Major Win in the Battle for Oral Appliance Legitimacy
- Posted on: Jan 20 2012
U.S Army researchers recently cast a spotlight on adjustable oral appliances, with results of their study published in the Journal CHEST, titled “Efficacy of an Adjustable Oral Appliance and Comparison to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome,” where they evaluated and compared results of overnight sleep studies in which patients used adjustable oral appliances or CPAP devices. Results were measured by the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) score, used to assess the severity of sleep apnea based on the total number of complete cessations (apnea) and partial obstructions (hypoapnea) of breathing that last for at least 10 seconds per hour of sleep. The researchers found that a significantly higher percentage of patients using an adjustable oral appliance experienced successful reduction of their AHI score to below five apneic events per hour in this study compared to past reports (62.3 percent versus 54 percent)
Oral appliance therapy was recommended by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine in February of 2006 for the treatment of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for CPAP intolerant patients. And here we are some 6 years later with the medical community still questioning the efficacy of oral appliance therapy, supporting their “concern” based on the lack of scientific studies to support it’s efficacy. Well, here’s yet another study, and rather large at that!
If oral appliance therapy isn’t efficacious….why does every major medical insurance carrier provide benefits for the therapy?
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