Obstructive sleep apnea affects around 20 million Americans and can lead to hypertension, heart attack, stroke, depression, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, morning headaches, and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sleep Apnea Treatment Equally Effective with Primary Care Providers and Sleep Centers, Study Says


Your dentist may not be the first person you consider turning to for help in diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). But the findings of a recent study indicate that an experienced primary care provider such as your dentist can treat sleep apnea just as effectively as a specialized sleep center.

It actually makes sense that a growing number of dentists are pursuing training in the field of dental sleep medicine in order to assess and treat OSA and other sleep disorders. Bite conditions and jaw alignment problems can contribute to the severity of sleep apnea, and many sleep apnea treatments utilize oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards to help patients maintain open airways as they sleep.

A recent Australian study, the findings of which were published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that sleep apnea treatment administered by properly trained primary care providers is as effective as treatment at specialist sleep disorder facilities. The study compared 81 patients treated at primary care practices with 74 patients treated at a sleep medicine center.

The study found similar and significant improvements in patients at both. However, treatment costs were about 40 percent less with primary care providers than at the sleep medicine center. Specialized sleep centers also often have long waiting lists, which can contribute to patients delaying or giving up on sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment.

If you or a loved one suffers from loud, nightly snoring or other symptoms of sleep apnea, please contact I Hate CPAP to locate an experienced sleep dentist near you.

posted by Steve at 2:07 PM