Bring Your Hygienist with to Your Next Seminar

Think of this scenario: you (the dentist) just got back from a great seminar in let’s say Las Vegas. You’re so pumped up and excited to get to work, but what about your staff? While you can try your hardest to bring the enthusiasm to your office, it’s just not the same. So, who spends the most time and has a better rapport with patients? Hygienists do! For your next seminar series think about bringing your hygienist next time. Together you can be excited and better understand the roles associated with Dental Sleep Medicine, Craniofacial Pain and other advanced areas of dentistry.

The Hygienist’s Role

In the last 10 years, dentists and hygienists have become more involved in the treatment of sleep apnea, craniofacial pain, TMD, and other advanced areas of dentistry. Since patients visit their dentist more often than they visit their family doctor, a dental hygienist plays a critical role in screening patients for these advanced areas of dentistry.

From sleep breathing disorders to craniofacial pain, a hygienist can ask the appropriate questions each time a patient visits your office. And, if your hygienists don’t know what to look out for, then how can they ask the right questions to help you provide the right treatment? They can’t unless they accompany you to lectures and seminars throughout the year. By remaining up-to-date, your hygienist can work with you each step of the way.

A dental hygienist can play a vital role in your dental office if you provide them with appropriate education. Whether it is with you at a seminar, or on their own, continuing education for not only yourself, but your hygienist, too, is key.

Dentists and their hygienists work hand-in-hand for the treatment of sleep apnea, craniofacial pain, TMD, and other conditions. Start today by signing your hygienist up for a future seminar–both with you and on their own. If you have any questions about how to incorporate this teamwork into advanced areas of dentistry, such as dental sleep medicine and craniofacial pain, please contact me.


The Sleep Apnea Device Market has a Bright Future

I have some exciting news to share! The sleep apnea device market has a bright future and that’s great news for us dentists! So, what’s the outlook? Well, by 2020 it is estimated to reach a worth of about $5.3 billion. In the report “Sleep Apnea Devices Market by Product, Diagnostic (PSG, Pulse Oximeter), Therapeutic [CPAP, APAP, BPAP, Masks (Full Face Mask), Oral Appliances (Mandibular Advancement Device)], End User (Home Care Settings, Hospitals) – Analysis & Global Forecasts to 2020”, the major market drivers, restraints/challenges, and opportunities were analyzed and studied.

In the report, as presented by, the global sleep apnea devices market is studied for the forecast period of 2015-2020. As of 2015, the market was at $3.7 billion, but by 2020, the market is expected to reach $5.3 billion at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. With 2015 being the highest growth of the market, we will continue to see a growth spurt at the highest rate yet.

A Look at the Forecast

The regions for this study included the following areas:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • The Rest of the World (Latin America, Central America, and Africa)

We saw North America with the largest share in the sleep apnea market in 2015, followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. However, the European market has projections to grow at the highest CAGR rate during the target between now and 2020.

ResMed, a major player in the market, continues to observe a strong focus on innovation. Through such a rich pipeline of innovative products in the market opens up so many opportunities for treatment of sleep apnea.

Remain ahead of the game by providing the best treatment options for sleep apnea through oral appliance therapy. Together we can help our patients get a better night’s sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea and available treatment options, visit You can also view upcoming lectures to help you continue to learn more about this growing industry.

Truck Drivers and Sleep Apnea

Truck drivers and sleep apnea – the need to get treated in order to remain active. How do you get them to receive diagnosis and treatment? Many don’t want to seek a diagnosis because they are afraid they will lose their job.

Sleep apnea can occur in all age groups and both sexes. However, there are a number of factors that may put patients at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea:

  • A family history of sleep apnea
  • Having a small upper airway
  • Being overweight
  • Having a recessed chin, small jaw, or large overbite
  • A large neck size
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Ethnicity

And, when a person suffers from sleep apnea, it can significantly impact their driving ability. Many truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, but do not even realize it. This is where the Feds are stepping in to require treatment and testing. Do you agree?

Sleep Apnea’s Effect on Driving

As we already know, sleep apnea affects sleep. However, it can also affect daytime alertness and performance. If sleep apnea is untreated, it can make it difficult for a person to stay awake, focus their eyes, and react quickly while driving. Many studies have been conducted to show the negative effect sleep apnea has on driving. Sleep apnea increases the risk of a driver being involved in a fatigue-related car accident.

While many patients suffering from sleep apnea might say they never fall asleep driving, it is important to remember that a person doesn’t have to fall asleep to get in a crash. By being less attentive or alert, people can still be involved in a motor vehicle crash.

Can People Still Drive?

Yes, people with sleep apnea can still operate motor vehicles. However, it is vital that those people get treated for their sleep apnea in order to avoid negative effects. Once sleep apnea is successfully treated, a driver can regain a medically qualified to drive status.

With most cases of sleep apnea being successfully treated, it is important to remember that we can help our patients. Each state has its own medical standards set for truck drivers, which is why it is important for patients to understand the regulations for their states.

It is important for truck drivers (and everyone in general)  suffering from sleep apnea to receive a diagnosis and proper treatment before getting back on the road. To learn more about this, please contact my office or visit my website at As dentists, we can help truck drivers remain active and on the road.

Missing Teeth and Pediatric Sleep Apnea

Sometimes the problems we experience as adults, could have been avoided when we were younger. In order to continue to help our patients through all stages of their lives, we need to ensure they are receiving the best care possible as children. For instance, missing teeth in early childhood can result in abnormal facial morphology with a narrow upper airway[1]. As a result, this can leads to early dental extractions and the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

The Study

In order to better understand this connection between dental extractions, abnormal facial morphology and sleep apnea, a study was conducted. The study reviewed clinical data, results of polysomnographic sleep studies, and orthodontic imaging studies of children with dental agenesis or early extraction of permanent teeth seen during the past five years. They compared their findings to those of age, gender, and body mass index.

The Results

As a result of the study, 31 children with dental agenesis and 11 children with early dental extractions had at least two permanent teeth missing. All children missing teeth had complaints and signs of OSA. There was a significant difference between the mean apnea-hypopnea indices in the three dental agenesis, dental extraction, and T&A studied groups. This was the mean abnormal AHI lowest in the pediatric dental agenesis group.In the children with missing teeth, aging was associated with the presence of a higher AHI.

The study showed that alveolar bone growth is dependent on the presence of the teeth that it supports. The dental agenesis in the studied children was not part of a syndrome. It was an isolated finding. In the children with permanent teeth missing due to congenital agenesis and/or permanent teeth extraction known to predispose the collapse of the upper airway during sleep, OSA was recognized at a later age.

Sleep disordered breathing may be left untreated for a prolonged period with progressive worsening of symptoms overtime. By providing proper care and treatment early on, we can prevent the development of OSA in those children.

Contact my office to learn more about sleep apnea and its role in children with missing teeth. It is our duty as dentists to provide the best care possible, and that means our children.



[1]  Guilleminault, C., Abad, V. C., Chiu, H. Y., Peters, B., & Quo, S. (2016). Missing teeth and pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep and Breathing,20(2), 561-568.