Options If You Hate Your CPAP

I have mild sleep apnea and have been using a CPAP device for a few years. I really don’t like it. The sound scares my wife. It’s bulky, invasive, and uncomfortable. Are there options or is my wife stuck sleeping with Darth Vader?

Ben H. – Colorado

Ben,

You’re not alone in your dislike of a CPAP. We’ve heard from quite a few patients seeking an alternative.

Before your wife starts threatening you with a Jedi battle, I’d talk to a dentist familiar with sleep apnea and all the treatments available.

There is an oral device that can be used. It looks a little like a sport’s mouth guard and doesn’t make any sounds.  However, it is only viable for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea.

I’m assuming, because you have a CPAP, that you’ve already had a sleep study done.  That will help your dentist determine if alternative treatments will work for you.

If you haven’t had a study done. I’d highly recommend it. You can often get your insurance to cover it with a note from your doctor.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can Tooth Bands Replace Porcelain Veneers?

I’ve been talking to my dentist about the gap between my front teeth. He suggested braces, but I felt that would be unsightly and time consuming. He then said my best option was to get porcelain veneers. He showed them to me and what he’d done for a couple of patients. I was really excited about them, until I saw the price. I don’t think I can pay that much. I recently saw an add for tooth bands. They’re only like $30 and they say they can close gaps in teeth.  Is that a good option?

Franny L. – Ohio

Franny,

I’m really glad you’ve written. These tooth bands are a gimmick and can cause you to do enough damage to your teeth that you could loose them. They’re basically just rubber bands, so charging you $30 for a set of them isn’t really a good deal.

However, I don’t agree with your dentist’s recommendations either. Porcelain veneers are an expensive over-treatment, if the only thing you wanted repaired was your tooth gap. It’s designed for people who want to completely change their smile. They can change the shape, size, and  color of your teeth, giving you a completely new smile.

The common treatment, with patients who don’t want to straighten their teeth, is to use dental bonding. It uses a composite resin and will close the gap. It’s much more affordable than porcelain veneers.

If the main thing you’re concerned about with braces is the unsightliness, then I’d suggest Invisalign as an option. They’re completely invisible. No one will know you’re wearing them, and they’ll straighten your teeth in half the time.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.