Don't Like Your CPAP? Learn About our Sleep Apnea Solution

Did you know that at least 18 million American adults are affected by sleep apnea? This troublesome condition can be dangerous if left untreated because of the effect it has on your breathing. 


Fortunately, in today’s modern world, there are solutions to help keep sleep apnea at bay. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are one solution that works by keeping your airway open. This helps lower your risk of complications, but CPAP machines are bulky and require you to wear an uncomfortable mask.


At Robert F. Wilcox, DMD, PC in Butte, Montana, we have a better sleep apnea solution. As part of our comprehensive line of general and cosmetic dentistry services, Dr. Wilcox can provide you with an oral appliance custom-made to fit over your teeth, possibly eliminating your need for a CPAP machine at night. 


Read on to learn more about our sleep apnea solution.   

Sleep apnea 101

When you stop breathing repeatedly for brief periods of time during your sleep, you have a disorder called sleep apnea. There are three types of sleep apnea, all of which affect your breathing. 

Obstructive sleep apnea

Most people have what’s called obstructive sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea happens when the muscles in your throat relax, closing your airway. When your airway closes, you stop breathing. The most common symptoms of sleep apnea? You guessed it: snoring.

Central sleep apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs less commonly than obstructive sleep apnea. When your brain doesn’t send the right breathing signals to the muscles in your throat during sleep, you stop breathing.  

Combined type sleep apnea

Some people have more than one type of sleep apnea. This is called combined type sleep apnea and is diagnosed if you have both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. 

How CPAPs work

CPAP machines treat sleep apnea by using air pressure greater than room air. This ensures the CPAP keeps your airways open to prevent breathing troubles. At the same time, CPAPs are bulky and require you to wear a mask while in bed. 


Although the mask isn’t dangerous, it does surround your head and covers your nose. This makes some people very uncomfortable and may even make sleep elusive. Besides the CPAP, other airway pressure sleep apnea devices are available, but they require a mask, too.  

A different sleep apnea solution

Dr. Wilcox provides a sleep apnea solution without the mask. A custom-designed oral appliance called a snore guard fits like a mouthguard or retainer, exerting force on your lower jaw to prevent the muscles in your throat from closing. The result? Easier breathing all night long.  


Plus, with our oral device, snoring often becomes a thing of the past. CPAPs can help stop snoring, but a snore guard is easier to clean and store, more comfortable to wear, and easy to take with you when you travel.   


We can discuss sleep apnea solutions with you during your regular dental exam or during a special consultation. 

Which sleep apnea solution should I choose?

The best way to choose a sleep apnea solution is by consulting with a trained specialist, like Dr. Wilcox. If our team finds a snore guard is right for you, we take an impression of your teeth so the custom device will fit comfortably and correct your symptoms. 

Now that you know a CPAP machine isn’t your only option for sleep apnea, contact us at our Butte, Montana, office to learn if a snore guard is the right solution for you. Call us today to schedule your consultation.

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