Sleep apnea is when breathing stops and starts repeatedly, leading to fatigue and other health complications. Dental sleep apnea treatments involve oral appliances that aim to maintain an open, unobstructed airway in sleep, thereby mitigating the dangerous cycles of decreased oxygen levels.
Despite its growing acceptance, there are several misconceptions surrounding this treatment form. This article aims to debunk ten common misconceptions about dental sleep apnea treatment to provide a clearer understanding of this therapeutic approach.
Schedule an assessment with one of the orthodontists in Sydney, Australia, for the treatment that suits your needs.
Myth 1: Dental sleep apnea treatment is only for snorers
Snoring is often associated with sleep apnea disorder, but not all snorers have sleep apnea.
Fact: This treatment is not limited to snorers only.
Dental sleep apnea treatment is not exclusive to snorers, as it is an alternative therapy for individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can affect anyone, regardless of whether they snore or not.
Myth 2: Dental sleep apnea treatment is only for mild cases
Oral appliances were initially recommended and used for treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Over time, this has led to the perception that dental sleep apnea treatment is ineffective for severe cases.
Fact: It is suitable for a range of sleep apnea severity levels.
Studies revealed that dental sleep apnea treatment is a practical option for patients with moderate to severe OSA who cannot tolerate CPAP.
Myth 3: Dental sleep apnea treatment is uncomfortable
Some people may believe oral appliances are similar to traditional orthodontic braces and assume they are uncomfortable and difficult to wear.
Fact: Oral appliances used in treatment are convenient and bring satisfaction to patients.
Dental sleep apnea devices are custom-made to fit the mouth and are designed to be comfortable, lightweight, and easy to wear. They do not interfere with speech or swallowing and are unobtrusive during sleep.
Myth 4: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device is the only therapy for sleep apnea
For many years, CPAP therapy has been the gold standard for treating sleep apnea. However, not everyone can tolerate CPAP therapy.
Fact: Dental sleep apnea treatment offers an alternative option for individuals who cannot tolerate or prefer not to use CPAP.Dental sleep apnea treatment is a viable alternative for individuals who cannot use CPAP due to claustrophobia or discomfort. It offers a non-invasive option that can effectively treat sleep apnea.
Myth 5: Dental sleep apnea treatment is expensive
Many people mistakenly assume that any medical procedure or treatment outside of traditional methods will be costly. The customised nature of the oral appliances used in dental sleep apnea treatment may lead to the perception that they are expensive.
Fact: The cost can vary depending on the specific type of treatment and individual circumstances.
While the cost of dental sleep apnea treatment may vary depending on several factors, such as insurance coverage, it is generally considered an affordable option compared to other treatments for sleep apnea.
Myth 6: Dental sleep apnea treatment is only for adults
Sleep apnea affects individuals of any age, and dental sleep apnea treatment is not limited to adults only.
Fact: It can also benefit any age range with sleep apnea.
Dental sleep apnea treatment is a suitable option for children and adults, regardless of age.
Myth 7: Dental sleep apnea treatment is a standalone therapy
While dental sleep apnea treatment provides a viable option for managing sleep apnea, it is often recommended as part of an integrated approach with other treatment options.
Fact: It can be combined with other treatment options.
Dental sleep apnea treatment can be combined with other therapies, such as weight loss and positional therapy, to improve the effectiveness of treatment.
Myth 8: Sleep apnea oral appliance therapy can be provided by any dentist
While some dentists may have received training in this area, not all have the qualifications and expertise to provide oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea.
Fact: Not all dentists are qualified to provide dental sleep apnea treatment—oral appliance therapy.
Dental sleep apnea treatment requires knowledge of the airway, muscular anatomy and physiology. Only specially trained dentists with advanced education and training in dental sleep medicine can provide oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea.
Myth 9: Dental sleep apnea treatment is not covered by insurance
While it used to be true that dental sleep apnea treatment was not covered by insurance, this is no longer the case. Many insurance plans now cover oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea.
Fact: Some clinics cover dental sleep apnea treatment through insurance.
Patients no longer have to bear the full cost of treatment. It is important to check with your insurance provider about dental sleep apnea treatment coverage.
Myth 10: Dental sleep apnea treatment is not evidence-based
Dental sleep apnea treatment is a relatively new field of study within dentistry, as CPAP machines are the primary treatment for sleep apnea. As it took time for scientific research to study and validate the effectiveness of sleep apnea treatment, some people may still be under the impression that it is not evidence-based.
Fact: Dental sleep apnea treatment is evidence-based and supported by scientific research.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine designated oral appliances as a first-line treatment option for mild to moderate sleep apnea. It is an alternative treatment for those with severe sleep apnea who can’t or won’t use CPAP machines.
Dental sleep apnea treatments have been scientifically validated, are comfortable, accessible, and potentially covered by insurance. They provide a viable alternative for people who cannot tolerate CPAP machines or seek a non-invasive approach. Remember, sleep apnea affects individuals of all ages and can be effectively managed correctly.
Let’s move past misconceptions and towards a better understanding of quality sleep and better overall health.