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1. (WO2011085391) MANDIBULAR POSITIONING APPLIANCE
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Claims

What is claimed is:

1 . A device for managing sleep disordered breathing, comprising:

a mandibular positioning appliance configured to engage with the mouth and/or teeth of an individual, the mandibular positioning appliance comprising a maxillary element coupled to a mandibular element by a heat-moldable material in sufficient quantity to permit repositioning of the mandibular element with respect to the maxillary element when the heat-moldable material is in a heated state and to secure the maxillary element to the mandibular element when the heat-moldable material is in a non-heated state.

2. The device of claim 1 , wherein the heat-moldable material is positioned only between posterior portions of the maxillary element and the mandibular element leaving an anterior opening in the appliance between the maxillary element and the mandibular element.

3. The device of claim 1 , wherein the heat-moldable material forms a tongue retaining device coupled to the maxillary element and the mandibular element, the tongue retaining device including a bulb that defines a cavity, wherein the cavity is configured to receive a tongue of the individual.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein the bulb is narrower at a posterior portion of the bulb than at an anterior portion of the bulb.

5. The device of claim 1 , wherein the mandibular positioning appliance is configured to be coupled with at least one of a nasal airway interface and an oro-nasal airway interface.

6. A device for managing sleep disordered breathing comprising:

a mandibular positioning appliance configured to engage with a mouth and/or teeth of an individual;

an airway interface including an oro-nasal mask configured to be coupled to a source of input gas;

an adjustment mechanism configured to adjustably couple the oro-nasal mask to the mandibular positioning appliance; and

a receiving element coupled to the mandibular positioning appliance and configured to receive the adjustment mechanism;

wherein the oro-nasal mask is adjustable in a plurality of planes relative to the mandibular positioning appliance.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein the receiving element is pivotable relative to the oro-nasal mask when the receiving element is coupled to the adjustment mechanism.

8. The device of claim 6 wherein a longitudinal axis of the receiving element does not lie in a central plane of the mandibular positioning appliance.

9. The device of claim 6 wherein the mandibular positioning appliance comprises: a maxillary element configured to engage maxillary teeth of the individual;

a mandibular element configured to engage mandibular teeth of the individual; a heat-moldable material coupling the maxillary element to the mandibular element.

10. The device of claim 6 wherein the receiving element is coupled to a support arm and the support arm is coupled to the heat-moldable material.

1 1 . The device of claim 10 wherein the support arm is configured to impede a direct flow of gas from the input gas supply to the mouth of the individual.

12. The device of claim 10 wherein the support arm is flexible.

13. A device for managing sleep disordered breathing, comprising:

an airway interface configured to be coupled to a source of input gas; and a mandibular positioning appliance coupled to the airway interface and configured to engage with a mouth and/or teeth of an individual, the mandibular positioning appliance comprising a maxillary element coupled to a mandibular element by a heat-moldable material.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein the airway interface includes at least one of a nasal strapless mask and an oro-nasal strapless mask.

15. The device of claim 13 wherein the mandibular positioning appliance further includes a tongue retaining device formed from the heat-moldable material.

16. A method for managing sleep disordered breathing in a patient, comprising: fitting the patient with a mandibular positioning appliance, the mandibular positioning appliance configured to engage with a mouth and/or teeth of an individual and comprising a maxillary element coupled to a mandibular element by a heat-moldable material, wherein the fitting comprises:

heating the heat-moldable material to a heated state;

positioning the mandibular element in a first position relative to the maxillary element; and

cooling the heat-moldable material to a non-heated state.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising determining the patient's sleep improvement as a result of the patient utilizing the mandibular positioning appliance for a period of time, and modifying a treatment based on the determining.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the modifying comprises providing at least one of: a nasal PAP system to couple with the mandibular positioning appliance, an oro-nasal PAP system to couple with the mandibular positioning appliance, and a tongue

retaining device to couple with the mandibular positioning appliance, to provide a combination therapy.

19. The method of claim 16, further comprising:

re-heating the heat-moldable material to a heated state;

positioning the mandibular element in a second position relative to the maxillary element, the second position being different than the first position; and

cooling the heat-moldable material to a non-heated state.