Sleep apnea treatment is vital for good health as well as restful sleep. As qualified members of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, sleep apnea dentists Dr. Gina McCray and Dr. Kara McCray Demer are happy to offer services to help patients get the rest they need most.
After a diagnosis and referral from a sleep physician, we can offer you oral appliances that can help you rest well each night. Read on to learn more about sleep apnea treatments and how we may be able to help you.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
As vital as sleep apnea treatment is, you may not know about the options available for your sleep disorder. There may be some lifestyle changes that can alleviate some of the effects of sleep apnea. When these lifestyle changes are not enough, physicians generally recommend one of two treatments: the CPAP or the oral appliance for sleep apnea.
CPAP machines can be bulky and difficult to clean. Patients who travel for work or vacation find it difficult to pack their machines, let alone accommodate them in their hotel rooms. These bulky machines take up a lot of room, and the inconvenience of periodic cleanings leave many patients fervently wishing for alternatives to CPAP machines.
Whatever the reason you can’t sleep with CPAP machines, we can offer a dental appliance for sleep apnea. With oral appliances, you can avoid CPAP (machine) problems like disconcerting masks, CPAP noise, and other inconveniences associated with this sleep apnea treatment.
Schedule an appointment at St. Mary’s Center for Dental Sleep Medicine at St. Mary’s Dental if you would like to pursue alternatives to CPAP machines.
Although the CPAP machine is certainly effective, patients often look for CPAP alternatives that offer comfort and convenience along with effective sleep apnea treatment. Each method of treatment has its benefits for patients.
Sleep Apnea Oral Appliance
Comfort is probably the number one reason patients seek alternatives to CPAP machines.
One of the CPAP alternatives is the oral appliance, which can be an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. The oral appliance for sleep apnea helps patients by keeping the airway from collapsing during sleep by gently guiding the lower jaw into a more forward position.
An oral appliance or mouth piece for sleep apnea can resolve the uncomfortable realities of CPAP therapy. There is no mask and no tubing to put on. Instead, you can sleep comfortably with an oral appliance that is made for your unique mouth to keep your airways open.
The oral appliance is customized to fit your mouth, so it is far more comfortable to wear than a CPAP machine. This oral appliance for sleep apnea is also far more convenient to carry and use on a daily basis. There is no noisy process to put up with at night, either. You simply slip in your sleep apnea appliance and enjoy safe, restful sleep.
The CPAP Machine
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It is the most commonly known treatment for sleep apnea. There are multiple kinds of PAP devices (devices that push air into your airway to keep you breathing all night), but CPAP is the most common name.
PAP keeps a patient breathing all night by pushing air through a patient’s airways throughout the night. This sleep apnea treatment may be particularly helpful for patients who suffer from central sleep apnea, in which missed signals in the nervous system cause a patient’s breathing to pause.
Although very helpful for patients with central sleep apnea, some patients are uncomfortable with the CPAP machine. There are CPAP alternatives that patients appreciate.
Many patients can’t sleep with CPAP machines. Their complaints are numerous and completely understandable. Thankfully, there are CPAP alternatives to help you when you simply can’t sleep with CPAP machines.
Although CPAP options can vary to help patients cope with them a bit better, some patients can’t sleep with CPAP machines at all because the nature of this therapy is just too uncomfortable. Patients have a number of CPAP (machine) problems.
CPAP Mask Problems
These masks fit over your nose and mouth to push air through your airways. Many patients find the masks disconcerting when they are trying to sleep.
Aside from masks that are uncomfortable on your face, patients with claustrophobia find them especially upsetting to have something covering their face all night. Some patients even stop treatment because these masks make them feel as though they can’t sleep with CPAP machines at all.
CPAP Noise Is Too Loud
Another reason patients can’t sleep with CPAP machines is the CPAP noise. The machine hums throughout the night. This noise can be irritating to patients trying to sleep as well as their partners.
There are some CPAP options that do not require the machine to run continuously, but some patients find this even worse because the CPAP noise starts and stops at intervals. The bottom line is that, if you use a CPAP machine, you will have CPAP noise in your sleeping environment.
CPAP Is Inconvenient
The most common CPAP (machine) problems include the masks and CPAP noise, but there are other reasons why patients dislike their CPAP machines. These machines are bulky and inconvenient.
None of the CPAP options are easy to travel with, and they often take up quite a bit of space in your bedroom. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, your sleep apnea treatment is difficult to keep up with when you are not at home.
Although a somewhat minor concern, one of the other CPAP (machine) problems includes cleanliness. CPAP tubing and masks need to be cleaned periodically. This adds yet another annoying task to your ever-growing list of things to do.
CPAP vs. Oral Appliance
There are a number of reasons that patients are seeking alternatives to CPAP machines. These reasons include uncomfortable masks, CPAP noise, and the numerous other inconveniences of using a CPAP machine we’ve already listed.
A dental appliance for sleep apnea is often a good choice for a patient with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who can’t sleep with CPAP machines. These sleep apnea appliances can improve both comfort and convenience for sleep apnea sufferers.
However, for those who suffer from central sleep apnea, the breathing problem you suffer from is not a simple airway problem—but a matter of your brain forgetting to breathe. If you have this type of sleep apnea, you may need to use the CPAP machine instead as it forces air into your lungs, whether or not your lungs perform the breathing action.
Customized Sleep Apnea Treatment
CPAP therapy is one-size-fits-all, but sleep apnea appliances are made for your unique mouth and lifestyle. You can enjoy a comfortable and convenient dental appliance for sleep apnea when you come to St. Mary’s Center for Dental Sleep Medicine to visit one of our sleep apnea dentists.
Because we work with qualified sleep physicians, your treatment may even be covered by your medical insurance!
Sleep Apnea Treatment Covered by Medical Insurance
Here at St. Mary’s Dental, we work closely with sleep physicians to provide both diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea. Due to this unique partnership, medical insurance often covers some or all of the sleep apnea treatments we provide.
Get Sleep Apnea Treatment in Southern Maryland
You can have peace of mind along with safer, more restful sleep when you come to St. Mary’s Center for Dental Sleep Medicine at St. Mary’s Dental for sleep apnea treatment.
We’d love to see your smile after a restful night’s sleep with your very own dental appliance for sleep apnea! Call to get started today!