Incorporating Dental Sleep Medicine

Why Incorporate Dental Sleep Medicine into Your Practice?

Adding this valuable service to your dental practice has the potential to not only improve the quality of lives of many of your patients, but also provide a new profit center for your business.

Dental Sleep Medicine is a relatively new specialty of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep disorders. These disorders represent those that result from airway obstructions that occur during sleep.

It is estimated that obstructive sleep disorders affect 5% of the Western world, most of which go unrecognized and undiagnosed despite the substantial mortality rates associated with them.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition where the throat collapses during sleep, disrupting breathing and repeatedly rouses a person from sleep. Sleep experts estimate 80-90% of people with Sleep Apnea are unaware of their condition.

Risk for OSA increases with age and weight gain. Obstructive Sleep Apnea raises the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and driving accidents. Untreated OSA is frequently linked to cognitive decline. Symptoms can exacerbate or mimic dementia symptoms.

Sleep studies indicate that sleep-disordered breathing is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome.  A group of India-based researchers found that OSA patients were three times more likely to experience obesity, hypertension, diabetes, mellitus and hperlipidema (HLP). HLP patients have high blood cholesterol and triglycerides.

Dentists are in a unique position to be able to help.  Because dentists see patients on a regular basis, they would have an opportunity to screen for Sleep Apnea. If a screening indicates the patient is at risk for OSA, the Sleep Optima dentist can provide treatment services.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Benefits

  • Improved cognitive function. Relieves excessive daytime sleepiness and hypertension.
  • Sleep Apnea is often disguised as dementia in older adults – treating Sleep Apnea improves attention, judgment and decision making
  • OSA treatment may reduce gastro esophageal reflux (GER) by decreasing strain where the esophagus and stomach meet. GER symptoms include heartburn and acid reflux.
  • A study in the journal Sleep and Breathing found that treating Sleep Apnea may help reverse infertility. The study identified changes in the serum prolactin (PRL) secretion, which affects fertility.
  • Better asthma control. In a recent study of sleep-disordered breathing and asthma, it was discovered that both disorders can go hand in hand negatively influencing sleep quality.
  • OSA not only affects the health and mood of sufferers, but it also impacts bed partners. A study from the journal Sleep and Breathing found that treating primary snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can improve a bed partner’s depression.
  • A good night’s sleep can help keep weight down. The findings of several recent studies examining the relationship between weight gain and sleep deprivation, have indicated there is a possibility that the amount of sleep can influence weight gain.
  • Improved attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. A review of OSA and ADHD published 2011 in the August issue of Annals of Clinical Psychiatry found that 20% to 30% of patients with full-blown ADHD had OSA. After OSA treatment, patients saw improvement in behavior, attention span, and overall ADHD symptoms.

Sleep Optima provides dental practices with the services necessary to successfully implement dental sleep medicine. We focus on education and training for sleep dentistry staff, continuing education for dentists, home sleep testing services, medical oversight and medical insurance billing services.

Contact us for more information on how you can get started!

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