Philips Recall: Oral Appliance Therapy may be a Solution

In June 2021, Philips Respironics issued a voluntary recall for certain respiratory devices, including Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP) machines. See the TGA recall notice for a full list here.

Often praised for its ‘whisper quiet’ use, the recall is due to risks posed by the polyurethane foam component used to muffle sounds and vibrations emitted by these devices. According to Philips, the foam may break down over time into small particles and potentially be inhaled by the user.

Phillips has begun the process to repair and replace the devices. Meanwhile, the potential health risks identified have resulted in Phillips recommending discontinued use for CPAP and Bi-Level PAP devices and to work with a physician to determine appropriate alternatives for continued treatment. This has left millions of users anxious and uncertain on what to do next.

Although far less commonly known and prescribed than CPAP, oral appliance therapy has effectively treated many patients with mild to even severe sleep apnoea in some cases. This often compromises those who have trouble tolerating or prefer an alternative treatment to first-line therapy, CPAP.

Oral appliance therapy is well supported by literature, eliminating or significantly reducing the symptoms of sleep apnoea through an oral appliance. In place, the removable guards hold the lower jaw and tongue in a forward position preventing partial or complete airway collapse.

Often patients who respond well to oral appliance therapy tend to be more compliant than with CPAP. However, it is important to recognise that there are many factors that influence the upper airway during sleep which may affect your suitability for an oral appliance.

A dentist trained in sleep medicine collaboratively works with your physician to find an oral appliance that best suits your needs. If you wish to seek a consultation with Dr Rob Shea, our resident sleep medicine dentist, please contact us on (08) 8239 0000. A sleep study and referral are generally required to seek a consultation, especially to claim health insurance.