Combined Therapy – Tulsa, OK

The Best of Both Worlds

CPAP and oral appliance used for combined therapy

When it comes to sleep apnea, there are various methods for alleviating the condition so that patients can get better rest. In many cases, CPAP therapy is often able to allow patients to get the relief they need. However, some have difficulty with treatment compliance, as they end up not wearing the device later on because of its bulkiness. Likewise, while an oral appliance might be more convenient and comfortable, this alone may not be enough to address sleep apnea symptoms. That’s why our Tulsa, OK specialty dentist and dental team offers combined therapy where patients can use both devices so that they can enjoy the benefits of both! Keep reading to learn more about this treatment or give us a call to schedule a consultation.

What Is CPAP Therapy?

a person wearing a CPAP face mask for sleep apnea

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy is one of the most well-known treatment options for addressing sleep apnea. To use the machine, you’ll simply have to wear a facemask while you go to bed, which will be linked to an air pump that will essentially force oxygen into your airway to bypass any obstructions.

Although this device is effective, patients often find it uncomfortable and may bring about feelings of constriction. The machine itself can also be quite noisy, which can disrupt the patient’s rest as well as their partner’s. CPAP machines are also bulky and difficult to travel with.

What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?

a man sleeping and smiling in bed

A personalized oral appliance can be developed for a patient to wear during sleep, which will be designed to move their jaw forward and prevent airway blockage. Not only is this more comfortable and quieter, but you can also travel easily with it, making vacations a less stressful idea. That said, this form of therapy is mostly reserved for those with milder to moderate levels of sleep apnea, meaning it typically won’t be as effective all on its own.

How Combined Therapy Works

a man using a CPAP nasal mask for sleep apnea

Combined therapy involves a sleep apnea patient using a CPAP machine while also wearing a custom oral appliance. Combined therapy enables a patient who is suffering from severe sleep apnea to benefit from oral appliance therapy, and it also allows them to turn their CPAP to a lower setting. This can lead to increased comfort and better compliance for consistently better sleep.

Benefits of Combined Therapy

a woman waking up rested and smiling

With combined therapy, you’ll be able to make the most of both treatment options while taking advantage of various benefits, including:

  • More Effective Remedy: According to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, combined therapy has been shown to decrease sleep apnea instances (temporary pauses in breath) much more significantly compared to regular CPAP therapy.
  • Improved Comfort: Not only will you wear a nasal mask instead of a face mask, but your oral appliance will fit comfortably and you won’t hear as much noise from the CPAP machine.
  • Simplified Use: Many patients can stop using their treatment solution if it’s too difficult to use or uncomfortable. Since the oral appliance and smaller CPAP machine will be simpler to use, you’ll be more likely to comply with your sleep apnea therapy.
  • Increased Convenience: When planning to travel, many patients tend to leave their CPAP machine at home, leaving them vulnerable to the effects of sleep apnea. With combined therapy, you can simply take your oral appliance with you while you’re on the road!