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Clinical Investigations |

Evaluation of Variable Mandibular Advancement Appliance for Treatment of Snoring and Sleep Apnea*

Jeffrey Pancer, DDS; Salem Al-Faifi, MD; Mohamed Al-Faifi, MD; Victor Hoffstein, PhD, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Medicine, Respiratory Division, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Correspondence to: Victor Hoffstein, PhD, MD, FCCP, St. Michael’s Hospital, 30 Bond St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 1W8; e-mail: victor.hoffstein@utoronto.ca



Chest. 1999;116(6):1511-1518. doi:10.1378/chest.116.6.1511
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Objective: To evaluate an adjustable mandibular positioning appliance for treatment of snoring and sleep apnea.

Methods: One hundred thirty-four patients with baseline apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) of 37 ± 28 events/h (mean ± SD) received the appliance. The efficacy of the appliance was assessed by the following investigations, performed at baseline and with the appliance: polysomnography, Epworth sleepiness scale, bedpartners’ assessment of snoring severity, patients’ assessment of side effects, and overall satisfaction.

Results: Thirteen patients were lost to follow-up. An additional 46 patients had no follow-up polysomnography, but answered the questionnaires. A total of 75 patients had polysomnography at baseline and with the appliance. We found a significant reduction in AHI from 44 ± 28 events/h to 12 ± 15 events/h (p < 0.0005) and a reduction in the arousal index from 37 ± 27 events/h to 16 ± 13 events/h (p < 0.05). Epworth scores fell from 11 ± 5 to 7 ± 3 (p < 0.0005). Bedpartners’ assessment revealed marked improvement in snoring. For example, at baseline 96% of patients were judged to snore loudly“ often” or “always” by their bedpartners, whereas only 2% were judged so while using dental appliance. The most frequent side effect was teeth discomfort, present “sometimes” or “often” in up to 32% of patients. Follow-up clinical assessment in 121 patients conducted on the average 350 days after the insertion of the appliance revealed that 86% of patients continued to use the appliance nightly; 60% were very satisfied with the appliance, 27% were moderately satisfied, 11% were moderately dissatisfied, and 2% were very dissatisfied.

Conclusion: We conclude that the adjustable mandibular positioning appliance is an effective treatment alternative for some patients with snoring and sleep apnea.

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