1. Why are dentists in an ideal position to identify and treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Patients see the dentist more frequently than their primary care physician. Physicians often have 15 minutes or less to address the main issue with the patient during the visit. Primary care physicians do not generally inquire about snoring or sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is primarily an issue of the upper airway – there are many dental signs and symptoms that are correlated with obstructive sleep apnea.
By offering an in-home sleep testing option for diagnosis, and oral appliance therapy for treatment, a dentist is able to offer a much more preferable alternative to patients than an overnight lab sleep test, and CPAP.