Discipline of Dental Public Health.
Oral appliances (OAs) are increasingly advocated as a treatment option for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). However, it is unclear how their different design features influence treatment efficacy. The aim of this research was to systematically review the evidence on the efficacy of different OAs on polysomnographic indices of OSA. A MeSH and text word search were developed for Medline, Embase, Cinahl, and the Cochrane library. The initial search identified 1475 references, of which 116 related to studies comparing OAs with control appliances. Among those, 14 were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which formed the basis of this review. The type of OA investigated in these trials was mandibular advancement devices (MADs), which were compared with either inactive appliances (six studies) or other types of MADs with different design features. Compared with inactive appliances, all MADs improved polysomnographic indices, suggesting that mandibular advancement is a crucial design feature of OA therapy for OSA. The evidence shows that there is no one MAD design that most effectively improves polysomnographic indices, but that efficacy depends on a number of factors including severity of OSA, materials and method of fabrication, type of MAD (monobloc/twin block), and the degree of protrusion (sagittal and vertical). These findings highlight the absence of a universal definition of treatment success. Future trials of MAD designs need to be assessed according to agreed success criteria in order to guide clinical practice as to which design of OAs may be the most effective in the treatment of OSA.
Eur J Orthod. 2011 Jan 13.
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