Sleep Apnea: Your Role as a Dentist
By understanding sleep apnea and helping patients who have it, you, the dentist, can save many people’s lives—not only those who suffer from the disorder, but those who may be on the road, in flight, or working with them. Most of the time, people who have sleep apnea are not aware of their symptoms because they are asleep when they occur. If a patient is unaware of his or her sleep apnea, as a dentist you may be able to identify particular physical symptoms. As a dentist, you play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.
The Dentist’s Role in Treatment
A dentist is often the first professional to become aware of a potential problem since they can be in contact with their patients more often than physicians. Dr. Mayoor Patel advises general dentists and their team members to develop strong relationships with a sleep center or sleep medicine specialist who can assess a patient’s condition.
By teaming up with a physician, dentists can offer accurate results and provide the best treatment possible. Dentists who establish a relationship with a sleep center physician will be able to provide their patients with the best results. While it may take a while to form a strong bond, when it does happen it is well worth it.
Once the dentist and physician have established that the patient does have sleep apnea, a treatment plan can be created. Today, most patients do not go under surgery for treatment. Instead, most are treated with an oral appliance for comfort and accurate results. Dr. Mayoor Patel utilizes oral appliances as the leading form of treatment for sleep apnea, as they are convenient and easy to use.
Dr. Mayoor Patel encourages dentists to explore his website for more information on snoring and sleep apnea. Dentists can also visit True Function Labs to learn more about available appliances to aide in treatment of sleep apnea. With proper lectures and courses, dentists from all over can increase their education and understanding of treating sleep apnea within their dental office.