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A 49-year-old male asked:

Hello and thanks. i have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea...i stop breathing 47 times a night. is there any other cure other than a cpap machine?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steven Koos
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 22 years experience
Treat causes:: With osa, weight loss, exercise, and certain surgical procedures can often times be quite effective (uppp, somnoplasty, septoplasty) reducing the severity of your sleep apnea. In mild to moderate cases, a custom oral appliance can be fabricated for you in lieu of cpap. You have indicated though that you have been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, so CPAP is definitely the gold standard.
Dr. Martin Hirsch
50 years experience
Yes: There are multiple surgeries and dental intraoral appliances. You need to arrange an overnight sleep study to ascertain where you physical problem is and then the md can treat that particular area.
Dr. Lance Timmerman
Specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry
Oral Appliance : An alternative to CPAP is an oral appliance for those that can't or won't wear the cpap. Not all dentists are trained in this, so seek a dentist with experience.
Dr. Randy Sussmane Stubbs
Internal Medicine - Sleep Medicine 36 years experience
the oral appliances are usually only used in severe disease in association with a cpap machine - ie where cpap alone failed. they are not usually first line therapy for severe disease - some form of positive airway pressure is the gold standard
Aug 31, 2013
Dr. Lance Timmerman
Specializes in Cosmetic Dentistry
Provided original answer
While combination therapy is ideal for severe apnea, oral appliance therapy by itself has treated severe apnea successfully. Having a 66 go to zero, among other cases, shows that it CAN be successful as an alternative. If a person absolutely refuses a CPAP, but can tolerate oral appliances, then a successful outcome can be achieved. CPAP is absolutely the first thing to try in severe cases, but is not the only choice. I agree CPAP should be used in severe cases when possible.
Sep 5, 2013
Dr. Scott Bobbitt
Dentistry 33 years experience
Dr. T--You are spot on. OAT can significantly reduce apnea. Many local sleep physicians seem to treat apnea therapy as a "turf war" without experience with OAT; dentist "hobbyists" who merely fabricate an appliance do EVERYONE a disservice. For dentists to become part of the sleep team; they MUST work with, inform and educate the diagnosing physicians by being active therapists.
Oct 24, 2013

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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