Sleep medicine and dentistry: How to measure whether dental sleep apnea interventions are improving sleep quality

This review teaches a dentist to read and interpret wearable fitness tracker sleep data. With this knowledge, dentists objectively measure the success or failure of the oral appliance therapy interventions they have performed for their patients. (3 Credits)

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the muscles and soft tissues in a person’s throat collapse and block the airway while sleeping. Airway blockage can be either “partial” or “complete.”1 OSA is characterized by recurrent episodes of collapse in the upper airway that lead to reduced breathing or complete airway blockage and a significant deterioration of blood oxygen saturation during sleep.2 Patients with apnea have considerable sleep cycle disruption that substantially decreases health, longevity, and cognitive function.3 The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine suggests oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment for OSA.4 The gold standard for testing sleep cycle disruption is type I polysomnography, a sleep study performed overnight while the patient undergoes continous monitoring by a credentialed technologist in a sleep clinic. Type I polysomnography records the physiological changes that occur during sleep but is unavailable to patients on a nightly basis at home.5 Many patients, therefore, rely on the subjective opinion of spouses or partners to determine if an individual snores or appears to stop breathing, gasps, or chokes while sleeping. Patients who live alone can be almost entirely unaware of their condition. With the advent of modern wearable fitness trackers, patients now can interpret overnight objective sleep data and quantitatively measure improvements in their sleep. This data can be shared with the treating dentist for a professional assessment of success (or failure) of the oral appliance. This review teaches a dentist to read and interpret wearable fitness tracker sleep data. With this knowledge, dentists objectively measure the success or failure of the oral appliance therapy interventions they have performed for their patients.6

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. List the common health risks for obstructive sleep apnea.
  2. Discuss the role of dentistry in sleep apnea therapy.
  3. Describe the relationship between tracking objective sleep data with commercial wearable technology and its role in assessing the success or failure of dental sleep apnea therapy.
  4. Outline how the information in this course can improve patient care outcomes.

About the Author

Eric S. Bornstein, DMD, is the former CMO of Nomir Medical Technologies, a biochemist, dentist, and photobiologist. He has managed a periodontal human clinical trial, and patented lasers and biofilm eradication technologies. Dr. Bornstein is widely published in journals such as Current Trends in Microbiology and Compendium. He delivers CE webinars for the Institute for Natural Resources (inrseminars. com) on pharmacology, marijuana, vaping, opioids, hallucinogens, and periodontal disease. His first novel, Sun Tzu’s Café, will be published in December 2023.

Image credit: Photo 213846293 © Andrey Popov | Dreamstime.com
Quick Access Code: 22157

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • 3 CE credit(s)

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

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    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

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    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

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    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

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    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-22157. Expires NOVEMBER 2027. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”

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