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A tired man rubs his nose - CPAP vs dental appliances

Sleep Apnoea Treatment: CPAP Machines vs. Dental Appliances

Affecting around one-third of the population and more prevalent in older men, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is more common than many people think. OSA is a sleep disorder that partially or completely blocks the airway, leading to pauses in breath, shallow breathing and a lack of oxygen to the brain. In some cases, sufferers stop breathing on more than 30 occasions in one night.


Effective treatment for sleep apnoea is absolutely essential and CPAP masks are considered the gold standard for treatment. Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure may be the leading treatment for OSA, but there are many barriers to adopting the treatment that causes patients to seek other solutions. Dental appliances are one such option, offering patients an exciting opportunity for a good night’s sleep.


Learn more about Sleep Apnoea and Treatment Options


CPAP – Treatment Method and Barriers

Recognised as the best nonsurgical solution for OSA, CPAP masks create air pressure that keeps your airway open, allowing you to breathe normally and sleep well.

The CPAP treatment involves wearing a mask attached to a machine while you sleep, a solution that many patients don’t enjoy for various reasons.

  • Unappealing and Intimidating – Many patients and their partners believe the CPAP machine makes their bedroom resemble a hospital ward, creating an unpleasant environment.
  • Uncomfortable – CPAP masks are uncomfortable for many patients, a symptom that may never resolve or reduce.
  • Claustrophobic – Patients that have problems with claustrophobia often find CPAP masks too close and constructive.
  • Nasal Congestion and Throat Dryness – This is a problem that can sometimes be resolved by a humidifier.
  • Noisy – CPAP machines are known to be noisy for both the wearer and their sleeping partner.
  • Prohibitively Expensive: CPAP is an ongoing and long-term expense.


Ultimately, you need to wear the CPAP mask every night for the treatment to be successful. If any of these barriers might prevent you from complying with the treatment, you may wish to consider an alternative.


Dental Appliances

Dental or oral appliances may be the ideal solution for you, especially if you are hesitant about CPAP. Known as Mandibular Advancement Splints, dental appliances are custom made from impressions of your teeth and mouth. Similar to CPAP masks, they work by preventing the airway from collapsing. Mandibular Advancement Splits bring the jaw forward to allow for proper breathing and continuous sleep.

While they are not completely effective for all patients, many OSA sufferers successfully adopt dental appliances, reporting minimal discomfort and none of the other drawbacks of CPAP masks.

At McMahons Point Dental, we make the process simple.

  • Organise a consultation with expert sleep dentist, Dr Edwina Toulmin
  • Complete a combination of questionaries, sleep tests and CT scans
  • Dr Toulmin takes a custom impression of your teeth
  • You receive your appliance and begin treatment without CPAP


Organise an Appointment

As always, the best treatment for your OSA will depend on its severity and other personal circumstances. To find the right treatment for you, talk to our sleep dentistry experts in North Sydney.

Make an appointment with McMahons Point Health to diagnose your OSA, create a tailored treatment plan and move towards a good night’s sleep.