Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) represents a significant global health burden, with impact on cardiometabolic health, chronic disease, productivity loss and accident risk. Oral appliances (OA) are an effective therapy for OSA and work by enlarging and stabilising the pharyngeal airway to prevent breathing obstructions during sleep. Although recommended in clinical guidelines for OSA therapy, they are often considered only as second-line therapy following positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy failure. There has been a long-standing barrier to selecting OA over PAP therapy due to the inability to be certain about the level of efficacy in individual OSA patients. A range of methods to select OSA patients for OA therapy, based on the outcome of a single sleep study night, have been proposed, although none has been widely validated for clinical use. Emergent health outcome data suggest that equivalent apnoea–hypopnea index reduction may not be necessary to produce the same health benefits of PAP. This may be related to the more favourable adherence to OA therapy, which can now be objectively verified. Data on longer term health outcomes are needed, and there are additional opportunities for device improvement and combination therapy approaches. OAs have an important role in precision care of OSA as a chronic disorder through a multi-disciplinary care team. Future studies on real-world health outcomes following OA therapy are needed.
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