Improving Cpap Comfort And Compliance With Comfortable Custom Cpap Masks Combined With Oral Appliances

PRESS RELEASE ecember 4, 2009 A Chicago Sleep Apnea Dentist best known for providing his patients with comfortable alternatives to CPAP is one of the first dentists in the nation trained to fit patients with customized CPAP masks retained by oral appliances. Dr Shapira trained with Dr Keith Thorton the inventor of the TAP Appliance (Thorton Anterior Positioner) and the new TAP-PAP masks that combine CPAP and Oral Appliances to improve patient’s comfort.

The verdict is in, most patients prescribed CPAP treatment cannot or will not use their CPAP machines. Dr Ira L Shapira nationally known for his I HATE CPAP website ( and for treating patients with comfortable oral appliances instead of CPAP is now one of the first dentists in the country to be improving CPAP by making customized masks comfortably maintained in place by oral appliances. The combination therapy is ideal for those paients who cannot be treated with oral appliances alone or who utilize CPAP but would benefit from a custom fitted mask and elimination of straps.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder that can effect every aspect of a patients health and quality of life. There is dramatic increases in heart attacks and stokes in patients with untreated sleep apnea. Patients with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to die in thir sleep than when exercising and have loss of cognitive function and short term memory loss. These problems exacerbate and become non-reversible over time.

The question that must be answered is why so many patients with serious life threatening problems and a great solution abandon their CPAP. Dr Shapira has been treating sleep apnea patients with oral appliances for over 25 years. Oral appliances are now considered a first line treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea, high upper airway resistance and snoring. CPAP failure, CPAP non-compliance and CPAP problems are the rule not the exception and that must be addressed. The National Sleep Foundation has dclared that “ORAL APPLIANCES ARE A THERAPY WHOSE TIME HAS COME!”

The reasons for abandoning CPAP are wide ranging but also very personal. Common complaints like dry noses, dry eyes, mask leaks, sinus pain, sinus pressure, dizziness, ear problems including pain, stuffiness and tinnitus, headaches, acne and other skin irritations, and dry mouth are frequently expressed by patients. More serious problems like bronchitis, pneumonia and gastric bloating must also be addressed. Lifestyle issues such as claustrophobia, embarrasment, interference in sexual spontanaity, or patients who just HATE CPAP are also frequently cited. Patients with major lifestyle issues are probably not candidates for TAP-PAP custom masks and should consider utilizing a comfortable oral appliance alternative (

Many of these problems can be addressed by DME providers, well trained sleep techs and finding the best fitting masks available. It is vitally important that scrupulous daily cleaning of masks and hoses be followed. Having multiple masks and hoses allows patients always have a clean mask available and because the masks last longer when they are rotated the net cost is not increased though there is more cost up front fr the patient. Insurance companies should make allowances for multiple mask and hose set to increase patient convenience.

Dr Shapira is a ioneer in the field of Dental Sleep Medicine and was one of 20 charter member dentists of the Sleep Disorder Dental Society (SDDS). The SDDS later became the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr Shapira is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (D,ABDSM) and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM). He teaches a courses in Dental Sleep Medicine to dentists from around the United States. Two of Dr Shapira’s former students were also at the course in Dallas Texas. Dr Thorton is only allowing the most experienced sleep apnea dentists in the country to take the TAP-PAP course initially and most attendees are Diplomates in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and are dental educators.

Chicagoland patients wishing to learn more about custom TAP-PAP masks should contact Dr Shapira at his Gurnee Dental office ( or at Chicagoland Dental Sleep Medicine Associates ( or toll free at 1-8-NO-PAP-MASK. Chicagoland Dental Sleep Medicine has offices in Skokie, Schaumburg, Vernon Hills, Bannockburn and Chicago.

The new masks are very exciting but the majority of patients can be treated successfully with just an oral appliance.

Dr Shapira is the president of I HATE CPAP LLC and the website . Over 10,000 patients visit the I HATE CPAP every month often spending extended periods of time learnig about Dental Sleep Medicine. The incredible success of oral appliances in treating sleep apnea and snoring is one of the best kept “secrets” in all of medicine. While CPAP is still considered the Gold Standard of treatment studies have shown that patients prefer oral appliances over CPAP 20 to 1. Surgery is not even considered a first line of treatment for most patients at this time. The main exception to this rule is in children with large tonsils and adenoids. Removal of tonsils and Adenoids and Maxillary expansion can reverse these problems and should be considerd even in very young children. There is no such thing as safe snoring in children. It is estimated that 80% of all ADD and ADHD is directly related to Sleep Disordered Breathing in children.

Children who snore, have large tonsils and adenoids, behavioral or learnig disorders should be evaluated for sleep disorders. It is also advisable to have children with these problems evaluated as soon as possible by orthodontists specializing in growth and development. Postponing orthodontic work until teenage years can be a terrible mistake as cognitive function changes may prove to be irreversible.

Dr Aleg Golbin of Sleep and Behavioral Medicine is a Diplomate of Sleep Medicine who is an expert in childrens sleep. He was previously the head of Child Psychiatry at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. He wrote the book “The World of Children’s Sleep” and has offices in Skokie, Vernon Hills and Bannockburn.