CPAP VS. Oral Appliance

Sleep apnea is a common problem, but one that can be addressed by a couple different solutions. The two most common devices used to correct sleep apnea are CPAP machines and oral appliances. The following list compares the two to help you in deciding which approach would be best for you:

Q: How do they work?


CCPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, which means the machine maintains certain air pressure in your mouth and nose in order to keep your airway open. Sleep apnea is most commonly caused by the soft palate and tongue leaning against the back of your throat, cutting off your air supply. CPAP machines address this problem by raising the air pressure in your mouth and nose, so your soft palate and tongue won’t fall back and close off your airway.

When it comes to dental appliances for sleep apnea, there are hundreds of devices that fall into two general categories: mandibular advancement devices (or MADs) and tongue retaining mouthpieces. Though working in slightly different ways, both keep the tongue from falling back against the throat. They look very similar to athletic mouthguards or orthodontic retainers, but their purpose is to hold the tongue in place while you’re sleeping so your airway remains unobstructed.

Q: What are the pros for each device?


For years, CPAPs have been the standard for treating moderate to severe sleep apnea and are typically the treatment choice for severe sleep apnea. CPAPs aid in maintaining your blood pressure throughout the night.

Dental appliances don’t rely on an external source of air, which minimizes the drying out of your nose and throat while you’re sleeping. They also have fewer pieces compared to CPAPs and don’t require any batteries, which makes travel easier. They are discreet and effective! If you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, this is a great option for you to consider and talk to Dr. Hetland about.

Q: So, which one should I choose?


Every sleep apnea case is different. Before deciding on any type of solution for sleep apnea you should consult with Dr. Hetland about which option is best for you. There are a variety of different sleep apnea appliances, including different kinds of CPAPs and dental appliances. If you have been using a CPAP and are looking for an alternative solution, talking with Dr. Hetland can help you find a better fit for your specific needs.

Questions? Call our office today and make an appointment to meet with us!