CPAP Alternatives

Why Patients Prefer Alternative Treatment Methods 

If you have sleep apnea, you’ve probably heard about the dreaded CPAP machine. While it’s an effective treatment method, about 4 in 5 patients don’t use the CPAP machine for the recommended amount of time and about 45% of patients never start using it or stop within the first year.

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It consists of a face mask that’s connected to tubes and a machine that delivers air pressure directly into the patient’s airway, thereby preventing it from collapsing. Many patients find that the CPAP machine doesn’t work for them because of various reasons, such as:

  • Uncomfortable
  • Causes skin irritation or pressure sores
  • Loud
  • Inconvenient when traveling
  • Difficult to tolerate forced air

  • It also comes with its own list of maintenance to keep the device clean to prevent bacteria and the buildup of mold which can lead to increased illnesses. 


    The Benefits of an Oral Appliance

    Due to the many inconveniences of the CPAP machine, patients have searched for alternative treatment methods. Here at our Greensboro and Eden offices, we proudly treat sleep apnea and snoring with the use of an oral appliance. It’s a small device that resembles a mouthguard and works by gently shifting your jaw forward to prevent your airway from collapsing.

    Many patients find that it greatly improves their sleep apnea symptoms and gives them more energy throughout the day. There aren’t any tubes or wires, just a device that can fit in the palm of your hand. It’s easy to travel with and won’t create any additional noise in your bedroom--making it easier to fall asleep for you and your sleeping partner. 

    While some patients prefer to use only the oral appliance, some patients may choose to utilize a combination of treatment methods. Patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea may use both the CPAP machine and an oral appliance to decrease their symptoms. Some patients also find that a CPAP machine works for them at home, but prefer to travel with the oral appliance. 

    Dr. Katz will help you find a treatment that’s right for you. 

    Additional Treatment Methods

    In addition to the use of an oral appliance, Dr. Katz may recommend certain lifestyle modifications to compliment your overall treatment for sleep apnea and further decrease your symptoms. Dr. Katz may suggest lifestyle modifications such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Participate in regular exercise
  • Positional therapy
  • Reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Throat exercises

  • In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended. However, it’s only considered after conservative treatments have proved to be unsuccessful.  

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there any way to cure sleep apnea?

    For the most extensive patient cases, surgery may be required to eliminate symptoms associated with sleep apnea. However, this is only used as a last resort. Thankfully, Dr. Katz offers various ways of treating sleep apnea before surgery is even considered. 

    If you’re experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Katz at our Greensboro office by calling (336) 286-5800 or our Eden office at (336) 627-1537. During the consultation, Dr. Katz will examine your symptoms and determine if you would benefit from a sleep study. 

    How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

    For a clear diagnosis, a sleep study is required. Patients can choose to undergo a sleep study supervised by a physician or they can participate in an at-home sleep study. An at-home sleep test is performed in the privacy of your own home without supervision. You’ll just bring the equipment home and follow the instructions. The information will be reviewed after your test and you’ll be notified if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea.

    Do insurance companies cover oral appliances?

    Most insurance companies do cover a portion of the expenses. We suggest contacting your provider before your appointment to have a better understanding of coverage. We also offer flexible financing options so you don’t have to put your dental needs on hold.

    Will an oral appliance help my snoring if I don’t have sleep apnea?

    In most cases, yes! Snoring can be caused by a wide range of factors, some of which have nothing to do with sleep apnea. Depending on your case, an oral appliance may relieve your snoring even if you don’t suffer from sleep apnea.

    Katz Orthodontics

    • Greensboro Office - Brassfield Professional Center 2018-A New Garden Rd., Greensboro, NC 27410 Phone: 336-286-5800 Fax: 336-286-5801
    • Rockingham County Office - Professional Village, Building 4, 707 S. Van Buren Rd., Eden, NC 27288 Phone: 336-627-1537 Fax: 336-286-5801

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