It has been several weeks now since I have returned from the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and as I review my material and all that I learned from that meeting my enthusiasm for providing this wonderful service for my patients grows.
For example, the latest in appliance therapy was on display from the top companies in the industry. We now have options to treat patients with few to no teeth with sleep appliances as well as those that grind their teeth at night and have muscle pain and need oral appliance therapy. Probably the most exciting advance is in combination therapy which is the combination of a CPAP mask and an oral appliance. These masks can now be custom made to fit your face and are attached to an oral appliance which makes them easier to wear, allows the air pressure to be decreased and is a possible solution for those patients who have failed CPAP therapy. I will be taking some advanced training in combination therapy later this month and will share more with you soon.
Some of the latest research was also presented at the meeting as well as extensive reviews of the past research and clinical experience of many of the experts in dental sleep medicine. Among the highlights is that attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children could be a misdiagnosed sleep disorder. Sleep questionnaires can help us detect these disorders in children. A lot of talk and research focused on how we can better predict which patients will have success with oral appliance therapy. One study for example looked at tongue size as a possible predictor of success.
Our knowledge in the field of dental sleep medicine is rapidly expanding as the need for oral appliance therapy greatly increases in our patients. I look forward to working with my medical colleagues and sharing with both them and our patients the latest that dentists can offer as part of our team approach to treating patients who have sleep related breathing disorders.
I’m Dr. James Stewart, and my dental office in Livonia serves patients from Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, and surrounding area. Call today and schedule a sleep disorder consultation with me. I’ll be happy to talk with you and explain how to overcome your sleep disorder and reclaim solid sleep for high quality living!