Several factors can cause obstructive sleep apnea. Depending on the cause, there is a recommended treatment for it. Treatments can come in the form of appliances, therapies, and surgery. Choosing a treatment for sleep apnea requires a delicate balance of convenience, comfort, cost, and effectiveness. This guide will discuss the sleep apnea oral appliance costs to help you choose the most cost-effective one.
How much do different sleep apnea treatments cost?
Lifestyle changes are the best start for anyone looking to treat sleep apnea. In some cases, additional treatment is recommended, and it will be based on the cause and extent of the health problem. Surgery is a last resort when it comes to sleep apnea treatment. Surgery is recommended based on the severity of the condition and the patient’s overall health.
Proper treatment starts with a sleep physician’s diagnosis. Skilled practitioners assess the patient by conducting tests and physical exams and examining symptoms. Treatment cost varies based on different factors, such as location, devices used, and the medical provider. Also, out-of-pocket costs vary significantly based on the patient’s insurance benefits. All of these factors make comparing costs difficult.
Breaking down the cost of different sleep apnea treatments
The loud snoring in OSA happens when the throat muscles relax so that the soft tissues collapse and block the airways. The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is considered the most reliable treatment for the condition – it keeps the airways open. It provides a steady stream of air through the mask, minimizing the risk of soft tissues collapsing, thus helping you achieve a better and more restorative sleep.
However, for CPAP machines to be effective, you must replace them every five years. Here is a breakdown of CPAP machine treatment costs.
- With humidifier – $600 to $850 (average $700 to $750)
- Without humidifier – The ow-end may be $300 or below, standard models are $500 or above
- AutoCPAP: Low-end models cost $400 to $500, while higher-end models are between 650 to $900 (average $700 to $850)
- Travel CPAP: These range from $250 to $1,300 (cash only, not covered by insurance)
Bi-Level Positive Airway Machines (BiPAP) are similar to CPAP in design and function. They are both used to keep the airways from collapsing, allowing sleep apnea patients to breathe normally and sleep better.
The difference, however, is that BiPAP air pressure is not constant. Instead, it delivers higher pressure when you breathe in and lower pressure when you breathe out. This means more manageable and more comfortable breathing, as it alternates air pressure based on the stage of breathing of the patient.
Many sleep apnea patients or those with similar breathing problems are prescribed CPAP first, but later move on to BiPAP for better breathing. BiPAP is beneficial for severe sleep apnea and people suffering from congestive heart failure. However, since BiPAP machines are more sophisticated, they tend to be more expensive than CPAP machines. Most insurance coverage pays for a percentage of the device.
- Low-end models range from $875 to $1,000 and many standard models are $1,600 to $2,000
- Machines with Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) can cost between $3,000 and $4,500
Aside from the initial cost of the device, you also need to consider the ongoing supplies for the PAP therapy, which include:
Mask – You must replace PAP masks every three months. The price depends on the style. You can choose from full-face masks, nasal masks, nasal pillows, or hybrid masks. The price usually ranges from $50 to $165. Most models are under $100.
Mask cushion – Mask cushions cost $40 to $70 and are replaced every two to four weeks.
Heated tubing – Heated tubing costs $25 to $60 and is replaced every three months.
Standard tubing – Standard tubing costs around $10 to $35 and is replaced every three months.
Reusable filter – Filters cost $5 to $10 and are replaced every six months.
Disposable filter – Disposable filters cost $1 to $4 and are replaced every couple of weeks to four weeks.
Humidifier chamber – This costs $20 to $40 and is replaced every six months.
CPAP cleaner – This accessory is not covered by insurance, but it is necessary. Lumin costs about $250, while SoClean 2 costs $400.
Several additional supplies might be necessary for your treatment. These supplies include mask liners, chinstraps, Liquicel cushions, strap or tubing covers or wraps, and Gecko nasal pads. The average cost for them is between $20 to $50 each.
While PAP machines are considered reliable and effective at minimizing snoring, some prefer mandibular advancement devices (MAD). MAD falls under the category of oral appliances. These tools are designed to bring the jaw slightly forward to help open the airways. Other devices hold the tongue in place and keep it from falling back to help keep the air passage open.
Oral appliances are used for people with mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea. As with other treatments, this requires consultation. However, it can be prescribed by a specialty dentist.
While there are over-the-counter oral appliances for sleep apnea, the best one for you is the one customized by your dentist. Your specialty dentists will fabricate a customized oral appliance using a plaster mold made from the impression of your mouth taken during your initial visit. You can visit your dentist in the future and have your oral device adjusted to ensure optimal treatment response without side effects.
Oral appliances, however, may need to be replaced at regular intervals, especially if you undergo dental work that alters your bite (fixing malocclusions).
An oral appliance designed for obstructive sleep apnea costs around $1,800 to $2,000. You can find cheaper alternatives online with prices ranging from $10 to $100. However, be cautious when buying them online as they might not be as effective or ideal for long-term use.
Surgery is the last resort in the treatment of sleep apnea. The cost of surgery for sleep apnea, of course, differs depending on the patient’s needs. The most common uvulopalatopharyngoplasty typically costs $6,400 – $10,000, or sometimes even more. However, it may be covered by insurance, mainly if it is explicitly prescribed for sleep apnea treatment.
The other surgical procedure for sleep apnea is called a hypoglossal nerve stimulator. This costs $30,000 to $40,000, including the placement of the device itself.
Maxillomandibular (jaw) advancement is also surgery for sleep apnea and has a high success rate. However, it can be expensive, costing around $80,000 to $100,000.
Minor nasal surgeries can cost upward of $10,000. Some examples of nasal surgeries are nasal septoplasty, throat surgery, soft palate surgery, and turbinate reduction.
While sleep apnea treatment can be expensive, its benefits cannot be overstated. Getting a good night’s sleep on a nightly basis is crucial for overall health and general wellbeing. Thus, the cost should not be a barrier to seeking help.