Mandibular Advancement Splint Device Vs CPAP: What Are the Differences?

mandibular advancement splint device vs cpap

The comparison between mandibular advancement splint devices and CPAP therapy sparks a nuanced dialogue. Both treatments aim to address airway obstruction during sleep, yet they diverge in their approach and user experience. The intricacies of how these devices function and cater to individual needs offer a compelling insight into the world of sleep apnoea management. 

As we explore the differences in mechanism, comfort levels, and treatment adherence, a clearer picture emerges of the considerations that guide patients towards one solution over the other.

Mechanism of Action

Mandibular advancement splints work by advancing the lower jaw slightly forward, which helps to keep the airway open during sleep. This device helps prevent the collapse of soft tissues at the back of the throat, reducing the occurrence of apnoeas and improving airflow.

On the other hand, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices work by delivering a constant flow of air through a mask worn over the nose or mouth. The air pressure acts as a splint to keep the airway open, preventing pauses in breathing.

The main difference lies in the approach to maintaining airway patency. While mandibular advancement splints physically adjust the position of the jaw to prevent airway collapse, CPAP devices use air pressure to stent open the airway.

Both treatments aim to reduce the number of apnoeas and improve sleep quality, ultimately alleviating symptoms such as daytime sleepiness.

Comfort and Convenience

The mandibular advancement splint device and CPAP differ in terms of comfort and convenience for individuals seeking treatment for sleep apnoea.

The mandibular advancement splint device, also known as an oral appliance, offers a more comfortable alternative to CPAP. These custom-made devices fit comfortably in the mouth, making them easier to adapt to for long-term use.

In contrast, CPAP involves wearing a mask connected to a machine during sleep, which some users find less comfortable and may struggle with adherence over time.

The convenience of the mandibular advancement splint device lies in its portability and ease of use, as it does not require electricity or constant maintenance like CPAP machines.

While both treatment options have shown efficacy in managing sleep apnoea, the quality of life improvements and higher adherence rates associated with the mandibular advancement splint device may make it a preferred choice for some individuals seeking a comfortable and convenient long-term solution.

Effectiveness and Compliance

Research studies have consistently demonstrated the effectiveness and compliance rates of both mandibular advancement splint devices and CPAP in managing sleep apnoea. 

Mandibular advancement splints are dental devices that position the lower jaw slightly forward, helping to keep the airway open during sleep. Studies have shown that these devices are effective in improving sleep apnoea symptoms and patient outcomes. They are often considered as an alternative to CPAP therapy, particularly for patients who find CPAP masks uncomfortable or challenging to use consistently.

CPAP, on the other hand, involves wearing a mask that delivers continuous air pressure to keep the airways open during sleep. While CPAP is highly effective in treating sleep apnoea, some patients may find it uncomfortable or experience difficulty with compliance due to the mask. Compliance rates with mandibular advancement splints have been reported to be higher than CPAP, potentially due to their more comfortable and less intrusive nature.

Side Effects and Considerations

Considering potential side effects and factors to take into account when choosing between mandibular advancement splint devices and CPAP is essential for making an informed decision regarding sleep apnoea treatment.

When comparing these two treatment options, several key considerations should be kept in mind:

  1. Side Effects: Mandibular advancement splints may cause jaw discomfort or changes in bite alignment, while CPAP can lead to nasal congestion, dryness, or skin irritation.
  2. Long-term Health Effects: The long-term effects of using mandibular advancement splints versus CPAP on overall health, particularly cardiovascular health, should be considered when selecting a treatment method.
  3. Individual Factors: Each individual’s preferences, sleep patterns, severity of sleep apnoea, and comfort levels with the devices should be carefully evaluated to determine the most suitable treatment option.

Key Takeaways

For those seeking help against sleep apnoea, the decision between the mandibular advancement splint device and CPAP is crucial. Both offer unique advantages and challenges, but the choice between comfort and compliance, effectiveness and convenience, will determine the ultimate champion in achieving a restful sleep. 

To navigate these options and find the solution that suits you best, reach out to Dental Sleep Professionals at 02 9538 7218 (NSW) / 07 3477 9357 (QLD). 

Take charge of your sleep health today!