Document Type : Original Article


Dept. of Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge, Sri Ramchandra Institute of Higher Education and Research, Sriher, Indian.


Statement of the Problem: The common causes of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are identified as anatomic and/or functional abnormality in the oral cavity, oropharynx, velopharynx, and hypopharynx leading to compromised airway space and increased collapsibility.
Purpose: This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of implant-supported mandibular complete denture in improving the airway space among completely edentulous patients with OSA and compare it with conventional complete denture.
Materials and Method: In this observational study, completely edentulous individuals were screened with snoring, tiredness, observed apnea, high blood pressure, body mass index, age, neck circumference, and gender (STOP-Bang) questionnaire to evaluate the incidence of OSA. Ten mild-moderate patients were included as study participants. Lateral cephalograms (L1) made at the edentulous state was considered baseline. They were rehabilitated with complete denture prosthesis. One week after denture insertion, two implants were placed in the edentulous mandibular arch. Delayed loading protocol was followed. Lateral cephalogram (L2) was made 6 months after complete denture insertion and 6 months after implant-supported prosthesis (L3). Cephalometric tracings were used to evaluate change in upper airway space (UAS), middle airway space (MAS), and lower airway space (LAS). Repeated measures ANOVA was used to evaluate statistical significance in the airway measurements made at the three intervals. Post hoc Tukey HSD and Bonferroni test were used to assess if the differences obtained were truly significant.
Results: Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in UAS, MAS and LAS between L1, L2 and L3 (p< 0.05). Post hoc Tukey HSD indicated that UAS increased significantly at all three intervals followed by LAS and MAS respectively (α=.05). Post hoc Bonferroni test indicated that implant-supported mandibular complete dentures had a significant improvement in airway space when compared to conventional complete dentures (α=.05).
Conclusion: Implant-supported mandibular complete denture could be effective in edentulous patients with mild-moderate OSA.