Current opinions and clinical practice in the titration of oral appliances in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing

Sleep Med Rev. 2012 Apr;16(2):177-85. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.06.002. Epub 2011 Oct 26.


Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by recurrent obstruction of the upper airway during sleep, resulting in episodic reductions in blood oxygen saturation and arousals from sleep. Mandibular repositioning appliances (MRAs) which are worn intra-orally at night, mechanically advance the mandible to help maintain a patent oropharygeal airway and have been proven to be an effective alternative for continuous positive airway pressure in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Titratable MRAs are designed to gradually protrude the mandible applying an easy-to-use mechanical advancing mechanism, until a protrusive position with positive effect on sleep apnea is reached. Considering the relatively low-tech approach of the basic advancement mechanism, the interest in the mechanistic element of the dental treatment of obstructive sleep apnea has increased. The present paper provides an overview of the different titration protocols described in the recent literature together with a discussion of both the clinical and mechanical aspects of treatment. At present, a consensus exists that an optimal titration protocol is of primary importance to achieve a successful treatment outcome with an MRA. To date however, there is no consensus on how to define the optimal titration protocol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Humans
  • Mandible
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / therapy*