There are many sleep apnea treatment options, and the right one for you depends on many factors. Although you have treatment options, there are many good reasons to consider an oral appliance for your sleep apnea treatment.

Detroit sleep dentist Dr. Jeffrey S. Haddad can help you decide whether an oral appliance is right for you. Continue reading to learn all the reasons why you may want to make the switch.

mature adult man using an oral appliance before he sleeps

Proven Effective

Oral appliances have been thoroughly tested, and they have shown that they are effective at treating sleep apnea. They can reduce or eliminate snoring and daytime sleepiness, and they can dramatically reduce your risks related to sleep apnea. The science is clear: they are a viable treatment alternative to CPAP.

Treats All Levels of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Oral appliances can be used to treat all levels of obstructive sleep apnea. They will improve sleep apnea symptoms and reduce sleep apnea severity for patients with all levels of apnea. 

That being said, people with severe obstructive sleep apnea should try CPAP first. Oral appliances can be used if you can’t tolerate CPAP, but they’re considered a secondary treatment for severe obstructive sleep apnea.

No Tangling or Restrictive Hoses

CPAP uses hoses to transport the pressurized air from the pump to the mask, which delivers the air to your airway. The hose can make it difficult to move when you sleep. 

The CPAP allows you to sleep more peacefully and still with treatment, but even so many people find that they get tangled in the hoses or feel confined by them. Oral appliances have no hoses. The appliance fits entirely in the mouth. 

No Irritating, Claustrophobic Mask

There are many styles of CPAP masks, but they can all be irritating and confining. Some might be more or less irritating, but they all can cause skin irritation, breakouts, and other skin problems. 

Plus, the mask can feel suffocating, like you’re being smothered. Some people can get claustrophobic feelings from wearing the mask, even if it’s a minimal mask. 

There’s no mask with an oral appliance – it fits entirely in your mouth. 

Pure Silence

Snoring is a common accompaniment to sleep apnea. This makes many couples look forward to the silence that comes from eliminating snoring with sleep apnea treatment. Unfortunately, if you use CPAP, you are replacing the sound of snoring with the sound of a pump. 

Some pumps are relatively quiet but others can be quite annoying, and the volume can increase as you turn up the pressure. Forget whisper-quiet (as some CPAP machines claim to be): oral appliances create no sound whatsoever. The appliance can give pure silence. 


Oral appliances may be the simplest piece of medical equipment you will ever own. You just put it in. It may take a couple of days to get it completely right, but there’s nothing to plug in, no settings to adjust, no hoses to put together, and no reservoirs to monitor or fill. 

Adjustment is typically just a simple screw that you turn with a special tool – making oral appliances extremely patient-friendly. 

Easy to Clean

Maintenance is simple, too. Rinse it every day and soak it occasionally to keep it clean. These simple steps are all it takes to keep your oral appliance functioning properly.

Easy to Transport

If you’ve ever traveled with CPAP, you know what a pain that can be. If you try to take your home unit, you might need a separate bag for the device and all its accessories. A travel CPAP is a little better, but it might not have all the features that you’re used to. While most TSA agents now recognize a CPAP machine, it can still be a pain at the airport.

Oral appliances, on the other hand, can fit in your pocket or purse. It’s the kind of thing you can grab on your way out the door, not something you have to plan to be able to carry.

No Need for Electricity

A CPAP machine needs electricity to run the pump, as well as heaters and some other accessories. The power demand isn’t great until you want to go someplace where there’s no power, like camping and canoeing in the UP. If you want to take your CPAP there, you’ll need to get a battery-powered model, which means either hauling backup batteries, strictly limiting your time, or going without treatment, which can ruin your trip. 

Oral appliances require no electricity. Combined with their easily transportable size and weight, this makes them a great choice for camping and other adventure travel. 


The thing that many people enjoy most about oral appliances is how comfortable they are. Oral appliances eliminate the need for a mask, hose, straps, and an entire apparatus to be connected to your face.

You see, most people with sleep apnea also have TMJ, even if they don’t know it. Overnight, their jaw sits in a highly uncomfortable position, often clenching and grinding to try to maintain an open airway. When properly fitted, an oral appliance not only treats your sleep apnea, it is therapeutic for your TMJ, too. Instead of waking up with a sore jaw and sore teeth, you will wake up with your jaw feeling more comfortable than ever.

If that isn’t the experience you’re having with your oral appliance, it hasn’t been fitted properly and you should talk to a different Detroit area sleep dentist.

Learn Which Treatment Is Right for You in Detroit

If you are looking for a Detroit sleep dentist who can help you enjoy all the benefits of oral appliance therapy for your sleep apnea, please call (248) 480-0085 for an appointment at the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness.