The Importance of Dental Sleep Medicine

Sleep Medicine Chester, VA

Dental sleep medicine is a branch of dentistry that deals with the use of oral devices to treat sleeping disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. According to the American Dental Association, dentists are the only health care providers with the training and expertise to provide oral appliance therapy. This article explains the important role played by dentists in sleep health.

Why is dental sleep medicine important?

There is an established link between oral health and sleep. This means dentists are usually the first to detect the signs or symptoms of sleep disorders. The most worrisome are sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBDS), such as snoring and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is associated with many health disorders, ranging from cardiovascular conditions and high blood pressure to type II diabetes. It can also contribute to liver problems, metabolic syndrome and relationship issues with partners living with a sleep disorder.

For the brain to function properly, it needs a good night’s sleep, which means SRBDs are linked with Alzheimer’s and dementia. For children with untreated sleep apnea, the effects on the brain can cause behavioral and learning problems. Knowing the negative impact of poor sleep quality on general wellbeing and the fact that dentists are usually the first to check for SRBDs, dental sleep medicine remains a significant part of dentistry. This is the basis of a dentist’s role in sleep medicine.

The role of dentists in sleep medicine

Dentists play an important role in the process, including:

Screening and assessment

When a patient visits the dentist, they can be screened for signs of sleep disorders. The dentist will evaluate the patient’s risk to know if additional tests or diagnosis is required. If not, they can monitor the patient during follow-up visits to see if anything changes eventually.

Recommend sleeping tests

After an assessment of the risks and symptoms of sleep disorders, the next step is to recommend the patient for further testing and diagnosis. The dentist can provide a sleep test in the patient’s home or the office. The outcome of the test will be used for the diagnosis.

Treatment with oral appliance therapy (OAT)

Using the result from the sleep test, the dentist will use their knowledge and expertise to decide if and what oral appliance would be effective for the patient. This is significant because of the effort that goes into deciding on the right device, preparing it into a custom-fit, making adjustments, and testing it for effectiveness and the side effects.

Depending on the severity of the sleep apnea or if the patient does not want continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral appliance therapy is a perfect choice. Also, evidence shows that patients are more compliant with oral appliances than CPAP treatment because oral appliances have less uncomfortable side effects.

The takeaway

Sleep medicine presents a viable solution for patients with sleeping disorders. By undergoing treatment, they can avoid the adverse effects of poor sleep quality. If you suspect you might have a sleeping disorder, do not hesitate to talk to a dentist about treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://chesterdentalcareva.com or call Chester Dental Care - Shwetha Rodrigues DDS at (804) 412-0875 for an appointment in our Chester office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Sleep Medicine in Chester, VA.

Recent Posts

When An Emergency Dentist May Recommend Tooth Extraction

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, you should immediately visit an emergency dentist. Emergency dentists are trained to handle a variety of dental emergencies. These include infections and tooth decay. Visiting an emergency dentist will ensure you receive the immediate care you need.Dentists do everything they can to save a tooth. They often only…

Does Professional Teeth Whitening Have Health Benefits?

Teeth Whitening procedures can transform your smile and give you a good self-image. Do you have yellow, gray, or brown stains on your teeth? This type of discoloration may cause you to avoid other people and seek a solution. The good news is that there are other advantages to doing this treatment as well. Not…

Is Pinhole Gum Surgery A Periodontal Procedure?

Pinhole gum surgery is a periodontal procedure, though unlike other gum extension treatments, this surgery does not involve a tissue graft. This minimally invasive procedure is used to treat gum recession, but patients may have never heard of the term and might have questions for a general dentist about the safety and effectiveness of the…

Reasons Holistic Dental Services Can Improve Your Oral Health

Today, more people are looking for natural solutions to everyday problems. This includes oral care, with holistic dental services quickly gaining in popularity and availability. A holistic approach to dentistry can be beneficial for many people, especially those who already have relatively healthy teeth and gums.While holistic dental services are used to primarily treat issues…

Recent Posts

When An Emergency Dentist May Recommend Tooth Extraction

When An Emergency Dentist May Recommend Tooth Extraction

If you are experiencing a dental emergency, you should immediately visit an emergency dentist. Emergency dentists are trained to handle a variety of dental emergencies. These include infections and tooth decay. Visiting an emergency dentist will ensure you receive the immediate care you need.Dentists do everything they can to save a tooth. They often only…

Does Professional Teeth Whitening Have Health Benefits?

Does Professional Teeth Whitening Have Health Benefits?

Teeth Whitening procedures can transform your smile and give you a good self-image. Do you have yellow, gray, or brown stains on your teeth? This type of discoloration may cause you to avoid other people and seek a solution. The good news is that there are other advantages to doing this treatment as well. Not…