Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea & Snoring

With over 40 million Americans suffering from a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, our team at Spark Sleep Solutions are committed to providing professional sleep apnea treatments so that you can enjoy the great nights sleep that you’ve needed. We proudly offer treatments to to patients from San Jose, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, San Ramon and the surrounding areas.

When seeking treatment for sleep apnea, you have a number of options available to you, including oral appliances, CPAP, and surgery. At Spark Sleep Solutions, we specialize in oral and dental treatment options that are easier to use and can help alleviate your sleeping issues.

Which treatment option is best for you will depend on your individual needs. The most common choices are either oral appliances or CPAP since they relieve most problems caused by sleep apnea. Surgery is reserved for the more serious cases of sleep apnea in which other treatment options proved be insufficient to provide relief.

With both oral appliances and CPAP, while the both work to help you achieve a healthy night of sleep, they are very different in terms of benefits they provide as treatment methods. Below is a helpful chart outlining the key differences between these treatment methods.

AdvantagesOAT (Oral Appliance Therapy)CPAP
Easy to travel with1
Speak and drink while wearing1
Makes no noise1
Sleep in any position1
Requires electricity1
Cumbersome headgear and tubes1
Parts to replace1
Must visit sleep lab to adjust1

Oral appliances are easily the most accessible type of sleep apnea treatment. A typical appliance is a comfortable, portable, and custom-fitted mouthpiece that you simply wear while you sleep. The mouthpiece provides relief by preventing your tongue and soft tissue in your airway from collapsing while you sleep. Keeping your airway open means that you can breath freely for more restful sleep. Having an appliance has the added benefit of being small & transportable, meaning you can take it with you anywhere and you can continue to get relief from your sleep apnea.

At Spark Sleep Solutions, we have over 100 different models of oral appliances, so we can find which one works best for you. Once we find the perfect model of appliance, we’ll make sure that it’s custom fitted to ensure that it feels perfectly comfortable.

*Note for patients with TMJ disorders: We also specialize in oral appliances that work without moving the lower jaw forward.

*See our section on Benefits of OAT for more information.*

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM):

  1. Oral Appliance Therapy must be provided only by a dentist specially trained in sleep disordered breathing including the fabrication and titration of oral appliances.
  2. Oral Appliance Therapy is recommended as a first line treatment for patients with mild-moderate sleep apnea and for all patients (including severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients) who cannot tolerate to use the CPAP machine.

*American Academy of Sleep Medicine Report, Feb. 2006. Practice Parameters for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliances.*

A CPAP machine is a medical device that delivers continuous positive airway pressure through a facemask or nasal tube attached to a pump, usually placed next to the bed. The CPAP machine is plugged into any standard electrical outlet and the mask is worn whenever you sleep or nap. Proper adjustment of the CPAP mask and machine are vital to achieve maximum clinical benefit and can only be done in a physician’s office.

While the CPAP is the most effective form of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, the downside to this form of treatment is that that about 55-77% of patients that undergo CPAP treatment are unable to tolerate it. For those that aren’t comfortable with CPAP treatment, oral appliances are the perfect alternative to provide effective relief.

Reasons for CPAP Intolerance include:

  • Claustrophobia
  • Embarrassment due to appearance or noise
  • Noise from the machine disturbs bed partner
  • Nasal congestion from the pressure
  • Mask leaks pressure
  • Pressure causes pain on tissue and teeth
  • Difficult to use and inconvenient: requires electricity, parts must be cleaned
  • Difficult to travel with (may require additional checked luggage)
  • Adjustments or replacement of parts must be done at lab
  • Unconsciously remove the mask at night
  • Cost

*Please see our comparison chart on OAT vs CPAP here.*

While oral appliances and CPAP treatments can effectively treat most sleep apnea cases, severe obstructions of the airway due to enlarged tonsils, adenoids, uvula, nasal polyps, deviated septum or jaw malformations may need more intensive treatment. For patients with this level of sleep apnea, surgery is recommended for corrective treatment. Types of surgery options include (but are not limited to):

  • Tonsillectomy
  • Genioglossus Advancement
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA)
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

Surgery may be an important step in your treatment, and can sometimes be the only option. During your initial examination, Dr. Shah will inform you if surgery is an option that you should consider. The downside to surgery is that is the most intense form of treatment, with an expected level of pain and discomfort post-procedure, along with a recovery period. It’s also the only invasive form of sleep apnea treatment. Unfortunately, certain procedures have success rates that can be as low as 30-50%. Due to these reasons, and with so many advances in the field of dental sleep medicine, many Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physicians will encourage patients to try Oral Appliance Therapy first, and keeping surgery as a “only if necessary” option.

At Spark Sleep Solutions, we follow a “team” approach that has led to our many successes in treatment with our now happy, more-rested patients. With our focus on a collaborative approach to most successfully treat your sleep apnea or snoring, we work closely with a collaborating group of physicians and dentists to offer you the most comprehensive treatment available. If we feel you may benefit from other therapies, either alone, or in conjunction with your oral appliance, we will refer you to one of our team physicians or to a physician of your choice.

Contact Spark Sleep Solutions Today!

If you’re looking for relief from your sleep apnea, contact us and book your appointment at one of our local offices in San Jose, Los Gatos, San Ramon, or Santa Cruz. If you have any questions about the sleep apnea treatment that we offer, reach out to us by phone at (408) 490-0182, or by email at info@sparksleep.com, and one of our friendly staff members will help you get the information that you need. Don’t tolerate another night of poor sleep and get the rest that you deserve!