Responsibilities of the dental profession in the recognition and treatment of sleep breathing disorders

Sleep Breath. 1997 Jun;2(2):41-4. doi: 10.1007/BF03038971.


The use of oral appliances for the treatment of sleep disordered breathing can be an exciting adjunct to the practice of dentistry and an effective treatment modality for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It is essential that the dentist gain proper education and training before undertaking this challenging new aspect of practice. The dentist must be willing to commit to study of oral appliance therapy for sleep disordered breathing with the same intensity and integrity as is applied to the rest of hislher practice. The sleep physician should not hesitate to discuss the educational background and the organization affiliations of dentists to whom he or she wishes to refer patients for oral appliance therapy.Accepting dentistry's position as part of a treatment team, ongoing review of scientific literature, participation with sleep specialists in sleep laboratories and attendance at educational meetings dedicated to the study of sleep related disorders are essential to proper and ethical dental participation in the treatment of sleep disordered breathing.