TAP-PAP Custom Mask – The most comfortable CPAP mask ever!
Every day we see Patients who snore and are fatigued or drowsy during the day. The first step for every one of these patients is to have a sleep study – in the past that was only possible in a sleep lab. Today we have another option – you can do a home sleep study – in the convenience and comfort of your own bed. Once we get the results which includes a diagnosis we can begin to help you. The most common diagnosis is sleep apnea. A serious medical condition which increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, acid reflux, excessive daytime fatigue, auto accidents, stroke, and more. . For 80% of those patients an oral appliance (dental mouthpiece) is effective in treating their snoring and getting them maximum medical improvement for their sleep apnea. . For 20% of patients oral appliance therapy (OAT) is not enough to treat their snoring and sleep apnea. In the past the only option was a CPAP machine (continuous positive air pressure) mask – secured to the face with straps and head gear.
The TAP-PAP Custom Mask was invented by Dr Thornton for post polio patients at the Dallas rehab institute in 1993.
- How is it made?
- Who can make this?
- Why would a person want this, or who would want this device?
- How long do they last?
- How does the cost compare to off the shelf masks?
- What are the biggest advantages of this mask compared to stock masks?
- straps, leakage and bed partner satisfaction (lower noise) Lower pressures – better experience
- They last a long time
- Ease of putting on and taking off
- Quiet for the spouse – since the custom mask fits so well it makes the CPAP much quieter
- Effective even for patients that cannot breath through their nose!
Ronald S. Prehn, ThM, D.D.S.
Avoiding the CPAP Mask… Comfort is King
by Dr. Jacques Doueck
As a dentist, specially trained in treating snoring and sleep apnea, patients come to me because they want to avoid the CPAP mask, headgear, and straps. For 80% of those patients an oral appliance (dental mouthpiece) is effective in treating their snoring and getting them maximum medical improvement for their sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is caused because the tongue and soft palate block your airway contributing to many medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, acid reflux, excessive daytime fatigue, auto accidents, stroke, and more. Because oral appliances are comfortable and easy to wear patients are very compliant (85%-95%) and use them every night, all night. If the patient can get maximum medical improvement with an oral appliance alone this is ideal. The patients seek out and readily accept this approach. Success is determined by a post treatment sleep study.
Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). This type of therapy consists of a device that goes into the mouth and attaches to the teeth in order to bring the jaw forward at night. By bringing the jaw forward, the tongue that is attached to the jaw comes forward also, thereby opening up the back of the throat. The base of the tongue collapsing against the airway is the cause of the obstruction and by bringing the jaw forward this physically opens up the airway, which makes it easier to breathe. These appliances are well documented to be successful and most people adapt to them very well.
Combination therapy. For 20% of patients oral appliance therapy (OAT) is not enough to treat their snoring and sleep apnea. In the past the only option was a stock off the shelf CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) mask – secured to the face with straps and head gear. Dr. Keith Thornton of Airway Management in Dallas, is the inventor and developer of the Custom Mask (TAP-PAP CM). Dr. Ronald Prehn, a dentist from Woodlands, Texas has published studies on the effectiveness of what most every patient has described as the “most comfortable design ever”. The custom Mask (TAP-PAP CM) has absolutely no straps or head gear. The stock CPAP masks have a rejection of almost 50% even by the people that need it most. The main reasons for rejection of the stock CPAP mask is leakage of the mask, pressure on the face, and straps around the head. On the other hand, a Custom Mask has no straps, no head gear and absolutely no leakage at any pressure. These combination devices are very comfortable because the mask is secured to the dental device. This avoids the need for the straps and headgear as well as getting the benefit of bringing the jaw forward which opens the airway and greatly reduces the air pressure needed. Just as important – because a mold is taken of the face – the fit of the mask is perfect. It’s like the difference between wearing drugstore insoles and custom orthotics inside your shoes – there is no comparison. The CPAP machine connects directly to the oral appliance. Only a dentist trained in how to take the facial mold and the dental device (TAP-PAP CM) is licensed to provide this care. Dr. Ronald Prehn working together with Dr. Keith Thornton the developer of the dental device, have a training program for dentists interested in offering this treatment.
When I show the custom mask – combination (TAP-PAP CM) to medical sleep specialists and technicians the reaction is the same. “This makes sense – this is what patients need. I have many patients that have stopped using their CPAP mask – they will definitely like this.” If you know someone that could benefit from “the most comfortable mask ever!” show them this article.
Dr. Ronald Prehn