Okay I admit, I’m selfish. There’s nothing more exciting than to hear our patients comment about how their life has improved through our services. Whether it’s a new smile transformed from darker worn down teeth, or the end of miserable nights of sleep with oral appliance therapy, a CPAP alternative, once you hear these expressions, you just want more successes.
Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing one of our patients that had been having great difficulty with the primary type of therapy that was prescribed by his physician. Years of struggling with hoses, air leaks, and pressure adjustment had led to just POOR sleep and discouragement.
Luckily, due to a move from another state into our area and establishing ties with a new physician, he was referred for oral appliance therapy, the most commonly prescribed alternative treatment to CPAP, type of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, a sleep disorder often accompanied with chronic snoring and pauses or stoppages of breathing during sleep.
Over the years, there have been hundreds of patients like this one revolving through our doors. My excitement of hearing about these positive outcomes continue to fuel me professionally. But what fuels me even more, is the disappointment in knowing that these prescribed mouth devices for snoring and apnea could have rescued this patient years earlier had they ever been mentioned to him. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, prescribing physicians often overlooks oral appliance therapy. Part of the confusion is that medical standards require a prescription or a diagnosis of a persons’ condition, whether it be primary snoring, or obstructive sleep apnea. Medical standards also require that these mouth devices be made and delivered through dental providers.
My professional ‘wish’ is that this referral process for an unbelievable great service is someday extremely mainstreamed and that people, who are suffering with CPAP use, can be guided through the treatment.
by: Dr. Lydia Sosenko
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