This is a reprint from a recent press release. The time where CPAP is considered the only treatment is already behind the curve. Current realities show that compliance issues favor oral appliances over CPAP for 60% of patients who abandon CPAP use. What is the best treatment for sleep apnea? Is CPAP the best treatment for sleep apnea or are oral appliances the best treatment for sleep apnea. Compliance is the real issue for what is the best treatment.

THE BEST SLEEP APNEA TREATMENT: CPAP vs ORAL APPLIANCES. A QUESTION OF COMPLIANCE AND EFFECTIVENESS. Young thinner healthier patients are often better served with oral appliances due to comfort.

CPAP is considered the Gold Standard for sleep apnea treatment but poor compliance issues with CPAP often make Oral Appliances the best sleep apnea treatment. For Morbidly Obese patients CPAP is Best

( August 13, 2010 — What is the best sleep apnea treatment? It is not CPAP according to a recent study that showed 60% of patients abandon CPAP use. At least it is not the best treatment for the 60% of patients who abandoned it. This does not mean CPAP is not the most effective treatment, what it means is no matter how effective a treatment may be it is poor treatment if it is not used. Oral Appliances are an extremely effective treatment for mild to moderate sleep apnea but less effective for morbidly obese patients and those with severe sleep apnea.

Oral appliances are the “Best Sleep Apnea Treatment” because patients actually use them. Compliance issues have always been the biggest problem with CPAP. Studies have shown most patients quit CPAP completely but even patients who use CPAP average only 4-5 hours/ night 4-5 nights a week. That is not the best treatment but it is better than no treatment. The best site for information on oral appliance therapy and Dental Sleep Medicine is

Medicare recognized how poor CPAP compliance was and now has minimum usage schedules for CPAP that will save Medicare millions of dollars because such a small percentage of patients actually utilize their machines on a regular basis.

CPAP is the “BEST TREATMENT” for the 25% of patients who love their CPAP, and use it all night, every night.

Oral appliances may be less effective across a range of all patients at eliminating sleep apnea but they are much more effective at achieving patient compliance. A treatment that is used will always be superior to a treatment that is not used.

Oral appliance success can be greatly improved by titration of appliances in the sleep lab. When an appliance elminates apnea based on a sleep study it is equivlant to CPAP. The issue of compliance almost always favors oral appliances but objective monitor for appliance use are not yet available.

The best treatment is one that works and is used. For most patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea the best treatment is an oral appliance due to much higher compliance. If compliance is equal and CPAP or appliances are equally effective than both would qualify as the best treatment. The patient can chose their desired treatment. Studies have shown the majority of patients offered a choice prefer a comfortable oral appliance over CPAP.

Some severe sleep apnea patients refuse CPAP, for those patients an oral appliance is superior to “NO TREATMENT” .

CPAP is almost always the best treatment for the morbidly obese patients but an oral appliance is still better than no treatment if CPAP is refused.

There are patients who are severe and/or morbidly obese and the “Best Treatment” is actually combination treatment of an Oral Appliance and CPAP combined. A mask retained by the teeth instead of straps may be considerably more comfortable for many patients and lower pressure from combined use makes CPAP easier to tolerate.

The best treatment may be CPAP but with a custom made nasal mask that is made from an impression of the patients face similar to how dentures are made. Custom masks combined with oral appliances are a new entry in the field coming from Airway Management.

Cleanliness is of major importance with both CPAP and Oral Appliance treatments. Dirty masks and hoses can lead to sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia while poor oral hygiene with an oral appliance can lead to periodontal disease.

Information on oral appliances is available at

Dr Shapira is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and offers Oral Appliances to Chicago area patients at his offices in Gurnee, Skokie and Schaumburg. Call today 1-8-NO-PAP-MASK

More information can be found online at http://HTTP://WWW.IHATECPAP.COM