top of page

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: What Prosthodontists Need to Know

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common yet serious condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. [1] As prosthodontists, we have a unique role in identifying and managing OSA, especially with oral appliance therapy for select patients.

Why Prosthodontists Should Care about OSA

Our in-depth understanding of oral structures places us at the forefront of recognizing OSA risk factors. OSA has far-reaching health consequences beyond just disruptive sleep – it's been linked to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, daytime sleepiness, and accidents. [2, 4, 5] By contributing to OSA care, we improve not only our patients' sleep, but their overall health and well-being.

Treatment and Diagnosis of OSA

While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) remains the gold-standard treatment for moderate to severe OSA, oral appliance therapy (OAT) is a valid option for mild to moderate cases or patients who cannot tolerate CPAP. [2, 4, 5] As prosthodontists, we're experts in custom-fitting and managing these appliances.

Confirming an OSA diagnosis typically involves overnight polysomnography (sleep study), with home testing as an alternative in certain cases. [4, 5] While screening questionnaires exist, it's important to remember they have limitations and shouldn't replace formal diagnosis. [5]

Collaboration is Key

Prosthodontists don't treat OSA in isolation. Successful patient outcomes often rely on referring to sleep physicians and working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The Bottom Line

By understanding OSA, its health risks, and treatment options, prosthodontists can significantly improve patient care. Oral appliance therapy is a valuable tool in our arsenal, and collaboration with other healthcare providers leads to the best results for our patients.


  1. Mohan, S., Gowda, E., & Banari, A. (2015). Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): A prosthodontic perspective.. Medical journal, Armed Forces India, 71 Suppl 2, S395-9 .

  2. Jordan, A., McSharry, D., & Malhotra, A. (2014). Adult obstructive sleep apnoea. The Lancet, 383, 736-747.

  3. Chander, N. (2020). Sleep apnea and prosthodontic implications. The Journal of the Indian Prosthodontic Society, 20, 335 - 337.

  4. Kabir, A., Ifteqar, S., & Bhat, A. (2013). Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults. Hospital Practice, 41, 57 - 65.

  5. Semelka, M., Wilson, J., & Floyd, R. (2016). Diagnosis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Adults.. American family physician, 94 5, 355-60 .

Recent Posts

See All

Handling Properties of Impression Materials

Introduction: Handling Properties of Impression Materials In the realm of dentistry, achieving impeccable impressions requires a delicate balance of not only physical, chemical, and mechanical propert


bottom of page