Orthodontic Strategies for Sleep Apnea
A team of orthodontists has developed a strategy to effectively implement treatment of obstructive sleep apnea into a practice and improve patients’ lives, reports our sister publication Orthodontic Products.
Each of us has our own story to tell about sleep apnea. We all know someone who snores, struggles to breathe while sleeping, or has even been diagnosed with sleep apnea. If together we are able to make a total health difference in the lives of someone we know and love—particularly, someone suffering from sleep apnea—would the effort be worth it? We were convinced that it would be and, working with Henry Schein Orthodontics, we came together to create the Orthodontic Sleep Apnea Clinical Advisory Team to design a strategy that broadens the scope of the orthodontic practice and is implementable for orthodontists to effectively screen, test, and treat patients for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
“Pursuing an initiative of this nature is in direct alignment with one of Henry Schein’s core values of ‘doing well by doing good,’ ” says Ted Dreifuss, vice president of global sales and marketing, Henry Schein Orthodontics. “We recognized a significant unmet healthcare need and acknowledged that only a small percentage of the OSA population is being diagnosed, with an even smaller percentage receiving treatment. We also realize that current treatment options (CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure) are not satisfactory for most people. We presented the hypothesis that changes to the oral environment could have a positive and lasting impact on the airway and sleep apnea.”
Our team embarked on a mission nearly 2 years ago to determine if there might be an orthodontic component to the problem of sleep apnea, and if so, what orthodontists could do to address the problem with their patients.