Sleep Apnea Treatment: CPAP Machine vs. Oral Surgery

Have you been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Sleep Apnea Treatment: CPAP Machine vs. Oral Surgery

One of the most common sleep apnea treatments is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. However, oral surgery is another option to consider.

Many patients struggle to use a CPAP machine and simply prefer to fix the problem once and for all with oral surgery.

CPAP Machine Pros & Cons

Using a CPAP machine at night can reduce snoring and provide better-quality sleep. With regular use, daytime sleepiness is often greatly diminished.

Unfortunately, CPAP machines come with several drawbacks. Common complaints include:

  • Lack of comfort — Some patients can’t bear to wear the CPAP mask, as they find it uncomfortable or even claustrophobic.
  • Skin irritation — Wearing a CPAP mask can create abrasions and make the facial skin sore.
  • Dry mouth — CPAP machines blow dry air into the mouth, and many OSA patients sleep with their mouths open.
  • Nasal congestion — The flow of pressurized air from a CPAP machine can dry out the nasal passages, leading to chronic congestion.

Many of these issues can be solved by switching to a different CPAP mask or machine. But for some OSA patients, using other masks and machines isn’t an effective approach.

Sleep Apnea Oral Surgery Pros & Cons

Oral surgery is the only OSA treatment that addresses the underlying cause of this condition. Surgical treatment enlarges the airway, and for many patients, the procedure offers a permanent solution to sleep apnea.

However, oral surgery isn’t always effective. For patients with severe OSA, surgical treatment can be less successful. And for anyone with a serious medical condition or disease, surgery may not be advisable.

Body weight is also a factor in the success of OSA surgery. Generally, patients who are close to their ideal weight, or those who weigh less than 125 percent of that number, see more beneficial surgical outcomes.

Deciding Between Sleep Apnea Treatments

No single treatment is right for every OSA patient. Oral surgery can permanently correct the problem for most patients, but it isn’t always a viable option.

Deciding on the best approach to treating your OSA isn’t a task you should try to take on yourself. To determine whether oral surgery could help you, consult with a local oral surgeon with expertise in managing obstructive sleep apnea.

If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah can offer expert advice to help you overcome the challenges of living with OSA.

Dr. Partridge and Dr. Maxfield, the highly trained, board-certified oral surgeons here at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, have extensive experience in OSA management and can help you explore your options. Contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office to schedule a consultation to discuss sleep apnea treatments and oral surgery.