Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2016 at 5:42 pm    

When most people think of sleep apnea treatment, the first thing that comes to mind is wearing a bulky mask and having a loud machine roaring beside your bed all night. Of course, this treatment is known as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP.

The question is: What happens when CPAP doesn’t work? In this article we are going to focus on a topic that gets very little attention—what happens when CPAP treatment fails?

The shocking sleep study

In a study published in the journal Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, researchers discovered that after CPAP failed, very few patients were referred to other providers.

In fact, the study reviewed medical records for over 600 people, all of which had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, which affects 5-7% of the U.S. population.

Out of those 600 people, just 42% of patients began using CPAP as directed. Only 1/3 of the other 58% were referred to another provider to manage their sleep apnea.

What does this mean for you?

Many doctors are still prescribing CPAP as the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment, even though it’s a hassle for patients and has a relatively low compliance rate.

Whether you have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea or think you may have sleep apnea and are looking to see a doctor soon, it’s important to know there are alternative options to CPAP.

Oral appliance therapy

At Babylon Dental Care, Dr. Clifford Brown provides an alternative treatment to CPAP known as oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy involves a device much like a sports mouth guard that is worn while you sleep.

This device positions the jaw forward to maintain an unobstructed, open upper airway that helps to reduce snoring and regulate breathing during sleep. Unlike CPAP, oral appliance therapy is a convenient option for treating obstructive sleep apnea, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Should you see a dentist for sleep apnea treatment?

When most people think of treating sleep apnea they go to their family doctor, ENT, or sleep specialist, and understandably so. However, if you’ve tried CPAP in the past (which is what is often recommended by most doctors), then it may be time to consider other options that may suit your lifestyle better.

If you live in or around the South Shore of Long Island and are suffering from sleep apnea, we encourage you to give our Great South Baby or Gateway Plaza office a call to schedule your sleep apnea consultation. Most insurance carriers provide coverage for dental sleep apnea appliances. So what are you waiting for? Contact our office today!