The outcome of oral appliance therapy on position-dependent obstructive sleep apnea: A multicenter randomized controlled trial

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2022 Sep;162(3):386-393. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2021.04.029. Epub 2022 May 11.


Introduction: This multicenter trial on patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treated with an oral appliance aimed to determine the effect of sleeping positions.

Methods: A cohort of 314 patients with OSA were enrolled and evaluated at 8 weeks and 1 year, focusing on treatment effects. At baseline and the 2 follow-ups, new polygraphic registration comparing the proportion of treatment responders without position-dependent OSA (non-position-dependent OSA [non-POSA]) and with POSA was used.

Results: At the 8-week and 1-year follow-up, 205 and 139 patients were included, respectively. The proportion of responders (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] <10 and/or ≥50% reduction in AHI) was 56% for the non-POSA group and 69% for the POSA group (not significant [NS]). The responders increased at the 1-year follow-up: 68% and 77% for the non-POSA and POSA groups (NS), respectively. The absolute change in AHI in all sleeping positions at 8 weeks was -12.9 (interquartile range, -25.0 to -0.5) in the non-POSA group and -10.5 (interquartile range, -19.9 to -5.3; NS) in the POSA group. However, the decrease in supine AHI was significantly greater among subjects with POSA. In contrast, the decrease in nonsupine AHI was significantly greater in the non-POSA group, an effect that remained at the 1-year follow-up.

Conclusions: Our hypothesis that subjects with POSA at baseline would have a higher treatment response rate after oral appliance treatment compared with subjects without POSA was rejected. However, those with POSA had a significantly higher supine AHI decrease, and those without POSA had significantly less nonsupine AHI.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / therapy
  • Supine Position / physiology