD may appear to be a mouthguard or orthodontic retainer, as its structure is extremely similar to those two devices. MADs function similarly to mouthguards or retainers in that they may be snapped over the upper and lower dental arches to fit inside the mouth. Metal hinges connect the two parts. A dentist may adjust a MAD to ensure that it is as effective as possible. A MAD operates by pushing the tongue and lower jaw forward slightly. This position prevents the neck muscles from folding in on themselves when sleeping, allowing for easy breathing.
A tongue-retaining mouthpiece may be recommended if a patient's jaw cannot be moved forward. This device is identical to the MAD but has a tiny chamber that pulls the tongue forward, preventing it from collapsing back into the airway.
CPAP vs. oral appliance
The functions and characteristics of the CPAP machine and oral appliances are drastically different. Here are a few major distinctions.
The patient will wear a tube and mask over their nose and mouth when using a CPAP machine. The obstruction is subsequently forced open by air pressure. This gadget is big and unwieldy, and it comes with many adapters and wires. It is usually housed in a big case, which makes it tough for individuals to transport. Many patients say that the mouthpiece is unpleasant, and since the machine is loud, falling asleep with it might be slightly challenging at first.
Dental appliances are more akin to mouthguards. They are lightweight, portable gadgets. Oral appliances are not loud and do not require electrical power. Most patients say that they can quickly acclimatize to the said device and easily fall asleep at night.
Medical insurance generally covers both treatment choices. However, before undergoing any treatment, one should always check with their dentist and insurer to see if they are covered.
There should never be a debate on whether to get sleep apnea treatment. However, since there are several therapy choices, deciding on one might be difficult. Both the CPAP machine and oral appliances are successful, but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. During your next appointment, talk to your dentist about your options.
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