It was only three years ago that I read that less than 1% of American licensed dentists were practicing sleep medicine. In those few years that number has risen to 4%. If we have approximately 205,000 practicing dentists in the USA, then there are only 8200 Dentists serving the needs of the multitude of people affected with sleep disorders.According to a Harvard health report there are 18.9 million undiagnosed cases of obstructive sleep apnea and a minimum of 40% – 1.3 million -of CPAP users who are non-compliant. So that alone conservatively projects 20.2 million victims of obstructive sleep apnea who may be helped by a dentist trained in oral appliance therapy (OAT).
Dental sleep medicine: the hottest button in dentistry today.
Awareness of sleep apnea in America is at an all-time peak. The fires of awareness are being stoked by the public media and by social media. Patients are understanding and becoming increasingly more concerned about the blockage of oxygen to the brain and to other organs. Strokes. Heart attacks. Diabetes. Dementia. Motor vehicle accidents. People are recognizing that they have the symptoms and are asking their Dentists about it. Some doctors have the solutions. Every Dentist would like to be “The Sleep Dentist.”Seminar training courses are now available through Sleep Group Solutions every week, in different cities, throughout the United States. They are training dentists to discover the victims of sleep apnea and to treat them with the most appropriate modalities. Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is the most convenient and preferred therapy for the mild and moderate cases and for those patients who cannot tolerate the CPAP device. Fortunately, this is where the dentist in shining armor rides in on a white horse to the rescue. Dentists, we like to say, are on the front line of the battle against sleep apnea. Dentists are in the optimum position to see the signs and symptoms and can offer the most preferred solutions to the problem.
- Helps these people discover their underlying causes of sleep dysfunction.
- Spreads a huge awareness of the dangers of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Creates recognition that he is a generous, caring healthcare professional
- Builds a Dental Sleep Medicine practice
Roseville, CA California Dentist, Dr. Thuy Nga Le Vu and staff were recently trained in identifying, diagnosing (with physicians) and offering treatment for patients with the deadly disorder, Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Trained by Sleep Group Solutions, Galleria Smile Designs, and all three of their locations, will bring their turnkey protocol to three different health fairs to spread the awareness of sleep apnea and ways to treat it. Galleria Smile Design will also provide Sleep Apnea screening and treatment in-office, by appointment.
Upcoming health fairs are open to employees and some public members, at the California Correctional Health Care Service on August 26, The Department of State Hospitals Health and Wellness on September 8th, and the UPS Health and Safety BBQ on September 11th. Dr. Vu and staff are looking forward to raising awareness, as well as offering a solution. “We are honored to help spread awareness that this treatment can save lives, not only for themselves but others around them that may be affected.” says Dr. Vu. “It affects everyone around us, even when sharing the same road with someone falling asleep at the wheel due to OSA, they may not even be aware of it.” Dr. Vu’s staff will do an initial patient screener with the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and schedule appointments for any sleep apnea red flags.
“We find an enormous amount of patients and employees who suffer with high blood pressure, obesity, gerd, and scalloped tongue. These are all implications that OSA may be present.” says Dr. Vu. Snoring, along with many of the symptoms Dr. Vu’s practice is suffering with are commonly connected with OSA. “Many of my patients are currently on CPAP, but are non compliant, so we are happy to offer a solution.” Oral Appliance Therapy is an effective way to treat mild to moderate OSA, and are saving lives with non compliant CPAP users.
For patients who suffer with snoring, high blood pressure, daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and even Type 2 Diabetes, relief may come from Oral Appliance Therapy. Sacramento area patients can reach Dr. Vu’s friendly and knowledgeable staff at 916-787-1232 or online at Galleria Smile Designs.