- Effects of occlusal stabilization splints on obstructive sleep apnea: a randomized controlled trial
- Journal of Orofacial Pain
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
AIMS: To assess the influence of occlusal stabilization splints on sleep-related respiratory variables in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients.
METHODS: Ten OSA patients (47.3 ± 11.7 years of age) received a stabilization splint in the maxilla. All patients underwent three polysomnographic recordings with their splint in situ, and three recordings without their splint in situ, using a randomized crossover design.
RESULTS: Repeated-measures ANOVAs did not yield statistically significant differences in the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) or in the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), neither between the three nights without the stabilization splint (AHI: F = 2.757, P = .090; ESS: F = 0.153, P = .860) nor between the nights with the splint in situ (AHI: F = 0.815, P = .458; ESS: F = 0.231, P = .796). However, independent ANOVAs revealed that the mean AHI of the three nights with the stabilization splint in situ (17.4 ± 7.0 events/hour) was significantly higher than that of the nights without the splint in situ (15.9 ± 6.4 events/hour) (F = 7.203, P = .025). The mean increase in AHI with the splint in situ was 1.4 ± 1.7 (95% confidence interval = -1.9-4.7). No difference in ESS was found when both conditions were compared (F = 1.000, P = .343).
CONCLUSION: The use of an occlusal stabilization splint is associated with a risk of aggravation of OSA; however, the effect size was small, which reduces the clinical relevance of the study.
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