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Research Article Open Access
Introduction: While Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is widely used to manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), compliance can be problematic in some cases. These patients are often referred for Mandibular Advancement Devices (MADs) but there is less evidence of their efficacy in severe cases. We investigated the use of biomimetic oral appliance therapy (BOAT) to test the hypothesis that severe cases of OSA can be addressed using BOAT.
Materials and Methods: 15 consecutive adults aged >21 yrs with severe OSA that were unable to comply with CPAP according to a medical physician were treated using BOAT with or without primary mandibular advancement by a dentist with advanced training in dental sleep medicine. The mean Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) of the sample was calculated prior to and after BOAT with no appliance in the mouth during the sleep studies. The findings were subjected to statistical analysis, using paired t-tests.
Results: Prior to treatment the mean AHI of the study sample was 45.9 hr-1 ± 10.5. A follow-up sleep study at 9.7 mos. ± 1.9 showed a 64% decrease in AHI to a mean value of 16.5 hr-1 ± 8.8 after BOAT (p<0.01) with no appliance in the mouth during the post-treatment sleep studies. Results for those without primary mandibular advancement were: 46.6 hr-1 ± 12.9 pre-treatment vs. 13.9 hr-1 ± 10.5 after BOAT (p<0.01); and for those treated with initial mandibular advancement: 45.2 hr-1 ± 8 pre-treatment vs. 19.5 hr-1 ± 6 after BOAT (p<0.01).
Conclusions: BOAT may be a useful method of managing severe cases of OSA in adults, and represents an alternative to CPAP and MADs. However, long-term follow up is needed to reach more definitive conclusions on these initial findings.
Biomimetic, Oral appliance therapy, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders