The Dentist’s Role

Qualified Dentists and Board Certified dentists of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) have taken additional training courses to understand the complexity of treating patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. They work along with your sleep physician or pulmonologist to establish the best treatment protocol and therapy to be most effective for your specific situation. If your dentist is the first point of contact, he can guide you on how to proceed with your care. Expect the screening process will be quite thorough. Following the screening process you will be referred to a sleep physician and complete a sleep study. Once the physician reviews the data and makes the diagnosis you will be given options for treatment of your condition.

The sleep physician will discuss your treatment options and if the doctor feels that Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) is appropriate for your care you will be referred back to the dentist for fabrication of the appliance. The appliance is custom made and can be adjusted to maximize your comfort and the effect on your sleep apnea. While patients may report that they feel better and that they are snoring less, the only way to prove the appliance is working is to repeat the sleep study while using the device. While a formal sleep study is recommended there are now several at home monitors for follow up comparisons that may be sufficient to verify the device is improving your condition.

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