If you have researched about dental clinics near you, you may have come across the services that they offer. Did it confuse you that they also have services that cover medical conditions, particularly sleep apnea? For more information, this sleep clinic in Melbourne specializes in dental treatments for this condition. Let us dig deeper into the dentist’s role in diagnosing sleep apnea and ordering a sleep disorders test.
Dentists and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
There are many cases of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that are not documented because people nowadays do not invest in comprehensive medical exams for the fear of it costing them more than they can afford. However, there are many ways of knowing how one can be a potential patient with OSA. Even going to the dentist can help you determine if you are suffering from this condition.
Although many dentists are trained and have experience in handling medical issues related to their dental condition, they are still prohibited to diagnose if a person has OSA or not. So what would they do? They would request their patient to undergo sleep disorders test and have a sleep specialist or sleep medicine experts. Only when the patient is diagnosed with OSA can the dentist coordinate with the doctor in the treatment of his medical condition.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Dentists, upon initial assessment of a patient, may notice abnormalities in the patient’s airway or let the patient answer questionnaires that may lead to discovery if he or she can be suffering from OSA. Using a requested sleep disorder test and the dentist’s observation, the sleep specialist can now ask the expertise of the dentist if an oral appliance therapy (OAT) is suitable for the patient’s condition.
A patient may be prescribed to wear oral night guards to help manage the position of the jaw and may even reduce teeth grinding and jaw pain. There are also dental problems, particularly periodontal conditions, that can worsen apnea so your dentist can help you treat the underlying dental problem to help solve sleep apnea.