Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterised by a cessation of respiration throughout sleep, related to the relief of the oropharyngeal muscle groups and the tongue collapsing on the airway inflicting the person to quickly cease respiration. This cessation of respiration is manifested by quite a lot of behaviors comparable to loud night breathing, choking, gasping, and waking from sleep a number of instances throughout the evening, all of which stop these with OSA from getting ample deep, restful, and restorative sleep.
OSA is way more than an inconvenience for the particular person or their bedmate. OSA is linked to a plethora of systemic well being dangers comparable to an elevated danger for sort 2 diabetes, heart problems, weight problems, and most cancers.1-5
Daytime sleepiness, which is straight related to OSA, has additionally been linked with an growing variety of visitors and mass transit accidents and fatalities.6-8
There’s additionally been current analysis indicating there may be a rise within the severity of COVID-19 for many who have OSA. “Amongst sufferers with COVID, obstructive sleep apnea was related to elevated danger of hospitalization and roughly double the danger of growing respiratory failure.”9
Teledentistry enhances sleep dentistry workflow
OSA is recognized by physicians by a sleep research preferrred for medical-dental integration and collaboration. Dental sleep medication and teledentistry could seamlessly complement one another for the good thing about sufferers and allied health-care practitioners alike. It is very important observe that teledentistry is simply an enhancement to in-office dental sleep medication therapy and never a substitute.
Dental sleep therapy: It’s a math problem
5 ways teledentistry can improve the oral health system
An expert-grade teledentistry platform expands the attain of dental sleep medication suppliers, makes it simpler to seek the advice of with medical suppliers who consider and diagnose sleep-related respiration problems, and improves comfort for sufferers. So the place does teledentistry match inside the workflow of a dental sleep medication observe? Listed here are three purposes to contemplate.
It’s simple to conduct the preliminary affected person screening for OSA by way of teledentistry. You may evaluate the affected person’s medical historical past and sleep surveys nearly. Surveys such because the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the STOP-BANG questionnaire are generally used. If the affected person’s survey solutions recommend that the affected person could also be in danger for OSA, you possibly can refer the affected person to a sleep medication doctor for additional analysis.
If you’re providing dental sleep medication companies in your observe, set up shut working relationships with native sleep medication physicians who can consider sufferers and diagnose sleep-related respiration problems.
Using teledentistry for digital introductions, comanagement huddles, and collaborative therapy planning can strengthen these working relationships with the physicians in your neighborhood, in addition to respective care groups.
Relying on the doctor’s choice, sleep research could also be performed on the affected person’s residence or in a devoted sleep lab. Historically, a sleep research within the lab is taken into account extra correct, however within the COVID period, residence sleep research are attending to be extra widespread amongst clinicians and sufferers alike.10
Digital post-sleep research session
Teledentistry could also be used to conduct digital consultations along with your referring sleep doctor to debate your mutual affected person’s medical historical past, survey scores, airway radiographs, and so forth. You may as well use this digital alternative to debate steady constructive airway strain (CPAP) versus oral equipment therapy choices. CPAP continues to be thought-about the gold normal, however increasingly more physicians are prescribing mandibular development units for sufferers who can not tolerate CPAPs for delicate to reasonable OSA.11
After this digital go to, you possibly can have the affected person schedule an in-office go to to carry out a complete oral analysis and head and neck examination, take applicable radiographs, take impressions, and chew registration to manufacture the oral equipment.
Mandibular development units could trigger some uncomfortable side effects, comparable to occlusal modifications, which is why it’s important to determine a steady affected person monitoring protocol.
Dental sleep medication and teledentistry are experiencing a parallel development trajectory. Teledentistry shouldn’t be an alternative to in-office visits, however it might complement a rising sleep medication observe.
Editor’s observe: This text appeared within the November 2022 print version of Dental Economics journal. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.
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