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Thank you for checking out our blog! Our goal is to keep you up to date with the world of sleep apnea and to provide informative and helpful information. The following came to us from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine:

A study done by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio published 1/14/2009 shows that dental appliances are successful in treatment of patient with severe sleep apnea. The study used the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) and according to assistant professor Paul McLornan B.D.S in the Department of Prosthodontics, "We saw patients who began the study with severe sleep apnea end the study with very mild or no sleep apnea. They reported sleeping better, feeling more rested in the morning and altogether healthier."

Dr. McLornan said this research is vital to both the medical and dental communities.

"What we found was that many of our patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea were not adhering to standard treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Although the CPAP is considered to be the gold standard in treating sleep apnea and is very effective, compliance by patients is well below 50 percent. Sleep apnea is a growing and serious problem for people of all ages and all ethnic groups. If left untreated, it becomes progressively worse. People suffering from sleep apnea are at increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, obesity and diabetes. It takes both dentists and medical professionals working together to control this potentially deadly disorder. The TAP gives patients another viable treatment alternative."

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the professional society that sets the standards for and promotes excellence in sleep medicine, now recommends that oral appliances can be the first line of treatment for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Dr. McLornan's study demonstrates it can be used for patients with severe problems as well.

Posted by R. Sam Callender DDS | 3/2/2011 3:20:00 PM