How to Screen for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
By Cristina Casa-Levine, RDH, EdD
Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition receiving escalated attention due to its associated dangers that range from systemic diseases to fatigue-related accidents. Approximately 5.9 million United States adults are diagnosed with this condition, whereas an estimated 23.5 million cases remain undiagnosed. The latter may be attributed to minimal sleep disorder training across many health care fields. This public health issue calls for dental professionals to increase their familiarity with obstructive sleep apnea, and implement screening protocols and an interprofessional approach to patient care. Doing so can contribute to early sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment that result in improved health outcomes.