The Centers for Disease Control estimates more than 12 million Americans are suffocating in their sleep due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Most cases remain undiagnosed and contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, and traffic accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Dentistry serves a vital role in treating this under-diagnosed epidemic. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliances as a first line therapy for the treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and for patients with severe sleep apnea whose CPAP treatment has failed.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Apnea literally means “cessation of breath.” If you have sleep apnea, your breath can become very shallow or you may even stop breathing while you are asleep.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common form of apnea. OSA is characterized by a partial or complete collapse of the upper airway that causes muscles controlling the soft palate and tongue to relax, effectively closing the airway.
OSA is typically diagnosed using a polysomnogram or “sleep study.” During a sleep study, a sleep physician monitors brain activity and body system functioning while a patient rests overnight at a sleep clinic. The sleep physician evaluates the data collected during the sleep study to diagnose sleep disorders and recommend treatment. A dentist trained in sleep medicine works together with sleep physicians to treat obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.
How can an oral appliance treat snoring & breathing?
Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be treated with surgery, CPAP or BiPAP machines, or oral appliance therapy. Oral appliance therapy is the least invasive treatment and is a first line of treatment for mild to moderate OSA. It involves the selection, fitting, and use of an appliance to hold the jaw forward and maintain an open airway in the throat during sleep.
The benefits of partnering with DPS to treat your OSA patients
DPS is an industry leader in equipping dentists to successfully practice dental sleep medicine. When you choose to partner with DPS, you can expect:
- A variety of FDA-cleared oral appliances crafted to suit your patients’ unique needs
- Nationally-recognized quality craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail
- Continuing education course offerings to keep you and your staff current on changes in oral appliance therapy
- Patient and community education ideas for promoting the effectiveness of oral appliance therapy
- Assistance in understanding how to collaborate with sleep clinics and file for medical insurance benefits
Get Started Treating OSA
- 2015 Clinical Practice Guidelines
- Screening Tools
- Impression and George Gauge Guides
- Sleep Appliance Comparison Chart
- Dental Sleep Medicine Rx Form
- Panthera DSAD Rx Form
- Fitting and Titration Guides
- Dental Sleep Medicine Appliance Preference Sheet
- Additional Resources