Nearly every practitioner in dentistry, no matter what his or her specialty or special interest, may have a potential role in the management of patients with a sleep disorder, particularly snoring and sleep apnea. More important, every dentist as a practitioner in the health care field should be able to assist the patient who is identified with a potential sleep disorder by making recommendations, referrals, or participating in the overall management. Sleep is essential to life and to overall health. Involvement by dentists is another step in the development of a closer relationship between dentists and their medical colleagues. The treatment of sleep apnea may be more successful, both in efficacy and compliance, if dentists and sleep specialists collaborate closely. The importance of this collaboration is certainly indicated by the creation of a Section on Oral Appliances within the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), which further unifies dentistry and medicine. Many dentists are not familiar with sleep medicine, its magnitude, and the prevalence of sleep disorders. To assist those looking to expand their knowledge, the pertinent organizations are listed in Appendix A, and a number of sleep-related organizations and websites are listed in Appendix B. It is up to each individual practitioner, in medicine and dentistry, to develop a better awareness of the field of sleep, its effect on a person's overall health, and how a person's quality of life can be improved by a better night's rest.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Dental clinics of North America|
|State||Published - Oct 2001|
ASJC Scopus subject areas