At Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center, we aim to match every patient with the best sleep apnea treatment for them. We do this by offering a full range of treatment options. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is probably the most commonly prescribed sleep apnea treatment, and it’s an excellent option for about half of its users. Others may benefit from a CPAP alternative.

Which is best for you? Our sleep doctors and dentists can evaluate your condition and talk to you about your preferences to help you find the sleep apnea treatment that will be effective for you. Call us at (402) 493-4175 today to book an appointment.

What Is CPAP?

CPAP keeps your airway open with a constant flow of air. The pressure supports your airway to keep it from collapsing. It also ensures your body has an air supply even if breathing stops at night. In controlled studies, CPAP has shown that it can be up to 100% effective. CPAP works for both obstructive and central sleep apnea and all grades of sleep apnea, from mild to severe. That’s why CPAP is often considered the gold standard for sleep apnea treatment.

CPAP has three essential components: the pump, the tube, and the mask. Additional accessories for comfort, such as heaters and humidifiers, are included in some CPAP machines or can be added separately. The pump creates the airflow. You can regulate the air pressure, turning it up or down to achieve the proper pressure to hold your airway open, but hopefully, it isn’t uncomfortable and doesn’t cause too many side effects. Some CPAP machines can ramp up their pressure so you fall asleep with a relatively low pressure that increases to therapeutic levels while you sleep.

The tube carries the air to the mask, which delivers the air to your body.

Types of CPAP Masks

There are several different styles of CPAP masks, so you can try different ones to find one that works for you. Here are some of the most common types.

Nasal Prongs

Nasal prongs use two tubes to deliver air to your nostrils. These swell under pressure to close off the airway. This minimal mask makes it easy to move and is suitable for people with claustrophobia and concerns about their CPAP. However, it can’t deliver high air pressure or other mask types.

Nasal Pillow

The nasal pillow is a small mask shaped like a pillow that fastens under your nose. A little more substantial than nasal prongs, it’s still a minimal mask that can reduce claustrophobic feelings. It can also create a more significant seal to allow for higher pressure.

Nasal Mask

A nasal mask fits over the nose. By creating the seal around the nose, this mask reduces the pressure of the CPAP mask on the nose. However, it is a larger mask, which means more contact with your skin and, for some people, more claustrophobic feelings.

Oral Mask

An oral mask covers your mouth, although it might also have a nasal pillow-like extension to plug your nose. This mask is suitable for people who breathe through their mouths.

Oronasal or Full-Face Masks

This type of mask covers your nose and mouth. Although they’re often called full-face masks, they don’t cover your entire face. As the largest masks, these can cause the most skin-related complications. It can also be the most claustrophobic type of mask.


The TAP-PAP is not a mask, per se. It’s an oral appliance that repositions your jaw while delivering pressurized air through your mouth. This can help you get great results from CPAP at a lower pressure.

What to Expect with CPAP

With CPAP, a sleep doctor will help you decide which type of machine and mask is best for you. They will help you find the correct pressure to use and may recommend accessories to improve your experience with CPAP. If your insurance is paying for CPAP, they suggest you try it for about 90 days to see if you can adapt to it before trying another option. This is plenty of time for many people to determine if CPAP is right for them. For people who adapt to the treatment, it may take just a few days or weeks to begin sleeping comfortably through the night. However, some people may initially adapt to CPAP but may abandon it later.

Overall, about 50% of people prescribed CPAP don’t use the treatment long-term.

Factors That Affect CPAP Adoption

So, how do you know if CPAP will work out for you? This can be hard to determine before you start treatment. However, some factors that influence whether you’ll adapt to CPAP include the level of support, type of symptoms, psychological factors, and side effects.

Level of Support

How much support you have from your sleep doctor, your equipment provider, and others will make a significant impact on your ability to stick with CPAP over the short- and long-term. Some people get a lot of support initially, making it easy to adapt to CPAP, but the lack of ongoing support may make it hard to address side effects later on.

Work with the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center in Omaha. We’ll connect you with a sleep doctor dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain excellent and ongoing results with CPAP.

Symptoms and Symptom Relief

People are more likely to comply with CPAP if they’re getting visible relief from disruptive CPAP symptoms. If you had morning headaches or daytime sleepiness that made it hard to function, but they went away quickly with CPAP, it’s easier to stick to the treatment.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors can also impact your ability to stick with CPAP. Some of the factors that are associated with poor CPAP compliance include:

  • Not seeing benefit
  • Being told by someone else to get sleep apnea treatment instead of picking it for yourself
  • No one sharing your bed or home to encourage you to use the device.
  • Claustrophobia
  • Anxiety or depression

This isn’t just a factor of having difficulty sticking with medical care generally. Many people who do well with other treatments can find it hard to comply with CPAP.

Side Effects

Perhaps 70% of people who use CPAP experience one or more side effects, such as:

  • Disruption of bedtime routine
  • Skin irritation and breakouts
  • Poor mask fit
  • Dry or irritated airways
  • Irritation from pump sounds
  • Gassiness and bloating from air forced into the stomach

Not everyone who experiences these side effects finds it impossible to adapt to CPAP. Often, it just takes good support to help people overcome these side effects and get great results with CPAP over the long term.

Schedule an Appointment with a Sleep Dentist in Omaha

If you are looking for sleep apnea treatment options in Omaha, Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center can help. We can help you determine if CPAP is right for you and refer you to a sleep dentist if it is. Otherwise, we can provide you with a comfortable, convenient CPAP alternative.

Please call (402) 493-4175 or use our online form today to request an appointment.