Dental Appliance – Most Preferred Therapy For OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea)

The reason behind the sudden shift from the CPAP among the patients

The problem of sleep apnea is increasing across the world, however, the number of patients opting for CPAP is declining. Which means that the treatment for sleep apnea still needs to continue. In such conditions, it has been noticed that most of the patients prefer a dental device as an alternative to the CPAP treatment.

The patients discontinuing their CPAP treatments have reported the following problems:

  • Feeling Claustrophobic after wearing the mask
  • Irritability due to the forced air through the CPAP mask
  • Nose problems due to the humidifier
  • Having a dry mouth after wearing the mask for too long
  • Some people found the machine quite noisy

Because of the mentioned discomforts, most people have started taking Oral Appliance Therapy. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has declared OAT as an appropriate and a far better treatment for obstructive sleep apnea for patients that have shown comprehensive and long-term evidence for the same.

Most of the adults are reported to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and at least half of them do not think about taking a continuous positive airway pressure machine. If OSA is left untreated it is believed to lead to life-threatening chronic health problems.

Doctors say that there is a great need for a dental appliance for sleep apnea and the treatment can be proven as an effective method of cure. Dentists play an imperative role in treating sleep- breathing disorders. They can identify patients who have a high risk of chronic disease and frequent encounters with them can help treat the disorder at a faster pace.

OAT and its benefits

Oral appliance therapy work in a similar way as CPAP and yields almost the similar results but what makes it better than CPAP is that it overcomes all the problems faced in CPAP.

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The device is worn like mouth guards with a special design which repositions the lower jaw and the tongue forward. This structures the upper airway and allows the patient unobstructed breathing space.

The device is comparatively inexpensive and is easily made available by the dentists. If we talk in detail about the advantages of such dental appliances for sleep apnea over CPAP, there are many perks it has over the CPAP.

Some of them are as follows:

  • The device is custom made to fit according to the user’s structure
  • The mouthpiece is portable and small, making it convenient for travel The device does not require any electricity to work
  • The device is easy to clean and its hygiene can be maintained easily It makes no noise while in use
  • Many insurance companies even reimburse the OAT
  • The device can be used effectively for other problems, like bruxism, allergies, and congenital physiology

Patients that have shifted from CPAP to OATs have shared positive results. However, it is still suggested that the patient considers both the advice of the dentist and the sleep physician before buying and using the device.

The physician would run a diagnostic testing to confirm the disorder and if the condition levels up to what they seem are necessary, they can recommend the patient for the device.

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