One must understand that mild-to-moderate sleep apnea may be successfully treated with a custom made oral appliance. The reported success rate is >85% with one-year compliance @ >85%. Too often an oral appliance is over-looked and only considered when CPAP cannot be tolerated. When in fact, oral appliance therapy should be recommended for the initial treatment of mild-to-moderate sleep apnea.
On the other hand, severe sleep apnea should be treated with CPAP. And, oral appliance therapy used as an adjunct to CPAP therapy or in cases when patients are not compliant with CPAP. Patients who have severe sleep apnea should understand that oral appliance therapy may improve their condition to mild or moderate sleep apnea, but, may not eliminate the apnea all together.
CPAP is an excellent tool for helping to reduce the deleterious effects of sleep apnea. Other therapies must also be considered: Oral Appliances, Weight Loss, Diet and the Sleep Environment should be considered for all patients who have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.