CPAP Alternative

The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask is a highly effective treatment option when patients use it as directed. However, many patients who have these devices abandon them because they are uncomfortable and inconvenient. If a patient isn’t using the CPAP mask, they’re still suffering the effects of sleep apnea. If you’re in this situation, you may want to explore oral appliance therapy for a treatment option that’s a better fit for you.
I can’t get used to my CPAP mask. Do I have other treatment options?

If you’ve tried and tried to acclimate to your CPAP mask to no avail, it may be time to consider oral appliance therapy. With this method, patients wear an appliance that looks and feels similar to an athletic mouthguard while they sleep. The mouthguard is custom-designed to fit the patient’s unique mouth structure, so it’s very comfortable.

problems using a CPAP graphic | Sleep Apnea treatment | Dr. William Scheier DDS
How does oral appliance therapy work? How does it differ from CPAP devices?

The oral appliance adjusts the position of the jaw or tongue during sleep, keeping everything forward so that it’s less likely that the soft tissues at the back of the throat will interfere with the airway opening. In contrast, a CPAP mask forces air into the airway in order to keep it open.

There are a number of important differences about oral appliance therapy that may appeal to patients. First of all, the oral appliance fits entirely in the mouth, while a CPAP device requires a mask that covers the nose and mouth and is connected to a machine by a hose.

It’s also worth noting that it’s much more convenient to pack an oral appliance for travel than to try to lug your CPAP device along with you. This may be another factor in favor of oral appliance therapy.

CPAP Alternative | Cape Cod Sleep Solutions | Sleep Apnea Treatment
When is oral appliance therapy a good alternative to CPAP masks?
CPAP Machine | Cape Cod Sleep Apnea Treatment | Dr. Scheier

Patients who have not had success with their CPAP devices may want to try oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance allows for more freedom of movement during sleep and is generally more comfortable for patients. In some conditions, the CPAP mask itself can interfere with sleep. In such cases, patients can turn to oral appliance therapy for an option that’s more user friendly.

CPAP Appliance | Sleep Apnea Treatment | Dr. William J. Scheier

A CPAP device can cause anxiety for patients, especially those who are prone to claustrophobia. Some patients may even experience a severe emotional response to a CPAP mask, such as having a panic attack. These patients can also experiment with oral appliance therapy as an alternative.

If you’re fed up with your CPAP, schedule an evaluation at our office to see if oral appliance therapy might be a good alternative for you.