Background: Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing during sleep due to an alteration in anatomy or function of upper airway. When the airway collapses during sleep, oxygen desaturation and sleep fragmentation appears, leading to sleepiness, tiredness, neuropsiquiatric and cardiometabolic diseases. Prevalence of symptomatic sleep apnea in Spain is 6%. Mandibular advancement device (MAD) changes mandibular and tongue position and increases pharyngeal airway dimensions. It is indicated for snoring and sleep apnea treatment.
Aim: To analyze the effectiveness and clinical benefits (both subjective and objective) of MAD in sleep apnea patients as a previous step to future corrective surgery.
Materials and method: We have studied 18 sleep apnea patients treated in our unit with MAD from 2011 to 2013. We have compared sleep and clinical variables prior to treatment and after six months using MAD.
Results: 16 patients improved in polysomnographic, clinical and radiological variables. Subjective improvement was observed in all patients. We have not detected changes in occlusion nor appearance of TMJ symptoms.
Discussion: MAD is a useful treatment in sleep apnea, even in cases with severe disorder, with high successful rates. Longterm use might induce occlusal or TMJ alterations. Further evaluation is necessary.