Dental Sleep Medicine Conference Kicks Off in Baltimore

Dentistry Today


Researchers in dental sleep medicine are gathering in Baltimore this weekend, June 1-3, to present their findings at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) 2018 Annual Meeting. Their presentations will focus on advances in oral appliance therapy, a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea that uses a device custom-fit by a dentist to maintain an open, unobstructed airway. 

“This year’s research is some of the most exciting I have seen in the 25 years that I’ve been practicing dental sleep medicine,” said Harold A. Smith, AADSM president. “We are vastly increasing our understanding of the benefits of oral appliance therapy, and we are finding new ways to help patients thrive in the face of obstructive sleep apnea.”

This year’s research demonstrates the effectiveness of new treatments for older patients and the usefulness of new diagnostic tools for pediatric patients, the AADSM reports, adding that other studies are pioneering the measurement of the impact of oral appliance therapy on fatigue and cardiovascular health. For example: 

  • “Scoring of Fatigue and Sleepiness in Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treated With a Titratable Custom-Made Mandibular Advancement Device,” Marc Braem, DDS, PhD, lead author: This study of 41 patients compared their responses on two different diagnostic questionnaires, the Checklist of Individual Strength (CIS) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Patients completed both questionnaires at the beginning of their treatment with a mandibular advancement device (MAD) and again after three months of treatment. The CIS questionnaire was found to offer additional information about patients’ responses to treatment.
  • “Evaluation of the Overall Clinical Effectiveness and Cardiovascular Effects of a Mandibular Advancement Device in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Preliminary Results,” Marike Dieltjens, PhD, lead author: This study reported on 31 patients who underwent six months of treatment with a MAD. Those who experienced a reduction in apnea-hypopnea index that was equal to or more than 50% compared to baseline showed a statistically significant improvement in left ventricle ejection fraction and a trend towards improvement in positive airway pressure.

Clinical Research Award winners include: 

  • Ghizlane Aarab, DS, PhD, for “The Effects of Mandibular Advancement Appliance Therapy on Jaw Closing Muscle Activity During Sleep in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Patients” 
  • Arvind Tripathi, MDS, for “A Novel Use of Complete Denture Prosthesis as a Mandibular Advancement Device in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Edentulous Subjects”

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