Dentists have several ways of treating sleep apnea and restoring healthy sleep patterns. Treatment may involve a CPAP, an oral appliance, or surgical intervention. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It maintains a positive flow of air into the nose as a person sleeps. The positive airflow creates pressure that forces a person to keep breathing. CPAP requires patients to wear a mask which often times is cumbersome and hinders a patient’s ability to sleep. Thus an alternative treatment would be the use of an oral appliance. An oral appliance is worn only during sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Some of the advantages of an oral appliance are comfort, ease of usage and wear, it is quiet, and it is easy to maintain and clean. There have also been technological advances that use a subcutaneous implant that sends signals to the lungs to maintain a steady breathing pattern. Medical professionals who deal with patients who suffer from sleep apnea recommend losing weight as a way of releasing pressure on the diaphragm and allowing a more natural breathing pattern.